OKMensa Redesign

Sunday, March 14, 2004

In the busyness of the past few weeks, I failed to mention we had redesigned the Central Oklahoma Mensa web site.

We are really happy with how the new site turned out. It validates as XHTML 1.0 Transitional. Oh, sure, if you wade through a bunch of the old stories, you’ll probably find some pages that don’t validate. You’ll probably also come to the realization that life is too short.

The entire site is controlled by Movable Type: calendar, news, photo gallery, everything. It’s proof that a flexible, extensible, CMS can do anything.

Is MT the best tool for every job? Good grief, no. I had to fold, spindle, and mutilate the thing to make it do all it’s doing. There are plenty of calendar and photo gallery apps out there that do a much better job. But, I wanted to see if it could do all these jobs, and it can. Plus, having everything in one application means it is easy to create a consistent look throughout the site. If I want to do a new layout, I only have to change one stylesheet and two template modules, and rebuild everything.

There are still some things I need to tweak, but for the most part, the site is done. I would like it to eventually achieve WAI-AAA accessibility, but I honestly don’t know if it will happen. Bobby and I cannot seem to agree on some things. I haven’t decided if I’m going to fix the remaining few problems, or just hope that the more reasonable WCAG 2.0 becomes a full recommendation soon. The site is U.S. Section 508 compliant, so that’s something, anyway.

I’m going to do a full write-up on it for my “use MT::Everything” series. The site makes use of a lot of MT hacks gathered from all over the place, so it should be useful to somebody.

On to the next redesign…