Understanding How News Ends Up on Your County / Portal Homepage

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Recently, we’ve fielded some questions about how News articles appear on an Extension site’s homepage. Whether you are visiting a county website or commodity portal, the way your News listing is assembled is essentially the same.

Currently, sites have the potential to display up to 18 News stories on their homepage. However, 18 is pretty atypical. There are 4 distinct sources that deliver news to your homepage, and specific limits to how many stories each source can contribute.

  • 2 Most Recently Cross-Posted Articles
  • 8 Most Recent Posts from the County / Portal site itself (only 6 if there were 2 Cross-Posted Articles found)
  • 5 latest Subscription Posts (i.e. counties may subscribe to include news from 1 or portals)
  • 5 latest External Blog Posts (provided one or more external blogs have been approved and integrated for your site. All blog posts older than 5 weeks are automatically ignored)

The reasoning for the limiting is pretty simple. We want to give preference to the News articles you’ve authored and posted to your own site, most likely the most relevant (and most important to your user). If we didn’t throttle some sources, they may publish too frequently and subsequently push important stories off of your homepage.

Improvements Going Forward

Right now, we’re carefully considering a change to (a future iteration of) the homepage which would separate out native news (that you created and posted) and shared content. This would behave much like a traditional News publishing site like CNN or the NYTimes which have sections for “World,” “Local,” “Sports,” etc.

If you have any suggestions, complaints or general observations, please pass them along to us at ces_help@ncsu.edu.