Swancon Website

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This article describes the Swancon website.


A new Swancon website is set up each year by the committee of the convention.

Webhosting details

Azure + letsencrypt extension

Our swancon domains are done via Microsoft Azure. They have security certificates supplied by Let's Encrypt and renewed via Azure.

Content is hosted in Grenadine. We have a file in Azure that points to each subdomain, and specifies when each site goes live and when it becomes the default site visible on swancon.com.au without having to specify a subdomain like 2023.swancon.com.au.

It's possible to host content elsewhere, in a WordPress instance or whatever, rather than in Grenadine. That WordPress instance would then include some HTML fragments from Grenadine to take users to the page to view the programme, buy tickets, etc.

Setting up Grenadine website

Last Years/Current Cons = 20yy

Next Years/Con building site = 20xx

Public Website Direct URL: https://sites.grenadine.co/sites/swancon/en/swancon20xx Public Website Swancon URL: https://20xx.swancon.com.au

When you create your convention in Grenadine, Grenadine will create a "slug" that is used to refer to your convention in URLs etc., like "swancon2023". If you have a space in your convention name, it will put a dash in the slug, like "swancon-2023". So initially create your convention name with no space, and with they year not the Swancon number, so as to get the slug you want. Then click Save down the bottom of the config page, then go back and rename your convention as desired.

Please be careful not to change 20yy’s site when copying things.

Making it visible

Check the following places:

  • Event > Event Information > Visibility. It's OK to set this to Public briefly for testing -- nobody's monitoring minute-by-minute to see if we've put up next year's website. But once you've got it working, set it back to Private, particularly if your website has secrets such as the names of the guest(s). Note that Unlisted is not very secret -- anyone who can guess the eminently-guessable URL can find and view it.
  • Event settings > website > Event Website > click Offline to change it to Online. Yes, Grenadine has two entirely separate places to change whether the website is visible, and you need to set both of them.
  • See also Setting which Swancon website is live, below.
  • If recent programme changes are not yet visible, click the Publishing > Publish Now button in the top bar.

Setting up the Grenadine Event Planner (Additional info)

Obtain access to manage the Grenadine event

  • To add/remove user rights, you need to be Admin. Typically, convenor and the con's technical person/people would be Admin. Various CSC and board members are also Admin.
  • To edit programme items (which Grenadine calls "Schedule" you need to be Admin, Planner or Developer.
  • People who are going to volunteer at the front desk to check con-goers in as they arrive should be given Door Monitor.
  • Grenadine's documentation about admin user access levels

Basic image manipulation and editing:

Text formatting in Grenadine

  • If your content has been drafted in MS Word or any other word processing software/app (e.g. Google Docs), ensure you copy and paste the content Notepad, then copy and paste from Notepad (i.e. Plain text) into the Grenadine text area. This is to preserve the default formatting programmed into Grenadine in accordance with the style guide.
  • If your content involves additional formatting (bold, italics, underlines, headings, etc.), table(s) and/or link(s), copy and paste plain text into the Grenadine text area, then put in the formatting again. Use the WYSIWYG editor to re-add the formatting, (again) to preserve the default formatting programmed into Grenadine in accordance with the style guide

Site Setup with basic con info

  • Create a new con page, or copy from a previous year's:
    • https://swancon.grenadine.co/ > Click "+Add" to create a new con site from scratch, or highlight a row corresponding to a previous year's and click "Copy"
    • Set event to Private if not ready to be published and made visible by the public.
  • To obtain a event code to use on the mobile app, log a ticket with Grenadine Technical Support (link on bottom of Grenadine pages).

Use the dashboard page for your con to set up the basic details about the con, e.g. dates, location, etc.

  • Note: The location isn't published on the public site until you add a venue.

Getting important content to show up on home page and "about the event" page:

  • Anything put into the description under the dashboard shows up on both the home page and "about the event" pages.

Customising the look and feel of your Swancon Grenadine site

  • Theme Colour: If your Swancon year has a theme colour, you can make it so that the website for your year uses the theme colour throughout (colours for links, buttons, etc.).
    • Use an online colour converter to switch from RGB (from paint) to hex code to use in the colour code on the Grenadine site.
  • Publishing > Web Site Customizations > Custom CSS > Follow instructions given in the HTML comment section /* [...] */

  • Grenadine uses this image throughout the site (e.g. top left corner of header banner, event info near registration button. Use PNG or JPG image with a size of min 480x200 pixels (up to a maximum of 1536 by 640 pixels).
  • Event > Event Information > Select image.

Intro blurb to Swancon

  • Image only, min of 1000px by 500px. Suggest using a PNG file with transparency* so as not to hide the background image.
  • Publishing > Web Site Customizations > Home Page > Foreground Image (Optional)

Background image behind Intro blurb

Pages with additional information about the event

  • Grenadine is pretty restrictive re additional content to be added. Any pages that are not system generated (i.e. custom content, such as all the pages that show up under the "Event Information" on the public facing site) can only be displayed under the "Event Information" section
    • Publishing > Content Pages
  • This is where you can create pages with content such as Guests & bios, Code of Conduct, Awards info, etc. You can set the order of the pages, bear in mind that the page order does affect the view within the mobile app, but not the website itself.
  • NOTE: Content pages are published immediately upon saving (unlike programming, it does not have a separate publishing feature).
  • NOTE 2: All content pages are viewable via the mobile app (unfortunately this cannot be turned out at this stage), but you can choose whether to display it on the public website.


  • Set up ticketing details (e.g. cost, days, availability, etc.)
    • Tickets > Ticket type
  • Set up buyer details via Registration form (e.g. name of attendee, badge name, email address, acknowledge WASFF disclaimer, how did you hear about us, etc.)
    • Tickets > Registration Form
  • Set up acknowledgement of purchase email auto-responses
    • Tickets > Registration Messages

Renewing HTTPS certificates

  • Go to https://swancon.scm.azurewebsites.net/letsencrypt/ . Log in with Microsoft Azure credentials that have appropriate permissions on our stuff.
  • Down the bottom right is an inconspicuous "Next" button. Click it.
  • This takes you to another page, which presents a large list of things, none of which are editable.
  • Click the inconspicuous "Next" button at the bottom right of this page.
  • This takes you to the page you need. A tiny list box lists all the domains you're going to refresh certificates for. Select all the items in the list box. In Chrome you can do this by giving focus to the list box and hitting Ctrl-A. In Firefox you can't do this -- I ctrl-clicked them all, but in hindsight I could probably have clicked the first one and shift-clicked the last one.
  • Click the blue button at the bottom right to Do The Thing. Wait several minutes. (Not kidding here.)

Setting which Swancon website is live

  • Go to https://swancon.scm.azurewebsites.net/DebugConsole# . Log in with Microsoft Azure credentials that have appropriate permissions on our stuff.
  • Within that debug console is a folder view a bit like you'd see in a cPanel or whatever. Navigate to site > wwwroot. There you'll find index.php . Edit index.php.
  • There's a series of entries for successive Swancons, each with a launch date and end date.
    • The launch date controls what happens when you go to that website by specifying its year; e.g. if you go to https://20xx.swancon.com.au/ and that convention's launch date is still in the future, you'll get a countdown message instead of the Grenadine website.
    • The end date controls which convention gets displayed on swancon.com.au (without the user specifying a year). It looks for the first entry where the convention hasn't yet passed its end date.
  • Edit dates as appropriate. Hit Save.
  • And that's it: no need to restart any services or anything.