Something wicked this way comes

Many people have been checking out my test site for pmbc.org. Since I did that work, I’d put the project on the back burner as I’d been busy with the past school year. I’ve also since been looking at different software packages on which to run the site. The site currently uses 6 (plus another 2 or 3 for admin stuff) packages for the various functions.

Every time one package needs an update, it needs some customizing to work with the site. And to revamp the site would mean I’d have to customize at least 4 of the packages. People who have visited the test site have noticed that the gallery, blog, message board, and classifieds (the biggest 4 pieces of software I use on the site) aren’t part of the test site.

Rather than continue the hassle of a very difficult to maintain concoction of packages, I’ve been looking at various Content Management Software packages such as the Nukes, Geeklog, Mambo, and some PHP packages. I’ve found that Geeklog, with the addition of a couple of plugins, combined with our existing Gallery can provide all the functionality of the current site. Plus, it has the benefits of a unified system which will only require one login for our users and administrators.

Look for a major site update in the next month. The old content will still be accessible as an archive. Maybe Martin will have sold all his shoes by then since we’ll be using a new classifieds system. I’m currently working on the layout templates, and the good news is that one template will apply to the entire site, including the gallery, so site mods in the future will be much easier to pull off.

The biggest benefit to this is that members will be able to actively participate in the content of the website by commenting on posted information, adding content of their own, and being able to customize how the site appears to them.

Consider this to be a week’s notice of the upcoming change. If I get started and then make rapid progress on customizing the site, it’ll be online before August. If you have comments/suggestions/concerns, please e-mail me.