Tuesday marked the launch of a new site in the mtwstudios.com network – tcnjmenc.org ! This site was built to replace the previous site, which had been up for a number of years and was in terrible need of a redesign. mtwstudios was chosen to redesign the site after submitting a design in response to an open call for proposals earlier this summer.
The site started from an original sketch on paper, to pretty much the final design by early August. August was spent formatting content and filling out the styling as well as how the pages would be arranged. The new site was finally launched on September 12, 2006, to correspond with the first general meeting of the 2006-2007 school year.
The site uses the most recent codebase of the PHP templating engine that I use on pretty much all of my pages. One noteable difference is that the main class in this system has 3-4 main templates for different page layouts. This comes in handy if I need a liquid-width version of a page or something. The site also uses Gallery 2 (gallery.menalto.com) and php-calendar (php-calendar.sourceforge.net), both custom skinned to the tcnjmenc templates.
The site includes (mostly) all of the previous content on it (minutes, constitution, photos, bylaws, links, et cetera) as well as improving upon a number of concepts. The photos page is now run by Gallery which should make it easier to post and manage all of the photos in a neat manner. Also, the calendar section looks much nicer than the previous one, and should help with keeping all our members in-the-know concerning upcoming events.
Probably the most noteable feature of the new site is one that hasn’t been unveiled yet. The directory which was printed last year will be done completely on the web this year, which should make things easier as well as the information more accessable and useable. The online Musicians Directory will include and entry for all of our current MENC musicians, which they will be able to edit at any time during the school year. For those looking for a musician, the directory will also be searchable by instrument, etc. More details will come later as the project nears completion.
I’m currently developing the online directory framework, as well as finishing up a couple finishing touches to the site. If anyone has any comments or suggestions, feel free to email me or leave a comment.