BAFANL website

This is the first in a series of pre-season posts regarding the new BAFANL website. This will cover a brief of what I hope to achieve.

I have now been a member of the British American Football volunteer staff for over a year. 2011 saw me as the league’s news editor. This year I am in charge of the web and media team having taken over the webmaster role as well.

Since I joined up the league site has gone through several transitions already. We started last year with a league republic site, then moved onto wordpress. The site is currently running a basic CMS that I created to cover for the off-season until a bespoke system was put together to keep track of everything effectively.

The new site has to not only cover the news for the league but contain a gallery of pictures submitted by photographers each week, information about how to sign up to play/coach/officiate and then keep track of the results and standings tables. This information needs to be perfectly tied together so that every team can have a page that would allow a user to find all their information quick and easy.

A user to the site who wants to play must be able to go onto the site and easily find their nearest team, how they are doing and how to join up. A fan must be intrigued to learn more and go and watch games at all levels. With the key of course being getting them along to playoff games and britbowl.

Information therefore needs to be quickly and easily available to everyone, want pictures of a specific team/game/division? A decent tagging system will make that possible.

Want to view it on your phone/tablet? That experience needs to be just as impressive as the desktop site.

The admin for all this needs to be able to handle users who can do certain tasks but not others. So user A can add/edit/publish news but can’t upload images while user B can upload images and update schedules but not publish news. This management needs to be easy.

Because I can’t guarantee my ability to volunteer forever the code also has to be easy to read so that anyone can come in and make tweaks in future should playoff criteria or anything else change.

In addition we need to offer a range of RSS feeds and code snippets for use by the teams on the sites as well while also offering feeds and a social media presence for everyone else.

Its not going to be easy but the target is a system that the league can use for years to come.