I put together a basic website using what I knew, which was html and shtml, and I created and maintained all the content (about 250 entries altogether) using that well known development tool Notepad.
Now it is time to hand the task over to others.
I realised a while ago that I had to find a better method of content editing, for speed, accuracy, and consistency, and also so that I could share the load with others with less technical skills.
Most of the entries are very short; a lot of them involve images; and many contain links to uploaded PDFs. Entries usually start off as 'highlights', linked to from the home page and notified to members via email and Twitter. Over time they lose their 'highlight' status; finally they are moved to the archive page.
I had a play with MODX, which we use for the i-Community website, but it's really far too complicated for the purpose (it's unnecessarily complicated for i-Community, really).
It occurred to me that I might solve the content editing problem via a Blogger blog like this one, pulling the content into the website via the RSS feed that is automatically provided for any Blogger blog.
Here's an example blog post (for a 'highlight'):
And here's the link on the home page:
I separated the content into the many necessary categories (News 'highlight', older News, News archive, Local Events, etc.) using Blogger's tags called Labels (each of which is available as an individual RSS feed), and automated the generation of the Feed2JS scripts (one per content category) via batch files.
So far so good.
The three remaining problems were: migrating all the existing content; implementing the 'highlight' links on the home page; and automating the 'last amended' date on each page.
Here's an example (containing 2 entries) of the xml import.
The only remaining problem was the need to wait for Magpie's hour-long cache period to elapse before blog changes were reflected on the main website. In practice we just wait, although occasionally I do set the cache period to 1 minute temporarily (which has pretty awful effects on website performance, which is usually acceptable, if not as fast as the pre-blog version).
Finally I created a couple of little PHP utilities permitting the upload of PDFs and full size images to the website without FTP.
Anyway it's all had the required effect: editing is now much easier, and my colleagues are happy to share the load.