The requirements for the site were simple: the ability to post articles and reports and an easy facility to get feedback–features easily managed by my favorite open source blogging platform, WordPress.
I briefly considered using another content management system (CMS) with more advance portal features, some form of document tracking or online file repository but the person tasked with updating the site said these aren’t needed. Complaints, she said, will be handled offline.
So we decided on using WordPress. The platform is easy to use and intuitive for someone who hasn’t used a CMS yet.
With the CMS decided, we went on to choose a web host. The decision is crucial not just for the usual reason of availability but also for the fact that the site will eventually be turned over to the council or some other group it will ask to run it.
I told them that the best option would be Ploghost, Abe Olandres‘ web hosting company. Not only does it offer affordable plans, it also provides quick and responsive support. I feel confident with the kind of support the team or person that will eventually take over will be getting. This decision had been validated as the site still has to suffer a downtime this month.
CCPC got Ploghost’s P150 a month plan and with it a 150mb space and a monthly quota 4 gigabytes, more than enough for its needs.
We installed WordPress and used a contact form plugin to accept complaints. There have been complaints filed but I do not know whether one had been sent online.
The site also contains the listing of all reporters and correspondents of the five daily newspapers in Cebu (and my full name is used, darn). It also provides information on such things as the council’s code of practice and rules of procedures as well as minutes of previous meetings and agenda of the next one.
The website has been featured in one of the issues of Philippine Journalism Reports, which is published by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility. The CCPC is the only citizens-press council in the country to have a website but I hope others will go online as soon as they finish organizing their respective councils. If you’re a member of one and you need help setting it up, drop me a note.