A quick glimpse at the new Surfulater Web site

Time to follow up on my last post about the new Surfulater Web site. The Web design company did a fantastic job, I really couldn’t be more pleased. I’ve performed a quick peer review and the feedback clearly indicates that the new site is a big and very worthwhile improvement. The design though is just one part of creating the new site. In essence it forms the template upon which the new site is built.

I mentioned in the last blog post that the new site would be built using a Content Management System or CMS. My original thoughts were to outsource the production of the new site using the CMS and I found someone who I feel would have done a very good job. However in the end I decided that I really needed a thorough understanding of the CMS in order to further develop the site and also to maintain it. And so outsourcing was scratched and the journey to learn the CMS was begun.

As often happens with new projects and new tools great progress is made early on and you are lulled into thinking that pace will continue, but this is not always so, as was the case here. I commented on the weekend that I feel like I am a hurdler at the moment, instead of a software developer. I run along smoothly for a bit and around the bend and out of sight a hurdle appears. With all my might I get over it, only for the pattern to repeat over and over again, or at least that’s how it seems.

However I do really feel that all of the hurdles are now behind me, no more issues to set me back, just producing the content, organizing it and testing everything works as it should. I have to say that even though my schedule has blown out and that I am behind on work on Surfulater it has been and continues to be a worthwhile exercise, and one I am glad I took on board and didn’t outsource. I’ve learned a lot, verified my choice of CMS was the correct one and have set up a system that will hold us in good stead for the foreseeable future.

And here is that glimpse I promised – it is today’s snapshot of the new home page.

New Surfulater Web site preview

Work continues apace and will hopefully see the light of day before too much longer. I really can’t wait to get back to work on Surfulater.

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8 Responses to A quick glimpse at the new Surfulater Web site

  1. Alexander Deliyannis says:

    Looks good! What CMS did you choose?

  2. Peter Lievers says:

    Looks good indeed. Hope to see more soon ;)

  3. nevf says:

    Alex & Peter, Thanks for the feedback.

    The new Surfulater uses Concrete 5. The ScreenClipper site uses CMSMS which is a much ‘simpler’ cms.

  4. barabbas45 says:

    New site looks very inviting and friendly!

    I just want to reiterate once again that SUL is simply the greatest 2-pane organizer ever made :)

  5. barabbas45 says:

    interesting that you didnt go with drupal or one of the other bigger names

  6. nevf says:

    bb45, thanks. I’ve used Drupal in the past and have spent quite some time evaluating a variety of CMS’s including Joomla, Drupal, ExtJS etc. Many of these are simply overkill for my needs and the learning curve and complexity isn’t worth the price of entry.

    Concrete5 falls into the middle ground. One of its big pluses is its ability to let you edit and work with content directly on the web page vs. doing this using a back end admin system. This makes it much quicker and easier to write and edit content. Which is the main thing that has to be done. Try the demo on the c5 site.

  7. Sharron Clemons says:

    interesting that you didnt go with drupal or one of the other bigger names

  8. nevf says:

    @Sharron, I’ve evaluated Drupal and Joomla etc. They are more complex than I need and have a steeper learning curve.

    A great feature of Concrete5 is the ability to edit/add/remove content directly on the page, whereas other CMS’s make you use an Admin control panel for this, hindering work-flow and reducing productivity.

    -Neville

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