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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    MAKE WEB SITE UPDATEABLE

    I've built a web site for our local branch of the University of the Third Age, and this has been up and running satisfactorily for 9 months or so.
    Most of the content is fairly static, but it has a News page, updated about once a week, and a page for each of our activity groups - about 40 of them. Each of these pages has a static section and a "Reports" section that is updated 3 times a year, some of them more frequently. I do all these updates, using Dreamweaver in coding rather than WYSIWYG mode.
    I'd like to make it possible for individual group leaders to update their own pages, and the News page, themselves. This is partly to reduce the load on me, and partly to encourage people to make more use of the site. I would need to restrict update access to prevent spamming, and control updating of specific pages to specific users. A facility for users to post pictures would be very useful.
    There seems to be a number of options for doing this:
    (a) Users use Macromedia Contribute - not really on because it costs about

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: MAKE WEB SITE UPDATEABLE

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by jscher2000 on 28-Nov-06 10:18. )</P>For PHP/Apache, there are numerous mature (and free) wiki products, from hobbyist level to the MediaWiki engine that runs Wikipedia. (I used PmWiki for a while, which actually uses only text files and no MySQL back end, but I've changed to IIS hosting and stopped working on it.)

    There is a steep ramp up with CMS or wiki products, and the latter often provide less design flexibility than you have now (because only certain markup translates to HTML). That said, it might be faster to adopt an existing product and tweak it than to build your own. Perhaps one hybrid approach might be to use an <iframe> for the "guts" of the frequently updated pages, and have lightly formatted and user editable wikitext inside the <iframe>, with your existing design all around it. You could host the wiki on a different subdomain to minimize hacking risk, and unless you need to script across the boundary between your template and the framed content, I can't see any downside.

    Added: One potential downside: I'm not sure your indexing engine will be able to read the framed content. If that's a big issue, you could consider using a server-side include rather than an <iframe>.

  3. #3
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: MAKE WEB SITE UPDATEABLE

    Hi George

    Why not keep it even simpler. I normally find community/church/Resident Committees always have a member of the group who likes to co-ordinate and communicate. Instead of having to adapt a new web page or update on a regular basis why not get that named person to create a newsletter and events listing in Word or similar and convert it to PDF and have it from a specified news and events page.

    All that will be needed is an addition of a link on that occasion, they do all the copywriting and you just have to do the smaller web page update which is what the web master is there for <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

    In my company we have what we call Web Content Editor, all they do is make sure the words and pictures are nice and tidy leaving the techy stuff to the IT department.

    It sounds like you know what you are doing with the HTML part of it. As you have Dreamweaver you could create some DW templates with edit only areas.....or you can remian as you are and I could help you with some CSS and we could create a div tag set that only has to have the person input the URL and the CSS formats it for them...some ideas
    Jerry

  4. #4
    Star Lounger
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    Re: MAKE WEB SITE UPDATEABLE

    Thanks for the suggestions. I had in mind something like an iframe importing stuff from another system/database, but I hadn't thought of using wiki software - I'll look into it.

    Jerry - we already have a printed newsletter, issued 3 times a year, and the input to this is forwarded to me to put in to the group reports sections on the web site, although it arrives in dribs and drabs and a variety of formats. It appears on the web several weeks before the newsletter is printed and distributed. However your suggestion has given me an idea - I'll float the possibility of say a monthly newsletter, just published on the web, supplementing the printed version, and see how the newsletter producers take to the idea.

    I really wanted group leaders to get a better sense of ownership of "their" pages by having a direct update capability, but I realise this would take a lot of effort. Maybe I'll start with an update facility just for the News page and see how well it is used. This will be a bit easier as the format is fairly simple (entries in a table and no images), I don't have to control which users can update which pages, and Dreamweaver has a number of built-in server behaviours that I could adapt.

    I'll have to be careful not to do something because it's interesting and means learning something new, rather than giving the users what they want!

    George

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: MAKE WEB SITE UPDATEABLE

    My comment is more as a FYI... for non-profits there is a great site called http://www.techsoup.org that offers many big name software products (and other things). This may or may not apply to your organization but I wanted to put this out there for others since you said Contribute was too expensive but you can get it here for $20 (assuming you qualify of course).

    It's also a great site to get up to speed on various technologies as well; it's not just a store.

    Deb

  6. #6
    Star Lounger
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    Re: MAKE WEB SITE UPDATEABLE

    Deb - There seem to be some good deals on that site - but unfortunately (for me) limited to US and Canada. I might pass it on to our parent organisation to see if they can organise somethimg similar for the UK.

    Browsing through a forum on the site I came across this product http://www.easysiteedit.com/ which seems to be something like Contribute, only cheaper and probably less controllable. I wondered if anybody has any experience of this?

    George

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