The new CTC website

The new CTC website

It's impossible to please all of the people all of the time but a lot of hard work has gone into building this new website. And it's by no means the finished article as we still have a road map of development and features to implement over the coming months and years.

Known issues

  • Internet Explorer compatibility
  • Some missing images
  • Content and page layouts for the Local section

For the technically minded, the new CTC website has been built using Drupal 6. It's a proven, open-source (and therefore free) content management system that, while you may not have heard of it, actually powers many high profile global websites; The White House, The Economist, MTV UK, data.gov.uk, Twitter's development portal to name a few, they all run on Drupal 6.  Yes, Drupal 7 does exist but it wasn't considered mature enough during the project planning phase.

Not only have we used a wide range of community-developed modules to further extend the functionality of the website but we also commissioned some bespoke development to integrate Drupal with the Care CRM system so that you can, for example, securely maintain your own postal address, telephone numbers, mailing preferences and so on.

This integration has been one of the main reasons for delaying the launch of the new website. It hasn't been easy but we were keen to get it right.

The other main challenge has been migrating the content from the old site to the new site. We didn't want to simply cut and paste from the old to the new. There's about a thousand pages on the old site; some of them are out-of-date and factually incorrect, some are too long, some are poorly formatted and so on. We are therefore reviewing the old site page-by-page, editing and sometimes completely rewriting content as required. This is still on-going but we are concentrating on the most popular pages first, plus you will still be able to access the old site in some capacity for a period of time at http://archive.ctc.org.uk.

We've worked hard to make the new website as intuitive to use as possible. The CTC works for cycling in so many different ways, providing help and advice for the widest range of cycling activities, campaigning locally and nationally as well as developing cycling schemes up and down the country. There's news, blogs, case studies, events, press releases, mapping information to mention just a few and hopefully you'll easily find everything you need.

So, what's next? Our immediate priority is to stabilise the new website. The old website received two million hits a year and we're not naive to think that the new website will be perfect. Despite an extensive testing period we know there will be some unforeseen bugs to sort out.  We'll constantly be monitoring the hardware and software, listening to your constructive feedback and addressing issues as quickly as possible. If you do have a problem then you can let us know using the website feedback form.

Once we're happy that the new website is stable we will then resume work on developing and extending the functionality of the website to include features such as direct debits and donations, a new section for our youth project BikeClub, improved events and forum integration to name a few.

It's been an exciting and challenging website project to work on and hopefully you'll enjoy using it.

Although it may be impossible to please all the people all the time, we hope this new website pleases at least most of the people most of the time.

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