Doc-Website Structure

This page documents the internal structure of the OESChapters.org (OESC) website and provides information on how the environment is organized.

Why a single integrated website vs individual Chapter independent websites?

In a perhaps more conventional website environment each individual subordinate Chapter would have its own independent website. That would require each Chapter to have the requisite technical skillset available to it (or purchased by it) and a website designed, created, hosted, and maintained. The result would be, presuming that all Chapters actually followed-thru and created a web presence, a multitude of different websites of differing approach, design, maintainability, and resultant quality. Given the availability of appropriately skilled individuals within the OES membership and the non-trivial cost if each Chapter had to hire the needed work commercially, it is unlikely, in the writer’s opinion, that many Chapters would participate and have a web presence. Please see why a web presence is needed to read the webmaster’s opinion as to why it is critical to have a robust web presence .

In OESChapters.org there is one physical website intended to house all of the Chapter content for the Chapters that are participating in the environment. Think of what a large commercial organization is like … one organization (website) with many functional departments (participating Chapters) acting as functionally independent and separate portions of the website each with their part of the company intranet and internet presence.

The structure of the OESC environment is designed to house the multiple functionally independent operational portions of the OESC website (the Chapter data) within a single unified structure.

Benefits of the unified design

With the unified structure and design chosen for the OESC website there are several benefits that accrue to the implementation of the OESC environment. The key benefit is that there need be only one implementation irrespective of the number of participating Chapters or Jurisdictions. Everything needs be done only once from a design and implementation perspective.

See Benefits of a unified design for additional information on the “why” behind the unified structure design chosen.

Chapter Information

Each participating Chapter in the OESC environment has an identical structure and operates as though it were a standalone website.

See Chapter Topics for a list of the topical areas of information provided by the OESC environment for each participating Chapter.

Each individual Chapter’s data is separate and uniquely identified by a Chapter identifier as specified in Naming Chapters.

All Chapter content (all pages, posts, photos, etal.) is named in accordance with the established Naming Conventions so that any individual item of data is immediately and easily associated with the Chapter to which it belongs. This naming standard prevents any conflict between otherwise similar data from different Chapters causing conflicts in website implementation and maintenance. All items of Chapter data begin with the assigned Chapter number, ZZ999- for example, which facilitates both Chapter ownership and ease of searching for Chapter content when maintaining the environment.

OESC Documentation

All website documentation, such as this page, the procedures, and all other information about the OESC website itself (as opposed to Chapter content within the website) is named according to the Naming Conventions and begin with “Doc-” or “How-To”.p

For some pages, tables (managed by the Tablepress plugin) are utilized so that the data content can be sorted to facilitate viewing and access by the website users. An example of this is the Past Matrons and Past Patrons pages, which contain a table of the PM’s and PP’s so that they may be manipulated by the end-user. Tables are also used in each individual Chapter’s “home page” to facilitate navigation in that the table provides an appropriate columnar structure for the necessary links and descriptions.

Sample Chapter ZZ999

To facilitate both understanding of the OESC environment and to aid in the generation of each Chapter’s page structure when establishing a new Chapter in the website a sample chapter, identified as “ZZ999”, is provided. This provides a fully public comprehensive set of pages for the visitor and potential Chapter who may wish to join the OESC family, and serves to be a template set of pages that may be copied and renamed to establish the new participating Chapter’s setup.

Consistent “look and feel”

While one could make the argument that having all participating websites be identical in structure and “look and feel” somehow lessens the effectiveness or usefulness of the website I would have to offer that not having anything or having outdated and irrelevant information is significantly more damaging to the goal of member recruitment and retention. I submit that if it is so simple to create an effective environment then why is there only a small handful of websites actually operating and why are several of those containing outdated information? Having a single unified environment facilitates ongoing maintenance and reduces cost for all participants versus individual environments..

While it would be perhaps more desirable to have a fully custom website presence for every Chapter I don’t see appropriately skilled and qualified individuals stepping up and providing them, nor can the majority of individual Chapters easily afford to buy the talent needed. Having a consistent look and feel also serves to make it easier for both members and potential members to seek and compare data across multiple Chapters. Once an individual is comfortable with any Chapter’s layout and data they know the content navigation for the entire site and can operate effectively in any participating Chapter’s context.

The organization of pages, their content, and menu navigation structure is consistent and identical for every Chapter in the website with only data content being different. This both allows and facilitates a consistent implementation and maintenance across all participating Chapters and cleanly implements the “cookie-cutter” approach designed for the website.

Scalability

With the established Chapter naming convention, from a naming perspective the OESC environment can accommodate essentially any number of jurisdictions (think State Grand Chapters) and any number of Chapters within each jurisdiction. With the scaleability inherent in the naming standards, the OESC environment could, from a design perspective, accommodate all Chapters in all states and would be practically limited by the website computing hardware capacity.  Additionally, non-Chapter entities could be accommodated, such as geographical districts, officer associations etc.

The organization of pages, their content, and menu navigation structure is consistent and identical for every Chapter in the website with only data content being different. This both allows and facilitates a consistent implementation and maintenance across all participating Chapters and cleanly implements the “cookie-cutter” approach designed for the website.

See the following topical documentation pages for additional information

OESC Calendar Implementation

Page last updated 05/23/2016