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CIL2007: Using a CMS to Build Community – Rhumba with Joomla

Posted by comartslibrarian on April 17, 2007

Catherine Morgan and Tao Gao of the South Carolina State Library presented. Their library is a Joomla site.

See also:

Why use Joomla?

  • Open-Source (free)
  • Easy to install, use, manage — easier than Drupal
  • Separate content from the form
  • Portable
  • Extendable — more so than blogs
  • Strong support communities

To compare CMS systems, go to In terms of popularity, the number of Joomla users is growing, while Mambo is declining and Plone and Drupal are pretty static.

SCSL website previously had 500-1,000 static webpages using table-based layout. Few basic Perl scripts. No breadcrumbs. Inconsistent style and structure. Graphically unappealing.

SCSL wanted: 508 accessibility compliance, CSS layout, intuitive navigation, staff participation in adding content, site-wide search, separation of content and form, RSS feeds.

Phase I: Survey
Redesign proposal offered in Sept. 2004. Used SurveyMonkey to conduct user surveys between March and April 2005 (227 responses).

SCSL decided to have people not familiar with the subject areas review key content areas — fresh eyes are critical to good design and good writing!

Phase II: Design

Re-branding began in Feb. 2005. Interface redesigned by committee.

Phase III: Development

  • Content Audit and Review (Summer 2005)
  • Explore CMS options
  • Find host server for development — used an outside provider
  • Translate Graphical Interface to Joomla Templates
  • Content Migration
  • Identify and incorporate desired functionality
  • Continue maintaining old static site in interim

This was done by Catherine and Tao — outside committee — to expedite this process.

Phase IV: Deployment and Evolution

  • Staff reviews website (June 2006)
  • New website goes live (July 2006)
  • Old site unplugged in August
  • Evaluate
  • Refine

Few staff reviewed the new site until the cord was cut in July, forcing them to use it. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. CMS makes it much easier to view the depth of your content.

SCSL did this with 2 web managers, 25 content authors. Now have 326 registered members who can participate in online communities. CIL attendees are invited to join.

Key features of Joomla for Libraries 2.0: Member profiles, discussion forums, calendar, RSS feeds, tag clouds, blogs, photo galleries, book reviews, event registration.

Tao may share his customized Joomla template with the library community given time.


2 Responses to “CIL2007: Using a CMS to Build Community – Rhumba with Joomla”

  1. I found your blog by chance . but i have to say that it’s great blog very useful information and very interesting subjects just greetings and good luck
    i’m not going i will be always checking for updates.I’m very interested in CMS and all its related subjects.

  2. Very useful information. Thanks for this. You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics.I’m very interested in CMS and all its related subjects.

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