Mediterranean Gardening France

FAQ

Redevelopment Status – II

as of: 20 October 2020

This page is a consolidation of and replacement for the earlier Redevelopment Status page. Additions, comments and corrections welcome.

  • Content: The content of the site is now complete. The entries in the Forthcoming Events page are all dummies and are there for demonstration purposes only. They will have to be replaced by real items when the site becomes operational.
  • Menu Bar: The ‘About Us’ item is redundant and can be removed. The placement of the remaining items should be adjusted so as to fill the width of the bar. In due course the ‘Log out’ item will be incorporated in the ‘MEMBERS’ item at which time the placement of the remaining articles will again be adjusted to fill the bar.
  • Background Colours: The basic requirement is for the site to look light and airy. We have decided to have a two-tone solution: grey with a hint of green for the principal content of the page with slightly more green for the surrounding template (masthead, sidebar, etc.). The exact shades to use have still to be decided. Since we have no control over how viewers’ screens are configured, there must be a sufficient difference between the two shades to ensure that the differentiation is always visible.
  • Decorative Bands: Some of the more sober-looking pages would be enhanced by the addition of a decorative band. Here is a list of potential candidates: Gardens to Visit; the Recommendation pages (Designers, Nurseries, etc.); Forthcoming Events; Past Activities; Newsletters.
  • Facebook: Although we have not yet set up the MGF Facebook page, the link to it has been placed in the footer so that we can see where it will be once the Facebook page is operational. It would be useful if the Facebook page could be launched at the same time as the new site (even if it only contains an image, some basic text and a link to the website).
  • Comments: If we are to improve communications with members, we should have this feature where appropriate. Currently, comments are only turned on for the Latest News posts.  This has been done to provide the MC with an example of what is possible with comments and how the mechanism works.
  • Quality Control: In adding the final items of content to the site, I have found a number of errors in other pages. The most frequently occurring ones have been links which point to the old site and plant names which are not italicised. We need to do a page-by-page, line-by-line check of the entire site before showing it to others.
  • Demonstration of the Site: Once the earlier items on this page have been completed, we will be in the position to show the site to the MC. The best way to do this would be to organise a Zoom meeting where the site could be demonstrated in real-time. To help this process, we should circulate a paper in advance setting out what it was that we were trying to do with the redevelopment and how we have achieved it.
  • Member App: This will be incorporated within the WordPress system as we will be able to take advantage of some of its features, for example, the sign-on mechanism and data backup and recovery.  I have some initial ideas on how to do this but further research is needed. In order to avoid confusing the members, the member app must be in place before the site becomes operational as it is probable that members will have to be assigned new usernames and passwords. Another issue is that WordPress does not like people sharing email addresses, of which we have a number of examples amongst our membership. It would seem that there are workarounds to solve this issue but it would be better if we could convince those members with shared email address to give up the practice.
  • Documentation: As far as possible, this should be online (within the dashboard and therefore not visible to the general public). 

3 comments on “Redevelopment Status – II”

Posted by Christine Daniels on 31st October 2020 at 12:59 pm:

Comments on your comments (2)
I find it much easier to respond to comments in an email as you can intercut the comment and further comment at the correct place and in an alternative colour. All this scrolling up and down the page and pasting in the original comment is tedious and not always clear.

However here goes:
You say “Currently, comments are only turned on for the Latest News posts”. However, I am still unable to find this feature. I have looked at the Latest News posts.

I am not willing for my name to be listed as website publisher. There isn’t a named person as the publisher on the current site so there doesn’t need to be one on the new site.

When I have a spare moment between other duties (the publicity bandwagon for the various new versions of the book is currently on a roll so I’m juggling priorities) I will have another look through individual pages.

The next newsletter is imminent. It includes a list of all the new website material added in the last 6 months. In mid-December we could write something about the new website for inclusion in the January newsletter which is normally published on the very first days of the month.

I agree that there is nothing vital missing from the new site.

Posted by Ian Davis on 21st October 2020 at 10:57 am:

Comments on your comments.

Forthcoming Events – if you tell me how to update this page I could make it replicate the most up-to-date information, as per the November 2020 newsletter.

This is done by means of a table; I’ll write up the instructions (which has to be done anyway).

Following Dave Tivol’s recent email, the Cal Hort contact should be changed to dtivol@yahoo.com

Ditto

I will have a look at the sober-looking pages and see what we have in the decorative bands file. What are the best dimensions for a full page (centred content) and a page with a side bar?

We’ve already used a couple of the bands from the old site; they don’t need resizing, they can be taken as they are. They won’t go across the whole width of the page but they look better like that anyway (see Home Page and Library).

On the opening page for Past Activities the content is not centred, rather slightly to the left.

Fixed.

Facebook – looking up the last thing I have filed on the subject I find this, from Nina, 18 July this year:
Je pense qu’une personne ou deux maximum pourraient se joindre à moi en tant qu’administrateur de la page. Pas plus car ensuite cela génère plus de travail de coordination. Michèle j’accepte ton invitation à envoyer un message aux adhérents pour le recrutement. Peux-tu préciser qu’il est important d’être déjà bien familier à Facebook mais qu’il n’est pas forcément nécessaire d’être expert puisque je me chargerais du lancement et des paramétrages.

I have no memory of what, if anything, happened next. Could you ask Michele please?

Nina and Michèle have been in contact recently. Michèle will forward us the email exchange.

I cannot see the Comments feature. I looked at several of the latest pages and the See all Posts page. I agree it would be nice to have a place for people to communicate with us, but it’s a bit like the Members’ Forum, someone needs to have the time and will to regularly monitor incoming messages and organise replies. So the MC will need to find a volunteer.

See the latest Redevelopment Status page: ‘Currently, comments are only turned on for the Latest News posts’.

Whilst looking for the Comments facility I came across the rather alarming “Site publié par Christine Daniels au nom de Mediterranean Gardening France (MGF)”. I’m the Editor, not the publisher. If we need to state a name (do we?) Kevan is the website manager/publisher.

The terminology we are using is the reverse of what is normal. You are the person who decides the content and so it’s your name that has to be there.

I agree about quality control. I keep finding things too. Trouble is, in general I’m checking my own work and it’s easy to miss things. It might be better to get another committee member to do the check then send me the list of things to correct. Or just open up the site to the whole committee, asking them to notify me of anything they spot. Anthony has given up, by the way. He found it all too detailed, got bored, then of course made mistakes.

I think that we would both want the site to be in good order before showing it to the MC. Perhaps we could individually have a last go through the pages to make sure that there are no howlers and then, after we have given the demo to the MC, we could ask them to look for any remaining errors. Re Anthony: me too – I can’t wait for this all to be over.

Demonstration – A Zoom meeting would be good – mainly to highlight the new features.

I have never used the ‘share screen’ option. Perhaps we could have a practice session sometime.

I understand why you say the member app needs to be in place before we launch. We probably need to update members (via the newsletter) as to why the new site is taking longer than expected to develop.

Did we ever tell them a date? In any event, we could write an update report for the next newsletter.

Have you any idea when we might be ready to go live?

It all depends on how long it takes to do the member app which is by far the long pole in the tent. Would you agree that there isn’t anything vital that’s missing from the new site? If so, I can start on the member app. I have a few ideas about how to approach this but will need to do some research and experiments before being able to make a proper estimate of how long the whole thing is going to take.

The shared email address issue is a real problem. People who share email addresses are people who don’t use the computer very much and mainly for family things. So if they got their own address they might well never look at it.

I wonder if these people who share email addresses allow their partner to open their snail mail. How, for example, would they organise a surprise for their partner? The IT community as a whole is aghast at the idea of people sharing an email address due to the security risks. However, it may not matter much in practice if the second mailbox was never opened as the email would still go the common address. Right now, people who share an address will get two copies of any broadcast message, each with its own salutation. We could approach those involved and ask them to change. For those who don’t want to, we just assign an MGF email address to them.

By documentation you mean ‘How to use WordPress to post information on the site?
Will administrators have a different dashboard as the MC do in the Member App?

That and a whole lot more beside – like how to update the pages that use tables. In addition, Kevan will need a whole lot of more technical stuff so that he doesn’t need to come back to me too often. Ordinary members have a very simple dashboard if they log in. If I remember rightly, it just allows them to change their profile. If you look at Dashboard Home, you will see that it consists of a number of boxes (or placeholders for them) where you can put content. My current idea with the member app is that there would be two boxes in the dashboard: one for all members with their personal info and one for officers with all the other stuff. We could even split this into two: functions that only the officers can use (essentially those that manipulate personal data) and those available to all members of the team.

Posted by Christine Daniels on 20th October 2020 at 6:27 pm:

Forthcoming Events – if you tell me how to update this page I could make it replicate the most up-to-date information, as per the November 2020 newsletter.

Following Dave Tivol’s recent email, the Cal Hort contact should be changed to dtivol@yahoo.com

I will have a look at the sober-looking pages and see what we have in the decorative bands file. What are the best dimensions for a full page (centred content) and a page with a side bar?

On the opening page for Past Activities the content is not centred, rather slightly to the left.

Facebook – looking up the last thing I have filed on the subject I find this, from Nina, 18 July this year:
Je pense qu’une personne ou deux maximum pourraient se joindre à moi en tant qu’administrateur de la page. Pas plus car ensuite cela génère plus de travail de coordination. Michèle j’accepte ton invitation à envoyer un message aux adhérents pour le recrutement. Peux-tu préciser qu’il est important d’être déjà bien familier à Facebook mais qu’il n’est pas forcément nécessaire d’être expert puisque je me chargerais du lancement et des paramétrages.

I have no memory of what, if anything, happened next. Could you ask Michele please?

I cannot see the Comments feature. I looked at several of the latest pages and the See all Posts page. I agree it would be nice to have a place for people to communicate with us, but it’s a bit like the Members’ Forum, someone needs to have the time and will to regularly monitor incoming messages and organise replies. So the MC will need to find a volunteer.

Whilst looking for the Comments facility I came across the rather alarming “Site publié par Christine Daniels au nom de Mediterranean Gardening France (MGF)”. I’m the Editor, not the publisher. If we need to state a name (do we?) Kevan is the website manager/publisher.

I agree about quality control. I keep finding things too. Trouble is, in general I’m checking my own work and it’s easy to miss things. It might be better to get another committee member to do the check then send me the list of things to correct. Or just open up the site to the whole committee, asking them to notify me of anything they spot. Anthony has given up, by the way. He found it all too detailed, got bored, then of course made mistakes.

Demonstration – A Zoom meeting would be good – mainly to highlight the new features.

I understand why you say the member app needs to be in place before we launch. We probably need to update members (via the newsletter) as to why the new site is taking longer than expected to develop.

Have you any idea when we might be ready to go live?

The shared email address issue is a real problem. People who share email addresses are people who don’t use the computer very much and mainly for family things. So if they got their own address they might well never look at it.

By documentation you mean ‘How to use WordPress to post information on the site?
Will administrators have a different dashboard as the MC do in the Member App?

I

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