Introducing our newest Largo redesign: Workday Minnesota

Workday Minnesota began publishing in 2000 with support from Minnesota’s labor community and was the first online labor news publication in the United States. Since then, Workday has won many awards and has grown to be a trusted source for news about workers, the economy, worker organizations, and Minnesota communities. It is a project of the Labor Education Service at the University of Minnesota.

This summer, INN Labs teamed up with Workday Minnesota’s editor, Filiberto Nolasco Gomez, and webmaster John See to migrate their outdated Drupal site to the Largo WordPress framework and redesign their brand.

Our goals for this project were to:

  • give Workday Minnestoa a streamlined and modern look and feel
  • improve site performance for readers and usability on the back-end for editors
  • enhance the design and improve engagement for Workday’s long-form investigative pieces
  • empower the Workday team to easily manage and update their WordPress site after launch

Some of our design inspiration came from INN Members with bold, modern designs (such as The Marshall Project, The Intercept and Reveal News) and some from outside of our industry, like We wanted clean, bold headlines, a thoughtful type hierarchy, and a way for photos to take center stage. 

Here's what Filiberto had to say:

“We focused on what it would take to rebuild Workday to be responsive to our readers and enhance investigative reporting. The new website will allow us to display long-form and investigative journalism in a more attractive and readable interface. This version of Workday will also allow us to effectively use multimedia segments to make what can sometimes be dense material more approachable.”

The INN Labs team is excited for this new phase of Workday Minnesota and thankful for the opportunity to help bring it to life.

Out with the old, in with the new

Before and after the redesign.

We created a custom homepage layout that showcases Workday’s latest content with a clean and modern look.

Benefits of this custom homepage are big visuals for larger screens and ease of navigation on smaller screens. Workday editors have room for both curated news from around the web (using the Link Roundups plugin) and their most recently published articles.

A sleek and modern article layout

Workday Minnesota articles, before and after.
A typical Workday Minnesota article, before and after.

Article pages continue the sleek, clean design approach. We left out ads and ineffective sidebars in order to prioritize long reads with custom-designed pull quotes and large, responsively embedded photos and videos. Behind the scenes, our Largo framework works with the new WordPress Gutenberg editor to add essential editing tools for media organizations.

Workday Minnesota's redesign is responsive to all devices.

But wait – there’s more!

We couldn’t stop with just a website redesign without also giving attention to the heart of the brand – the logo. The redesigned logo builds off of the modern, new typefaces for the website and its bold use of the Minnesota state outline (Filiberto’s idea!) is great for lasting brand recognition. In the process of creating the logo, we also incorporated a new tagline that succinctly expresses the mission of Workday Minnesota: “Holding the powerful accountable through the perspective of workers.” The new logo is now being used on the website and across Workday’s social media channels.

Workday Minnesota's new logos.

Questions? Get in touch.

Have a question for our team or need help with WordPress design and/or development? Check out INN Labs full services here, join us for one of our weekly Office Hours, or get in touch!

Announcing Largo 0.6.4

This week's release of updates to the Largo WordPress theme is all about improvements for images, pull quotes, and media. It also brings improved compatibility and editorial functions for the WordPress Block Editor.

This release includes:

An example of the new pull quote block styles.
  • Improved pull quote display. The Pull Quote block gains full styling, so that block quotes and pull quotes no longer appear the same.
  • The ability to insert media credits from the Media Gallery in the block editor.
  • More thumbnail display options for the Series Post widget.
  • Compatibility with WP 5.2's wp_body_open hook, which will be increasingly important for plugin compatibility.

This release also contains a number of fixes and minor updates. Particular thanks go to outside contributor @megabulk.

What's new in 0.6.4?

For the full details on what we've updated in version 0.6.4, including improvements for developers, please see the Largo 0.6.4 official release notes.

You may also want to read the release notes for version 0.6.3 and 0.6.2.

Upgrading to the Latest Version of Largo

Want to update to the latest version of Largo? Follow these instructions, or send us an email!

Before updating, please see the upgrade notices outlined here.

What's next?

When Largo was first released, it contained functionality for things that did not yet exist in WordPress core, like term metadata. Our next release will continue the work already underway to streamline the theme and seamlessly switch to using WordPress' now-built-in functionality.

This is in addition to an overall focus to improve Largo's frontend for mobile-first speed and easy editorial customizations.


Another part of the work we’ve done recently with Largo has been to spin out important functionality for publishers into standalone plugins. This makes these features widely available for any WordPress site to use while further streamlining the Largo theme and improving overall performance. We published the Disclaimers plugin last year. The 0.7 release of Largo will complete the transition of the Disclaimers Widget as a standalone plugin by removing the widget from Largo. We're doing the same with our Staff plugin.

New INN Labs publishing tools:

  1. We recently launched the Republication Tracker Tool plugin which allows publishers to easily share their stories with other websites and then track engagement of those shared stories in Google Analytics.
  2. Link Roundups received important updates in the version 1.0 release. This WordPress plugin helps editors aggregate links from around the web and save them as “Saved Links”. You can publish these curated links in widgets and posts in your site, or push Link Roundups directly to subscribers via MailChimp.

Send us Your Feedback

We want to know what you think will make Largo better. Send us an email with your ideas!

Meet the Team: Josh Darby, Senior Developer

Josh joined the INN Labs team in April 2019. He previously held senior developer positions at The Penny Hoarder and at web development agencies. Josh has worked on high-traffic projects for nonprofits, universities, and companies such as Disney, FOX, and Cisco.

He's already helped launch client projects, has contributed to Largo and INN plugins, and is now rolling out new automations and process improvements for our development work. Outside of work, Josh is passionate about boating, just like Miranda!

More from Josh, in his own words:

Where are you from?

St. Petersburg, Florida

How long have you been at INN?

I'm brand new!

What's your title and what's your role?

Senior Developer. I will be helping develop solutions for our own in-house INN Labs products and also providing services to our partners.

What's your favorite part of what you do?

Solving problems and helping clients find solutions to their problems.

Where do you like to get your news?

NPR, WaPo, Tampa Bay Times

Who or what inspires you? Why?

People who dedicate their lives trying to improve the lives of others.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Cooking, boating, fishing, and tinkering with anything my wife won't get mad about me breaking.

What's your favorite part of working remotely?

Getting to hang out with my dogs all day.

Most interesting place you've worked remotely?

I once worked while on a monorail at Disney World.

Favorite kind of pie?

Key lime.

What cartoon character would you be?

Spongebob. I'm always happy and love to work.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Could not having to sleep be a super power? I could get so much accomplished!

Are you a dog or cat person?

I have both, so I can't choose a favorite!

Favorite book and album?

Album: One Particular Harbor - Jimmy Buffett
Book: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Favorite place you've traveled to? Why?

Either Reykjavik or Oslo. I'm fascinated by Nordic countries and Viking history.

Most recently used gif:

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I once helped a nonprofit foundation build out a donation box on their website, which in turn accepted almost $10,000 in donations within a week for a local charity.

Meet the Team: Miranda Krapf, Project Manager

Miranda joined the INN Labs team in March 2019. She previously worked as a project manager and business analyst at the University of Minnesota. She's already diving into client projects and has impressed us all with her great communication and organizational skills. Lucky for us, right as she came on board we got to meet in person at INN's recent staff meeting in LA – a big plus for a fully remote team! Outside of work, Miranda is passionate about sailing and live music.

More from Miranda, in her own words:

Where are you from?

Originally Wisconsin, now in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

How long have you been at INN?

I'm brand new!

What's your favorite part of what you do?

I have a passion for non-profits, and I think the work that INN does (along with all of our members) is incredibly important right now.

Where do you like to get your news?

NPR, BBC, Star Tribune, MinnPost, ArsTechnica, and many other sources.

Who or what inspires you? Why?

Teams that make a difference, and also anything else that brings kindness and positivity to our world today. :)

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Sailing, cooking, urban chicken-keeping, and of course live music!

What's your favorite part of working remotely?

Fewer day-to-day workplace distractions, and having such an awesome team to work with from all over the US!

Favorite kind of pie?

My grandmother's apple pie.

What cartoon character would you be?

Lisa Simpson.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?


Are you a dog or cat person?


Favorite book?

It's classic, I know, but anything by Jane Austen.

Favorite place you've traveled to? Why?

Thailand, the people and culture were truly incredible - and so was the food!

Most recently used gif:

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Learning to sail, though the learning part never ends.

How INN Labs Can Help You with NewsMatch

Interested in technical help from INN Labs? Fill out the request for support form.

NewsMatch is here! The team at INN Labs is once again gearing up to help participating organizations take advantage of this incredible fundraising opportunity.

Thanks to an investment from Knight Foundation, INN Labs is providing services to help participants improve their online donation flows, add important NewsMatch messaging and media to their sites, and learn how to use existing tools to optimize your campaigns. These services include direct technical support, written guides, and advice on implementing best practices.

Technical Support

INN Labs is providing technical support for participating organizations of all kinds, including WordPress and non-WordPress sites.

What are some examples of technical support?

  • Configuring WordPress plugins or integrations
  • Creating a new donation page
  • Adding NewMatch assets to your site
  • Optimizations for existing donation pages/campaigns

We understand that every organization’s needs are different. If you're part of a participating organization and would like to receive Knight Foundation-funded help with your website, please fill out this request for support form. We’ll be in touch starting September 17th to schedule a meeting to review your needs and set a timeline for working together on your campaigns.

Available Tools for WordPress Sites

INN Labs is providing training, hands-on configuration, and guidance on the best practices for how to use an array of WordPress plugins and tools.

Last year, INN Labs developed two WordPress plugins to help INN members strengthen their audience engagement efforts and improve their donation campaigns based on best practices recommended by the News Revenue Hub. We are recommending them again this year:

News Match Popup Basics Plugin

Popup Basics Plugin Documentation

This plugin is an add-on for the popular Popup Maker, automatically generates a popup that follows the Hub’s recommendations for user-friendly newsletter sign-up forms. These popups are minimal, responsive, and effective for growing your newsletter subscribers. Once the plugin is installed, you can then edit the popup with campaign messaging and branding elements for your organization.

How we can help: the INN Labs team is available to make sure you get the most out of the wonderful images, gifs, and messaging provided by NewsMatch. We can help you configure popups or update your site

News Match Donation Shortcode

How to use News Match Donation Shortcode

This second plugin by INN Labs creates a donation form compatible with the Hub’s Salesforce-Stripe connector, similar to the donation form on Oklahoma Watch or the Rivard Report. The donation form allows for either button or drop-down styled membership level selections, and you can use it multiple times on a single page, which is great for explaining membership levels to your donors. On the back-end, the plugin allows you to define the membership levels and associated messaging for your organization.

In addition to tools created by INN Labs, we have vetted and are suggesting the following plugin for donation pages:

Give Plugin

This plugin is great for WordPress sites that do not currently have a donation page or would like to start fresh with best practices and ease of use in mind.

The Give plugin is a full-featured donation plugin that allows you to accept one-time and recurring donations through customizable donation forms. It inherits your existing site design out of the box and integrates with many third-party gateways and services, such as Stripe, PayPal and MailChimp. You can also manage your donors, view donation reports, and more! We love that it gives you options for one-click donations and embeddable forms that eliminate scrolling and improve engagement.

Super Cool Ad Inserter Plugin

SCAIP Plugin Documentation

The Super Cool Ad Inserter is a WordPress plugin that gives site administrators a way to insert widgets such as ads, newsletter signups, or NewsMatch calls to action for donations directly into post content.

Stay Tuned

Make sure to keep an eye on Nerd Alert, our weekly newsletter, for events, tips, and other resources to help you get the most out of NewsMatch. We’ll be sharing how-tos for configuring donation forms and best practices for user experience design.

Sign up here if you aren’t subscribed already.

Get in Touch

  1. Interested in technical help from INN Labs? Fill out the request for support form.
  2. Join us for one of our weekly Office Hours. We’re happy to provide recommendations for maximizing your campaign or answers to NewsMatch questions.
  3. Reach us directly at with “NewsMatch 2018” in the subject line.

We look forward to supporting you!

Meet the Team: Tyler Machado, Front-End Developer

Tyler Machado

Next up in our "Meet the Team" series, we get to know Tyler Machado, our newest team member and front-end developer.

Tyler joined the INN Labs team earlier this year and previously worked as the editorial developer for Harvard Business Review, where he built interactive graphics. He's impressed us all with his design and development chops and is passionate about scrappy, local newsrooms and the Boston Celtics.

More from Tyler, in his own words:

Where are you from?

I grew up in Dartmouth, MA, and now I'm based in Boston.

How long have you been at INN?

One month!

What's your title and what do you do?

I'm the front-end developer at INN. I develop user experiences, audit content and work on the look and feel of our projects. My toolkit is mostly JavaScript and CSS with a hint of PHP for the WordPress-y parts.

What's your favorite part of your job?

That my work helps the journalists and communities who, in my opinion, are doing important and overlooked work. Tech is so often scary and/or frustrating nowadays that I feel like I have to do my small part to use it for good.

Where do you get your news?

Locally: The Boston Globe, WBUR, Boston Magazine. Globally: ProPublica, the New York Times, FiveThirtyEight. Plus any number of things that filter through my social networks, though I'm old-fashioned and visit site homepages a lot too.

Who or what inspires you? Why?

Communities built around learning, creativity and kindness.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

Spending all my time and money in record shops, rock clubs and small-scale breweries.

What's your favorite part of working remotely?

I feel lucky that my opportunities to make a living and work with great collaborators aren't tied to my geographic location, because even a city like Boston doesn't have as many news-nerd jobs as you'd hope. But replacing my MBTA commute with a walk/run around my delightful neighborhood is a big plus too.

Favorite kind of pie?

My mom's French meat pie.

What cartoon character would you be?


If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I'd settle for a better bowling handicap.

Are you a dog or cat person?


Favorite album or book (or both)?

Depending on the genre of the day: "The Woods" by Sleater-Kinney, "The Lemon of Pink" by the Books, or "Donuts" by J Dilla

Favorite place you've traveled to? Why?

This is a copout, but I hope I haven't found it yet!

Most recently used gif:

Describe yourself in 5 emojis or less:


What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I graduated from a DJ-ing class last year and honestly, I'm still kinda psyched about it.

What are some noteworthy projects you've worked on at INN?

I'm only just getting started! But ask me again next year.

What's the most unusual place you've worked from?

I haven't been at INN long enough to go too much further than my home desk. The most unusual place I've had to work before was probably pushing updates on a tropical storm from a flooding lakefront, and I'd be happy to never do that again.

Chrome to uphold ‘Better Ads Standards:’ What this means for your site

Source: The Coalition for Better Ads

Google recently announced Chrome's plans to participate in The Coalition for Better Ads' Better Ads Experience Program and support the Better Ads Standards. Sites are currently being reviewed for any violations of these standards. Continue reading "Chrome to uphold ‘Better Ads Standards:’ What this means for your site"

How We Made a Shared Inventory for Public Broadcast Stations

We recently had an organization come to us with a unique challenge: a group of public broadcast stations needed a way to see what other stations were working on. They wanted an easy way to spark collaboration, avoid any programming duplication, and see opportunities for cross-promotion.

We had to figure out the best way to go about creating a private, easily-accessible, and friction-less shared inventory (what we were also calling a pipeline) of programs for TV and radio stations scattered across the state.

Here’s how we did it:

First, we started by identifying the basic needs of the programmers and those who would be maintaining the inventory/pipeline. Remember, we wanted to keep it as friction-less as easy to use as possible! Then, we focused on finding existing tools which would offer the necessary features for the workflow while being easy to adopt and use. Below you’ll find an overview of the workflow we built. We hope that sharing this with you will spark ideas for ways to improve your own workflows - whether it be a shared pipeline or another use case.

As always, feel free to reach out to us if you have a unique challenge that we can help you solve!

Our workflow uses a private (password protected) page in WordPress, Google Forms, Google Sheets, a script for said spreadsheet, and Google Drive. Here’s how it all comes together:

Step 1: Limit access to the shared inventory/pipeline

A WordPress page became the hub for the private access to all the shared information. We created a password-protected page which has direct access to the form (more below), as well as a direct link to the spreadsheet (again, more below) which contains all the shared information.

Here’s how to create a password protected page in WordPress and how it looked to users:

The workflow we created relies heavily on Google tools, so a Google login for each contributor to the inventory/pipeline is necessary.

For example, the Google Form that's embedded in the private page requires you to log in to submit your responses. A login is also required to access the spreadsheet. This allows for another layer of restricting access and creates a history of track changes for each user.

Next, you’ll see how we created the form.

Step 2: Build a form to collect information for the shared inventory

We built our form using Google Forms. They’re easy to create, allow for collaborators, and seamlessly connect with other Google Tools, which in our case are Google Sheets, Google Drive and of course, the Google login for restricting access.

The fields we decided to use are the following:

Step 3: Funnel the form submissions to a spreadsheet

Once responses to the form are submitted, the user has an option to edit their submission or submit an additional form response. The submissions are automatically sent to a connected Google Sheet. Each form question has its own column in the Google Sheet and the responses are added as cells under each column. This is the case for all columns except two. The exceptions:

Program Upload

If a program is uploaded as a .pdf file, for example, then the file is saved in a Google Drive folder and a link to the file is automatically added to the spreadsheet.

Link to Edit the Form Submission

Since every form submission has a unique URL, we needed to find a way had to populate the special link to edit the submission alongside its corresponding set of responses. We were able to do that by using Google Apps Script.

Check out next week's blog post ("Fun with Google Apps Script!") for more information on how we did this.

Want to know more about how we did this? Get in touch!