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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 03:37 AM   #1
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Question Question for Web Gurus

I am involved in starting a new non-profit organization that is planning on putting up a web site for our 70-80 new members. Besides a few basic pages on our organization, we hope to be able to put up some kind of a profile page for each of our members.

I am hoping that this page can be something that will be simple for the members themselves to access and make changes to. Something that even a beginner computer user might be able to deal with. Ideally I would like it to be something that provides some basic info about each member, where they can post a few jpegs, a bit of text and some links, and that they can go into and edit themselves. The pages would be a template, with the same graphics on each, but with different information. Our organization won't have the funds to have a webmaster making changes for each member's page, so we need these pages to be something that the members can deal with themselves.

I spoke with a web designer today, who said she wasn't sure how this could be accomplished. I was a bit surprised, assuming that this should be able to be done. Maybe I'm being unrealistic, but I would think that should be something that's pretty basic, possibly requiring some kind of software to set up a template. I'm thinking about something like our profile pages here on ehMac, but with a more interesting layout.

If any of the talented web gurus here can point me in a direction of what software might accomplish this kind of thing, or know of examples of what I am describing, that I might be able to look at, I and our members, would be ever so grateful to learn about it.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 08:27 AM   #2
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What about using a site replicator?

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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 09:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GratuitousApplesauce
I am involved in starting a new non-profit organization that is planning on putting up a web site for our 70-80 new members. Besides a few basic pages on our organization, we hope to be able to put up some kind of a profile page for each of our members.

I am hoping that this page can be something that will be simple for the members themselves to access and make changes to. Something that even a beginner computer user might be able to deal with. Ideally I would like it to be something that provides some basic info about each member, where they can post a few jpegs, a bit of text and some links, and that they can go into and edit themselves. The pages would be a template, with the same graphics on each, but with different information. Our organization won't have the funds to have a webmaster making changes for each member's page, so we need these pages to be something that the members can deal with themselves.

I spoke with a web designer today, who said she wasn't sure how this could be accomplished. I was a bit surprised, assuming that this should be able to be done. Maybe I'm being unrealistic, but I would think that should be something that's pretty basic, possibly requiring some kind of software to set up a template. I'm thinking about something like our profile pages here on ehMac, but with a more interesting layout.

If any of the talented web gurus here can point me in a direction of what software might accomplish this kind of thing, or know of examples of what I am describing, that I might be able to look at, I and our members, would be ever so grateful to learn about it.

Thanks in advance.

Check out Blogspot... it is a free Google service.
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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 09:41 AM   #4
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You could have the original web site set up and then have each member edit their own page using Macromedia Contribute, setting passwords and limits to each access abilities to protect the site as a whole.
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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 11:18 AM   #5
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Without having this post become a commercial, my company, Oakbridge Information Solutions specializes in Web Application Development.

What you are looking for is a type of web application, a solution that can be developed to address your requirements. It's not that basic to create from scratch, although there are plenty of pre-written options available for you such as vBulletin, which is what ehMac uses. Some of these options are freebies, some have a price tag on them. Remember that the old saying 'you get what you paid for' holds true.

We would consider doing some work for free or at a reduced rate for a truly non-profit organization. I am also very willing to offer whatever free advice I can to assist you in your decision.

Feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss either of these options.
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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 11:20 AM   #6
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You could have the original web site set up and then have each member edit their own page using Macromedia Contribute, setting passwords and limits to each access abilities to protect the site as a whole.
I would advise against "you can do it as long as you use product xxx". It is a no-win situation. Members who use something else will complain, members who dont' have the $$ to buy it will ask to 'borrow a copy' or will ask you or other members to do it for them. You will also get all of the support questions because you told them they had to use it and so they went out and bought it and now it's not working.
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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 12:02 PM   #7
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GratuitousApplesauce, maybe check out Canada Web Development I'm sure you could get more web related answers.


Ok, Oakbridge, how would you do it?
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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 01:47 PM   #8
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In order to do it easily (and well) you'd need to use some kind of content management software.

Unfortunately, the only CMS I am familiar with all require a working knowledge of HTML and the proprietary tags the CMS uses in order to create pages and edit them.

I am sure there are packages out there that would get the job done for you, though. I just don't know what they are.
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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 02:09 PM   #9
 
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As PosterBoy said, you could go the CMS (content management system) route. These are usually server-side software packages that you install on your web server, or get your web host to install for you. Some of the commercial ones are very expensive, and there are also free open source alternatives, but as Oakbridge said, be careful, cuz most of the time you get what you pay for...

I have been looking into some of the open source options to deploy as an intranet solution. OpenSourceCMS is an amazing site to evaluate these alternatives: http://www.opensourcecms.com/

Many of these will allow user management, user submitted content, and some have an active development community who contribute almost any functionality you can imagine.

Caution: these CMS systems require a fair bit of technical expertise to set up, but if it's done right, then it should be fairly self-sustaining.

Hope that helps, and good luck!
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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 10:41 PM   #10
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GratuitousApplesauce, maybe check out Canada Web Development I'm sure you could get more web related answers.


Ok, Oakbridge, how would you do it?
If we were writing the application, we'd want more details as to what they were planning on doing short term in addition to having the ability to create their own profiles. Then we would discuss their medium and long term plans for the site. Then we'd make a recomendation to use one of the existing canned applications or we would prepare specifications to create a customized solution that would fit their requirements. We would probably write the solution using Witango and MySQL and host it for them.

Hope this helps,
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