Working on pro bono websites continues to be an excellent way for me to hone my skills.
The website for Russell Vale Scouts is my latest effort, and a good example of a very local group working within a global organisational structure.
Or perhaps a better way of putting it is that Scouts is a global organisation requiring very localised web-based shop windows to inform current members and their families as well as attract new members.
It’s the perfect atmosphere for trying new things in just about all aspects of building a web presence, from the first discussions through the user group analysis, content decisions, back end & site management planning, layout & structure, functionality and visual design from paper through Photoshop to browser.
Just as my former experiments with a range of content management systems for dynamic sites resulted in my becoming a WordPress devotee, trying the different themes and plugins available has also pulled me towards a quite narrow range of options.
Currently, I seem to be able to meet all of my existing and new client needs by using Atahualpa or Thesis themes, both of which add a theme-specific set of modification tools that amount to a self-contained CMS within the greater WP framework.
With the RV Scouts site, I delibrately tried five or six different themes, but ended up using Atahualpa because it works so well.