CiviCRM will begin a transition off of D7 in the coming months and is evaluating this effort to also coincide with a major site revision.
The CiviCRM community recognizes that ecosystem growth is key to its sustainability and to the overall health of the project. The CiviCRM website is the project's single largest asset with respect to overall growth, so this 'transition' needs to account for both the technical aspects as well as the non-technical.
The following are identified as primary objectives of the ideal website for CiviCRM (a discussion about more granular objectives may be found here):
- The site should be multi-lingual. Many non-English speaking countries represent growth markets for CiviCRM. In its current form, CiviCRM is very competitive in its internationalization. Many non-English speaking countries have favorable views of open source.
- The site should clearly explain what CiviCRM is and how it can be used. It should provide easy access to decision makers that come to the site to learn about what CiviCRM is and what it can do.
- The site should clearly funnel more community focused users and developers to resources they need to become more productive faster, and to get and stay engaged with less effort. The site must make it dead simple to get involved with CiviCRM.
- The site should be exceptionally easy to manage, maintain and adjust. CiviCRM is often slow to respond to market opportunities and should, in conjunction with its social media efforts, become more responsive.
- The site should use as little custom code as possible. When code is necessary, we should endeavor to create generic extensions.
- The site should seek to more clearly position CiviCRM Spark as a viable option for onboarding new users and CiviCRM ESR as a viable option for slower adopters.
- This effort should endeavor to use as much volunteer support as possible.
This intiative can be broken down into 3 distinct areas of work (below) with examples of how other projects achieve these found here:
1. Technology & infrastructure
Which CMS, what extensions, what additional custom code is necessary, costs to transition, costs for ongoing maintentance, etc.
- The 2 primary candidates to which civicrm.org may transition are Drupal 8 and WordPress. Comparing Drupal 8 vs. WordPress
- Initial testing has been completed on an upgrade to Drupal 8 with ongoing discussion captured here.
- This page documents current functionalities, however these could change and may not necessarily need to be redone/duplicated to a new site. Examples of proposed changes that reduce CMS dependencies can be found here and here.
2. Content production and site structure
Identify, revise, draft proper content and organize it in a way that is consistent with the site's audience and objectives.
- Critiques of the current site include that it is unorganized, that it's trying to appeal to too many different audiences and that its content is unclear. Example proposed structural revisions are here and here
- List of open issues related to 'content'
- There's been some discussion/consideration on using both ".org" and ".com" as a way to further segment site users.
- Efforts to create localized sites
- Organic search rankings are poor, currently account for 45% of traffic based on 12 month performance. This requires both a rework of the content as well as technical improvements.
3. Branding and design
Identify and communicate our key messages (unique selling points), our overall "brand" and what CiviCRM stands for, and leverage design to reinforce these.
- We are unclear in our value proposition to our market, resulting in either inconsistent or no messaging at all. What are our central themes?
- We have no clear style related to our presentation and our communications. We simply "exist". Are we young and scrapy? Are we the underdog? How much to we point out our differences with our competitors? We have a compelling story. How are we telling it?
- We need a style (fonts, colors, designs, etc.) that reinforces our brand and that facilitates ease of use for users.