Major Work on 28th Nov – 12th Dec

Steady Progress is being made towards going fully live with the new website. You may see disruption this week such as the message “An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.” You may also see menus and news feeds straying into unexpected places – both are consequences of one of the changes you have asked for, and should resolve themselves within an hour.

Some members of the Guild have said they anxious for this transfer to be completed as soon as possible – thanks for your patience, work is proceeding as fast as possible but proper planning and testing MUST happen.

Status Now

The Front page now carries all the relevant news and will continue to do so, so you can bookmark to keep up with the news

We believe we have finished moving current and archive material over from wp-ringers to wpbells, so you should find everything you need here, from calendars to events to newsletters to telephone numbers.

If you send an email at the moment, it will probably be handled on the old wp-ringers system, which is the key reason why we are still running both websites.

All the C&S tower pages and rolling news are now on the wpbells, but work to move the C&S District archive across (nearly 1000 pages accumulated over 3 years) has been postponed to later in December so it can be carefully planned – this is going to be complex and we need to get it right first time!

The majority of the Guild Archive remains on Tony Smith’s site. There is no agreement on how to manage this interface but it is not an impediment to taking wpbells live.

We have finished dovetailing with sites belonging to Southampton City Ringers and the Ladies’ Guild. This should create mutually beneficial traffic and help all concerned to spread their news. This creates a little duplicate information but provides all users with an enhanced service. Southampton University Guild are laying similar plans and will dovetail soon.

9 towers (all in C&S) have now gone live on Dove Online, to test out that that interface is working properly.

Plans for this fortnight

We have had loads of feedback and during this fortnight a lot of work needs to happen behind the scenes, in order to  make sure all the problems you have identified are properly addressed.

The system of displaying specific news beside each page works well, but some of the codes originally chosen have a “yuk” factor (too geeky!! Horrid!!) so although it all works, it needs a bit of a rebuild.

The system of gathering news (basically the webmaster hanging around on Facebook and in the various email lists) is OK as a stopgap but LOADS of people have said “we want an easy way to send in news” so we have now completed testing a system to email in news – that will be properly rolled out after this current work is completed, please be patient!

Displaying everything on the front page is technically very simple but several Tower Captains want to be able to post news JUST to their tower page. This will be sorted out this week.

Some of the Tower Pictures don’t fit too well onto their pages – this will be rectified.

The “officers and towers” tables which have been copied over wholesale from wp-ringers don’t fit too well on the slightly narrower pages on wpbells, so they need to be rebuilt from the source tower/officer database and reinstalled and retested. While we are at it, we will simplify the display of bell weights – another thing that several people wanted.

The Dove Online system allows towers to nominate a website for contact information etc. Where towers currently use wp-ringers or candsbellringers, or no website, they will be moved move to towards the end of this week’s work.  Towers which have chosen to use a different website, will not be affected. We can help you to move from one to another if you decide to do so. However:

The decision about which web page to link to, from Dove Online, rests with that tower’s band of ringers, not with a particular webmaster

A quick poll of random Tower Contacts and District Officers has indicated that some of them are unaware of the new site so all of them will be emailed within the next 2 weeks to be informed about the changes and asked to double check their own information.

Emails will also be sent to other webmasters believed to be affected by the planned disappearance of wp-ringers, so they can make the necessary changes to their websites.

Finally Going Live

… will probably occur about a week later if all goes smoothly, and will entail formally telling Google CCCBR, and ART that wpbells is the official Guild Website, and putting an automatic redirection onto wp-ringers (details being fleshed out with the wp-ringers team), to assist any users who are still unaware of the new site.

The Beginning of the real work!

AT THIS STAGE we can regard the system as being through the design and implementation stage, and into “business as usual” status. However we will continue to work with towers and Districts to enable them to make full use of the services they wish to use – contact management, news, event promotion, etc etc.


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