Sunday, October 15, 2006

Rebuilding Brookmans,com

I’ve been working solidly each night for the past few weeks installing and adapting a new CMS for the Brookmans Park Newsletter.

For those who don’t know, a CMS is a content management system, which is a piece of software that should help speed up the creation and updating of the pages on the site.

Currently, that work is done by hand with each page coded in a fairly lengthy, manual process.

If it works, it will make it possible for any registered member of the Brookmans Park Newsletter Forum to write articles directly to the site. Those articles will then be checked off and published

It’s another move towards trying to build a site that is made up entirely of content created for the community by the community.

The CMS I am testing is called Joomla. It’s a free, open-source CMS and is fairly intuitive to use. The big issue is whether we can merge it with the current SMF forum so that there is one log in for both the CMS and the forum. It looks as though we will have to upgrade the forum before we can do that.

The new CMS offers many functions for streamlining the way content is created and displayed. We already have many of these elements, but the CMS will make them easier to update, edit and add. They include …

  • An events calendar with a front page display of the future events
  • A classified adverts section with images
  • Weather for the area on a one day – five day map
  • Maps of the area
  • Business directory – (local businesses)
  • Community directory – (local organisations)