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Congratulations to RCS on their new Plone site

Posted by daniel at Sep 07, 2012 06:15 PM |
The Royal College of Surgeons have recently released their new Plone 4 website - a fine example of what Plone can do.

We were happy to join the existing Plone developers at The Royal College of Surgeons to assist in a major upgrade of their main  website along with a complete rebranding.  They have been using Plone longer than us - and have a lot of users contributing content over the years, so this was always going to be a big task.  But with the help of tools like git, buildout and transmogrifier (warning: links for techies) we rebuilt a website that is both easy on the eye and represents the cutting edge of Plone and web standards.  We encourage you to take a look - but if you're squeamish you might want to be careful which videos you watch!

 

Some of the things to look out for are:

The Royal College of Surgeons

  • Smooth slideshows - which can be easily edited;
  • Megamenus -  as recommended by usability guru Jakob Neilsen;
  • Good collections of portal content such as events, exams and publications - which were designed specifically to fit the college's purpose;
  • Social media feeds from Twitter and Facebook;
  • The clean and modern design has nice little touches like gradients in the coloured panels and tabbed content in various parts of the portal;
  • The search utility which can "see" words within Word documents and PDFs added to the site

Some things which you wouldn't notice unless we told you:

  • The portal interacts with different external databases for things like course dates;
  • Registered users of several different external networks can securely access restricted areas of site without needing separate credentials.
  • Advanced workflows for managing content editing with a large team of contributors;
  • The huge amount of pages and data on the site - we ported around 7000 items of all sorts of content from RCS's old site running Plone 2.5 to a shiny new Plone 4.1 instance using the power of transmogrifier and related tools (more on that in a future blog).

We can't claim credit for all of this - it was very much a team effort - but perhaps that's the point: Plone development is about building on what others have done, and adapting it for a new purpose - that's the power of open source software!