….meeping about web design and stuff.
Getting on with the design for the new online Transit, I’ve been looking at CMSs that are specifically for online magazine/newsletters. WordPress, once again seems to win hands down, with at least three themes that are suitable. I’ve looked at a standalone Drupal spin-off called Prosepoint, but its still in beta and lacks a lot of features; also it still has a Drupal backend, and I really couldn’t get to grips with Drupal when I was trying it out earlier this year. (Ironically, the Prosepoint site appears to have copied a popular WP layout.) Joomla probably has a magazine skin, but it’s an application that I’ve not taken to at all – the backend is needlessly complex and customising any part of it is grindingly slow. Plus, it has surprisingly few CSS-only W3C-compliant themes.
So I’m sticking with what I know – WordPress. Not that any of their magazine themes has proved all that easy to customise – it is still basically a blogging application, although great strides are being taken with turning it into a full-fledged CMS. The latest version comes with all sorts of bells and whistles that, while undoubtedly useful, are making it steadily more complicated.
I’ve been using WordPress since version 1.1 – you can see what that was like here; making your own custom theme then just meant playing around with the single stylesheet. Now WP themes themselves are getting far more complex and I’m seeing signs of WordPress ‘forks’ developing; for instance, one of the magazine skins I’m considering comes with it’s own structure theme that you have to install first. Not much of a step from there to a separate standalone application, ala Prosepoint.
In fact, I can see a real demand for these open-source online magazine and newspaper applications, now that print newspapers are in decline. People are getting used to reading their newspapers online – more and more people will want to put out online newsletters and magazines. And they won’t want just flat, online copies of print papers, they’ll demand interactive content – commenting on articles, plenty of links, video content and so on. It would be fun if the online Transit were like that – but, hmmm, would the greybeards want it that way?
But anyway, I’ll get on with pushing one part (at least) of the Astrological Association into the Web3.0-enabled 21st century. That’s if they’ll let me.