Wait a long time for a bus and when it arrives, how often is there another one right behind? So too it seems with websites. Not only did research magazine launch its splendid new website last week, but following right on, so did we. And the two are not unconnected. What we launched this week is the first phase of our complete overhaul of our web presence. All the goodies and resources of old are there – the software reviews, the software directory, our research reports, papers, presentations and articles. There are four big changes, though.
- At the centre of our site is now our blog stream. We will fill this regularly with contributions from me and the others at meaning.
- We want to make the site part of a two-way dialogue. Yes, we’re being very Web 2.0 and we are proud of it. So there is opportunity for you to register on the site, and then you will be able to add comments and provide feedback on many of the pages on the site as well as, we hope, react to and contribute to our discussions in the blog.
- We have provided an RSS feed to the content, so you can be kept up to date as we add new content, if that interests you.
- We have also taken the opportunity to rationalise the order of the content on the site and made it even easier to navigate, we hope.
Behind the scenes, we have moved our site from a static website managed with increasing difficulty in Dreamweaver, to an up-to-date, content management system. We are using WordPress and MySQL, having looked at and discarded Joomla and Drupal, and we are very happy with the result. While many think of WordPress as being a blogging tool, we were very pleased to find that it is also a mean and highly efficient CMS, with a lot of extensions available for managing really quite large, content rich sites flexibly and relatively easily.
But this is only phase 1. Shortly we will be announcing an completely new and vastly extended replacement for Research Software Central, our software database, which we are doing jointly in association with Research magazine. And at the same time, Research magazine are going to be featuring highlights from our blog. We hope you like the changes. We hope you will tell us what you think – using our new comment form down below.