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Last post Author Topic: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017  (Read 23405 times)

Deozaan

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #75 on: July 25, 2017, 06:52 PM »
Nice! :Thmbsup:

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #76 on: July 25, 2017, 08:07 PM »
Thanks for saying so  :up:

tomos

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #77 on: July 26, 2017, 07:14 AM »
I like it too.
Are we allowed give critical feedback on the visuals, or is that premature :-[

cranioscopical

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #78 on: July 26, 2017, 07:45 AM »
I think it's an improvement, nicely done  :up:

wraith808

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #79 on: July 26, 2017, 08:16 AM »
I like it too.
Are we allowed give critical feedback on the visuals, or is that premature :-[

I'd say let's wait for them to get the guts of it done before deluging them with other feedback.  This was just a preview and not final.  JMHO  :Thmbsup:

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #80 on: July 26, 2017, 11:38 AM »
Quote
Are we allowed give critical feedback on the visuals, or is that premature

Yeah probably best to wait.. When the new site is ready we will make it available for beta testing by folks, and then go through a period of testing and tweaking before it goes live.  That will be the time for people to make suggestions, etc.

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #81 on: August 30, 2017, 07:11 PM »
Just a quick update that the new cms site has been marching forward relentlessly.. Not that much more to do..

Deozaan

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #82 on: August 30, 2017, 10:14 PM »
The last 10% takes 90% of the time/work. :D :P

ewemoa

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #83 on: August 31, 2017, 04:30 AM »
Spiffy :)

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #84 on: August 31, 2017, 11:12 AM »
My eyes are wide open regarding the final details taking a lot of time.. There are still a lot of finishing touches.  But it's well into the home stretch with no turning back and no chance of not going live before the end of the year.
In fact we could basically go live now and do the rest of the improvement on a live site -- but I think it's better if it gets a little more polish and testing before that.

Hopefully by the end of September I can ask some of you to test out the beta site and look for any issues before we go live.

Then there is the matter of actually adding new CONTENT to the new site.. Like maybe bringing back the days when we had weekly columnists...

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #85 on: August 31, 2017, 01:55 PM »
Let me just reiterate something I've said before -- all of this work on migrating to a new cms backend is focused on making it easier to maintain and update the website.

It's not really about improving the experience for the visitor -- at least not initially.

But making it easier to maintain and update and add content should over time make the experience better for visitors.

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #86 on: September 01, 2017, 10:23 PM »
I'm trying to decide what would be the best "hierarchical" organization for the site pages.  If you look at the current site as it is, we have "Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us"
And then basically everything that doesn't fit into Software gets shoved into "Reviews and Features".

I'm trying to come up with a better organization, which currently looks something like this:
Screenshot - 9_1_2017 , 10_27_49 PM.png

The Help menu now has a bunch of stuff in it:
Screenshot - 9_1_2017 , 10_28_38 PM.png

While Archives is basically an archive of older pages that are being preserved:
Screenshot - 9_1_2017 , 10_30_08 PM.png

Though you should note that the final navigation menu probably won't have all these levels of children -- this is just showing the organization of pages that in the final version you'll have to navigate to incrementally.

Then Editorials is a pretty small section:
Screenshot - 9_1_2017 , 10_32_08 PM.png

The Licensing menu combines Donate with getting a license key,etc. :
Screenshot - 9_1_2017 , 10_33_57 PM.png

The software menu currently looks something like this:
Screenshot - 9_1_2017 , 10_35_23 PM.png

The "Friends of DC" area lets us add pages for as many dc members as we want who have web pages with software.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 10:32 PM by mouser »

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #87 on: September 01, 2017, 10:39 PM »
First things first -- one of the main reasons we are moving to a CMS is so we can easily add and move around pages; this was simply too painful with the old static html system.  So it's easy to reorganize the site to our heart's content.  That's a big win.

Now as to the actual organization..

The struggle is coming up with a small number of top-level sections that result in a mostly-logical organization where people can find things, but also balances the need to put the most commonly desired pages front and center.

Some options:
  • 1. Move the (historical) archives section to a non-top-level area (maybe under Help or Editorials or a new top-level item) because we don't want people to spend too much time there?
  • 2. Use a different name for the "Editorials" section?  I would like that section to grow in importance after the new site update so that we have more frequent new editorial content (columns, reviews, etc.)
  • 3. Make a new top-level section which can hold other sections that are sort of out of place now (for example "Request a fun member kit" and "View Testimonials" are in Archives currently).. Maybe we need a "Miscelaneous" top-level with Archives inside it?
  • 4. Are there other things that should be top-level and are worth the real estate (About Us and Donate are top-level in current site, but children in the new site).

Ideas?

Soon I will ask for anyone who wants to help polish the new site to contact me and I can give you login so you can browse it live.

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #88 on: September 01, 2017, 10:42 PM »
One of the difficulties of organizing this is, of course, that none of us who hang out on the forum have much use for the website.
And most people will find themselves on the website as the result of a google search that brings them to a specific page.
So perhaps it's not really very important how the site is organized, as few people will ever be actually "browsing" the website..

IainB

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #89 on: September 01, 2017, 11:15 PM »
@mouser: I reckon that what you have there looks workable. You will probably be unable to get it right and predict which structure might be the best ergonomically, as it it will depend on whatever the user's real-world intents/actions/expectations might be at the time - e.g., when a user is searching for some particular info.
Sure, opinions will abound, but "the proof of the pudding is in the eating", as they say.
What I would suggest is that you therefore consider leaving a little brightly-coloured "Feedback?" button on some/all pages, with a hover-over note saying something like:
Quote
If you have some comment or criticism regarding how easy/difficult it was for you to use this page or find the information that you needed, please help us to improve the website by telling us about it - and thanks if you do!
___________________________
That might be a useful catch-all - e.g., (say) including for people experiencing difficulty obtaining/registering licence keys.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 12:48 AM by IainB »

ewemoa

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #90 on: September 02, 2017, 03:20 AM »
Is starting with an organization similar to the current one (w/ IainB's suggestion incorporated) and then changing it incrementally over time an option?

Deozaan

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #91 on: September 07, 2017, 02:45 AM »
My only suggestion is to make sure the link to get/find/make a license key is super easy to find. Maybe even put it into multiple drop-down menus (such as Software -> Get a License Key, and Help -> Get a License Key, and Licensing -> Get a License Key) so that you'd have to try really hard to miss it.

I don't know why so many people seem to have such a hard time with finding their key, but I think implementing something like the above would do a lot to help alleviate the problem.

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #92 on: September 07, 2017, 05:43 AM »
Deozaan, yes it should be much easier to find the page and get your key on the new site.

Ewemoa, yes one of the big benefits of the new cms is that it will be easy to rearrange things.  Though hopefully we will be able to come up with a fairly stable organization during beta testing.

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #93 on: September 26, 2017, 01:03 PM »
A few more screenshots of the new cms..

The new License Key landing page:
Screenshot - 9_26_2017 , 1_02_04 PM.png

Each section expands to show a little more info.
Clicking the free license key page instantly provides the user a temporary (60day?) license key on the screen.  Much simpler process than the current site and should be a lot less confusing for folks.


mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #94 on: September 26, 2017, 01:05 PM »
Instead of the old help database, which was ok, we now have a series of FAQ sections, again using expanders to minimize information overload:
Screenshot - 9_26_2017 , 1_04_30 PM.png

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #95 on: September 26, 2017, 01:09 PM »
I've tried hard to not remove any content from the new site; but some old pages/sections that are out of date are being moved into a "Historical Archives" section so that the main site organization can be a little easier to navigate:
Screenshot - 9_26_2017 , 1_07_54 PM.pngOfficial CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #96 on: September 26, 2017, 01:12 PM »
I'm still not entirely sure the best way to organize the software section, but what I'm leaning towards now is a page under the main software section for "Friends of DC", which can link to the software sites of DC members and tell people about them.  The idea is that while we may not "host" this software, we can help draw some attention to the software pages of DC members:
Screenshot - 9_26_2017 , 1_10_50 PM.pngOfficial CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #97 on: September 26, 2017, 01:16 PM »
Top-level section pages now have a uniform look -- it's not cutting edge but it's clean and easy to maintain and is dynamically generated so if we move stuff around it requires no editing.

Some examples:
Screenshot - 9_26_2017 , 1_15_00 PM.pngOfficial CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
Screenshot - 9_26_2017 , 1_15_28 PM.pngOfficial CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
Screenshot - 9_26_2017 , 1_15_19 PM.pngOfficial CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
Screenshot - 9_26_2017 , 1_15_41 PM.pngOfficial CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017

mouser

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #98 on: September 26, 2017, 01:20 PM »
Rather than run google ads, I made a custom "internal advert" module which can show in the sidebar some different things at random..  You'll see it in action in the screenshots above.

It can show a random "testimonial" quote (like our current site does on some pages), except now it's easy for people to submit new quotes, and it has custom avatar pictures.  But it can also show some random blurbs we can create that mention either one of our software programs with a screenshot, or a blurb and screenshot recommending one of the many websites we are fond of (techsupport alert, ghacks, etc.), or a random DC member website, etc.

Ath

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Re: Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017
« Reply #99 on: September 26, 2017, 01:26 PM »
(Yes, I've been on that actual test-environment :P)
The menu used does seem a bit sluggish in some places. May have to do with the soft-scroll it seems to use, but after clicking an item there is no feedback, like the menu closing, it just waits a couple of hundred milliseconds and then the menu disappears and immediately the page shows. That last part is fine :), but the extra feedback of the menu closing immediately and the page taking a few hundred milliseconds to show is a more natural feeling, IMHO.