We’ve just release the latest version of our LocalGov Starter Kit for Umbraco. If you’re interested in how you might go about building a large-ish, service-delivery-based website in Umbraco, you should go check it out.
The Starter Kit is packed with features that will help you build your LocalGov (or other big) site. With everything we have put in we have tried to make it as simple and as clear as possible, so you can take the kit and extend it when you need to make things work they way you want.
Sometime is it good to split your website into sections – we see large corporations do this all the time, pushing the investor and press relations away from the customer shop front. A number of council sites now do this, often splitting the council work from the services. Within the starter kit, Section Home Pages allow you to split the site in this way. It’s useful if you want to make sure as little as possible gets in the way of people completing their tasks.
On a large site, navigation is always key. Gateway pages are designed to be navigational stepping stones to content. By default, they place the six main links in any part of the site up front and let the user quickly see where they are going.
Everyone has venues, be they parks, libraries or offices. You often need to tell people where things are and when they can access them: the venue pages provide a quick and easy way to locate a place, and with the use of our Opening Times package, you can tell people when they are open and when they are closed.
For this version of the starter kit we have included contact details pages, and the ability to add contact details to all content pages. By linking contact details to pages rather than just putting email addresses into the page, you can begin to track contact, and you can start to understand just what is and isn’t working on your site.
Building with the Starter Kit
The starter kit is only an introduction into how you might build your site. We hope it gives you a good basic grounding in the features of umbraco that can help when building sites.
In order to make the starter kit as easy to understand as possible, we haven’t gone to town on the code. It’s simple and readable, but it might not do the nuanced things you need it to do out-of-the-box. That’s OK, though, because all the code is there, you can just go in and make the starter kit do what you want it to do.
However, not everyone has the developers, or the time. If you think you might need help building your site, with or without the starter kit, then why not drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can see if we can help?
Pay it forward
As with all the other things we do at Jumoo, the Starter Kit is open source, and yours to extend and customize; but everything is better if we work together, so if you do something cool, please consider adding it to the Github project for the starter kit. It will make everyone’s life a little nicer!