Troop 90 Website Freelance work, Summer 2017

This project was done for the troop, and was headed by one of the other adults who acted as the client (including the parameters I had to work within). However, since I know them well I had more leeway in this project than would generally available in a normal situation.


Our previous site (pictured above) was severely lacking for a usable website. While based on our research it was advanced for its time, it didn't age well. The website was hard to use, hard to maintain, and was not a good advertisement. Due to this, communcation was being done though email (which kids didn't read) and it was hard to find documents. Although there were people capable of creating a new site, they did not have the time.

Some additional notes:

  • We were getting hosting donated by another former Eagle Scout, so we were limited to their setup.
  • RSVP-ing (which was important for planning events) was a complete mess.
  • We were using an outdated version of TroopMaster, a management software.
  • The site was using frames and had a fixed width (not mobile friendly at all).
  • A new site was needed.
    • Had to be modern.
      • Had to be mobile friendly.
    • Had to be something non-tech people could manage & edit.
  • We needed to expand beyond email for communication.
  • Needed a calendar and the ability to do RSVPs.
  • Needed a PR overhaul.
    • Needed a photo gallery.
  • Needed a place to store documents & photos since we didn't have space nor bandwidth on the site.
  • SSL/TLS was highly desired, particularly as sites are starting to get marked "insecure" if they don't have it.
  1. Set up Joomla! for management.
    • WordPress didn't have the permissioning we needed, and Drupal is well-known for its effort needed to maintain.
    • Found a basic theme & changed the settings to match BSA style guidelines as much as possible (color, font, official logos).
    • Created an in-depth set of user groups & permissions.
    • Created sections of the site that different groups had permission to edit.
    • Found a calendar plugin capable of importing our old calendars as well as use an external calendar for current events.
    • Found a photo gallery that supported external storage & stripped photo data (we have to deal with strict data protection).
    • Imported the usable sections of the old site.
    • Created some shared users since it would be impossible to get everyone through the process of account creation.
      • Unfortunately, one user logging out would log everyone out, so we removed the normal logout button for the shared users.
  2. Upgraded to a newer version of TroopMaster, which made it usable by others.
    • The calendar was integrated into the new website.
  3. Investigated other troop managment software to make sure we were using the best option available.
  4. Took a long, careful look through our cPanel, which resulted in the nice suprise that we has a TLS certificate provided via AutoSSL (cPanel's implementation of Let's Encrypt).
  5. Created a Gmail account for the troop.
    • Set the email to be included on all communications for extra accountability insurance.
    • Used Docs and Photos to store our documents and photos, respectively.
  6. Created documentation so non-tech-savvy users could manage their content.
  • We have a working site that's usable for viewing, editing, and maintaining.
  • We can easily manage the calendar and events.
  • We managed to offload the most storage-intensive and bandwidth-intensive parts of our site.
View the live site

Appendix

I still have some involvement in the troop, hence "we" instead of "they."