Redevelopment Status – I
as of: 17 October 2020
The following is, I hope, an accurate assessment of where we are with development of the new web site. There are two sections. The first, reading from left to right along the menu bar (which is based upon your earlier spreadsheet), deals with the status of individual pages. The second discusses more overall structural issues. Neither section is necessarily exhaustive; there may be other issues that need to be addressed. Comments and additional issues welcome.
- Home Page
1.1. Done. [UPDATED: 14 September]
1.2. FAQ: done. [UPDATED: 5 October]
1.3. Latest news /What’s New page / individual posts page: done [UPDATED: 26 August]
2.1. Members Gardens: done (including organising sidebar by département – but see Section 2, paragraph 6 below (this applies to all sections marked ‘done’). [UPDATED: 27 July]
2.2. Garden Diaries: done. The two entries for Kate and Imogen’s place have been combined. There is a neat way to copy material from one page to another which needs to be documented. The sidebar has been amended to make it clear where the gardens are and which ones are visitable. [UPDATED: 18 August]
2.3. Gardens to Visit: done. [UPDATED: 5 September]
3.1. Articles: done.
3.2. Gardening for Wildlife: done. This is an external link to the original content with the existing menu at the top of the page removed. [UPDATED 17 October 2020].
3.3. Recommended Designers: done. The original spreadsheet page has now been converted à la plant lists, including maintenance thereof (see 2.3.2. above).
4.1. Plant articles: done.
4.2. Plant lists: done. [UPDATED: 5 October]
4.3. Seed Exchange: done. [UPDATED: 8 August]
4.4. Recommended Pepinièristes: done – see 3.3. above.
4.5. List maintenance: Originally this was going to be just for the plant lists but it has been expanded to include all pages that used to be generated from spreadsheets. As a result, it needs some tidying up and the accompanying instruction page updated. Access to this page has been removed from the main menu and can now be found in the Dashboard in the List Generation tab. [UPDATED: 5 October]
5.1. Menu: done. [UPDATED: 9 September]
5.2. Forthcoming Events (France): done. The events currently displayed are not real and need to be removed before the site goes live. [UPDATED: 21 August 2020]
5.3. Activity Reports (France): done. [UPDATED 22 September]
5.4. Forthcoming Events (International): done. Now combined with Forthcoming Events (France) so as to oblige people to see MGF’s events first. [UPDATED 21 August]
5.5. Activity Reports (International): done. [UPDATED: 23 August]
5.6. Newsletters: done. [UPDATED: 19 September]
6.1. MGF Library: done. [UPDATED: 11 August]
6.2. Recommended Books: done. The sidebar has been updated to include plants and gardens. [UPDATED: 18 August]
6.3. Book Reviews: done. Now links to MGi site. [UPDATED: 9 September]
6.4. Book Reviews: Book reviews are now held on the MGi site so these pages are redundant. However, they should be kept in case we ever need to put them on the MGF site in the future. [UPDATED: 9 September]
- About Us: This item is now redundant and the slot could be used for something else.
7.1. Our Aims and Partner Organisations: transferred to home page. [UPDATED 9 September]
7.2. The Team: transferred to home page. [UPDATED 9 September]
7.3. Statutes and byelaws: transferred to home page. [UPDATED 14 September]
7.4. GDPR Policy: transferred to home page. [UPDATED 14 September]
7.5. Contact Us: transferred to sub-menu below the main menu and also in the footer. [UPDATED: 17 October]
- Members / Log out:
8.1. MEMBERS: Until the member app can be re-developed and integrated within the new site, this item points to the existing site. In due course, the top of the pages on the existing site will have to be changed to something more appropriate.
8.2. Log out: This item is only there to provide access to the dashboard for administrators. Ultimately, it will be included in the re-written member app so as to allow all members to log into the site (but not the dashboard). In the meantime, it should be hidden from the ordinary user (see 4.5. above). [UPDATED: 26 July]
Section 2: Structural Issues
- General appearance:
1.1. Background colour: 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 slighty more green for the surrounding template (masthead, sidebar, etc.). There is currently no agreement as to the exact shades to use. The MC should be asked to decide. [UPDATED: 17 October]
1.2. Menu bar: the background has been toned down to be coordinated with the background colour and the colour of the text darkened to compensate for the lightening of the background. The ‘stand-out’ items (search, join, etc. ) are now in a sub-menu below the main one. The ‘About Us’ item is now redundant and the slot could be used for something else.
1.3. Page structure: the underlying structure of the pages (header, content area, footer, sidebars) needs some adjustment to ensure that all the content is properly laid out in all cases. Done. [UPDATED: 17 October]
1.4. Footer: although we have not yet set up the MGF Facebook page, I have left the social media section so that we can see where it will be once the page is operational. It would be useful if the Facebook page could be launched at the same time as the new site. On each side of the social media section are the French and English versions of the legalese required by French law. The only other content in the footer is the ‘Go to top of page’ link which, even though part of the footer, has the same background colour as the main content so that it looks as if it is part of the content area above. [UPDATED: 17 October 2020]
- Sidebars: No further action required.
2.1. Purpose: sidebars are to enhance information flow. It makes sense to use them where there are a set of pages with a common theme (e.g. gardening articles or plant lists) with the sidebar providing the links to the other items in the set. Menu items to be in alphabetical order where possible. Latin plant names in titles to be italicised. [UPDATED: 26 July]
2.2. Templates: for ease of maintenance, each set of articles (plant lists, etc.) has its own template which calls the appropriate sidebar. Pages without sidebars use the ‘Centred Content’ template which provides a small margin on each side of the page to ensure that the content remains within readability guidelines.
2.3. Content: the principal content of a sidebar is the menu which links to the other items of the set. There is also explanatory text which needs to be reviewed and adjusted where necessary.
2.4. Appearance: sidebars can have their own appearance (e.g. bordered, different background colour, etc.) but my feeling is that they are best using the same colour as the main content area. That said, there is a need to differentiate more between the main text and the sidebar in some cases. [UPDATED: 5 October]
- Search: done. The WordPress basic search feature has been replaced by the Relevanssi plugin. This adds some enhancements to the basic search: a) for each hit, the results page shows: the title, an excerpt and some statistics; if the search term appears in either the title or the excerpt, it will be highlighted. Occurences of the search term are also highlighted on the page itself when opened from the search results page (except if the term is in the page title). These enhancements provide an acceptable search feature and we do not need to seek any additional functionality (at least for the time being). [UPDATED: 17 October]
- Translate: done – there is a banner (above the page) on which the user can select the target language for the translation. Additional remarks. This feature uses the Google translation widget. There are a number of question marks about the continued availability of the widget. Google no longer supports it as they consider that the future lies in browsers themselves being able to offer translation. There are also commercial reasons. The widget is free but the quality of translation is not the best. Google would rather people paid for the higher quality product that they offer. My view is that translation is not an essential feature of the site (i.e. the site can function properly without it). This being so, it should not be paid for (see Section 1, paragraph 2.3.3.)). [UPDATED: 31 July]
- French: done. Roland Leclercq has reviewed each page of the site to ensure that the text surrounding the content of a page is properly bi-lingual. [UPDATED: 17 October]
- Overall layout: each page of the site needs to be reviewed to ensure consistency of layout and to correct any misalignments due to changes of template etc. The links will need to be checked: most have been copied across from the old website, so I assume they will link to this, rather than to the new site. Other links are new but should be checked. Basically done but a final line-by-line check of the whole site is needed. [UPDATED: 17 October]
- PDF: I have added a plugin that creates a Gutenberg block called PDF Viewer. Select the block and embed the PDF just as if it was an image. [UPDATED: 18 August]
- Decorative bands: Some of the more sober-looking pages would be enhanced by the addition of one of Anthony’s bands. [UPDATED: 23 August]