26 May 2011
Orkneycommunities redevelopment- your views wanted


Lots of information to communicate, and lots of developments planned for later in the year. We'll tell you all about it here, and really would welcome any opinions, which you can email either to [email protected] or [email protected] 

Orkneycommunities.co.uk is going strong and growing the whole time in terms of content and members. To keep it that way we need to move with the times. so we have a redevelopment of the main site and upgrades to the member sites being scoped out at present. To keep us on a sound financial footing we are considering looking at advertising a bit more, and of course as a constituted group run for the benefit of its members we have our AGM coming up at the start of June.

As an indication of how well we are still doing, according to our server stats we have 1600 visitors per day on average. According to Google Analytics which measures things in a different way, we have about 900 visitors per day. And according to Alexa ('The Web Information Company') we are top of the tree for websites local to Orkney. All good!

regional rankings for orkney

Site Developments- Orkneycommunities 3.0

The attached document (click here) tells you in great detail what is planned, and what the philosophy is- we encourage you have a read and give us your comments.

In summary, we will be changing the appearance and layout of the central Orkneycommunities site, moving to a wider, more modern format. More content from your sites will be displayed, now including latest blog posts, and possibly picture updates. Social media integration is taking place, so news, blogs, pages and events can be easily posted to the likes of Facebook, and bring your sites to a wider audience still.

The member sites will benefit from upgrades that will give more flexibility in setting the appearance, and the editor will be upgraded to work better in the latest browsers. Social media integration will take place here, and significantly, integration with the Orkney Image Library will also take place, allowing links, thumbnails and filmstrips of pictures from there to be easily embedded on your sites. 'Localisation' will also take place, allowing you to say where you are based, and links to your site will then appear on the image library on that basis- and vice versa.

The Image Library itself will also benefit from improved search facilities and display of results.

Bugs will be fixed, and the documentation will be updated. Have a read of the attached document to get the full story. We plan to start work with our site developers in August so will be back in touch after this to give you an update on what to expect and when.  In the meantime please send us your comments on what you think of the proposed plans.


You will have noticed the Google Ads on the Image Library. They are possibly unsightly, but they raise about £100/month and contribute towards the hosting costs of the ever increasing Image Library and Orkneycommunities family, and the development work that is necessary to maintain and expand the whole system.

It would be possible to replace these adverts with local advertising instead, should local advertisers respond to our offering. This is a double edged sword as this will require far more maintenance itself, compared with the wholly unattended Google Ads. Nonetheless, we do have an ad rotation system in place on the Image Library ready to go, and have worked out a possible pricing structure, which is explained here: http://www.orkneycommunities.co.uk/plus2/index.asp?pageid=2490

We haven't pushed it yet as we want to get opinions on both the concept and the pricing. We also would envisage significant pricing concessions for Orkneycommunities members.


The 2011 Online AGM

This years AGM will be rolling soon, taking place at http://www.orkneycommunities.co.uk/AGM/ as it has for the last few years. If there any items that you wish to be considered by members at the AGM, please notify Cath, [email protected]

So please get in touch with any suggestions, for everything we do, we do it for you!


Steven Heddle (Orkneycommunities webmaster)
Cath Russell (Orkneycommunities secretary)

P.S. The Orkneycommunities Calendar monies have been collected in, and just over £1800 was raised for the three local cancer charities. More information on that when the big cheques are handed over.


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