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Official CMS Migration Progress Thread - September 2017

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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.

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:

The Help menu now has a bunch of stuff in it:

While Archives is basically an archive of older pages that are being preserved:

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:

The Licensing menu combines Donate with getting a license key,etc. :

The software menu currently looks something like this:

The "Friends of DC" area lets us add pages for as many dc members as we want who have web pages with software.

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).

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.

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..

@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:
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!

--- End quote ---
That might be a useful catch-all - e.g., (say) including for people experiencing difficulty obtaining/registering licence keys.


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