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Seeking design suggestions for private member area.

Discussion in 'HTML & Website Design' started by HenryCan, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. #1
    I'm the creator and webmaster of a website for a book discussion club. I built our club website 20 years ago to give people who were thinking about joining our club information that would help them decide if they wanted to try us out. The site has been successful and has informed several dozen people about us that might otherwise not have known of our existence.

    I would like to add some major new functionality to the website that would serve only members of the club. For instance, I would like to have *at least* the following:
    - a place where members can submit and update their contact information so we can easily reach one another
    - a place where we can post pictures of the members with their names so that new people can start to get to know the existing members
    - an area for sharing photos of club social events and, maybe, links to interesting websites or pictures that may be of interest to members

    I expect other ideas will crop up in time for this member area. I won't even rule out a small financial element to the member area, perhaps to pay membership dues if we ever re-establish those. However, a critical element of the members area is that ONLY members should be able to access it. It will contain information that should be kept confidential, like people's phone numbers and email addresses.

    I'm trying to figure out the best way to accomplish this. At the very least, I want some kind of mechanism so that I can make sure that only actual members are getting signin IDs for the member area and I want a mechanism that let's them reset their own passwords if they forget them. It may be useful to have an inactivity timeout as well so that if they stop using the site for, say, a half hour, they get logged out.

    I'm really not sure how best to accomplish all this. I was thinking of building something from scratch but maybe there is something reasonably good that I can get "off the shelf" somewhere. We have a VERY small budget so I'm really hoping to find something free, ideally with source code, so that I can modify it if necessary.

    Or should I try to cobble something together with WordPress, Drupal or other frameworks? Maybe they have components that I could cobble together fairly easily.

    I should mention that I'm using a free hosting site to accomodate our existing website and my initial inclination is to use that for the member area too. However, there is at least a possibility of repurposing my old desktop for this purpose. If I went that way, I think I'd have to install some flavour of Linux on it since I can get that for free.
    Anyway, those are the rough outlines of what I have in mind. I'm going to stop talking now and hope that you can suggest the best way to proceed or at least ask the questions I need to answer to clarify what I want.
    HenryCan, Jun 21, 2017 IP
  2. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    If you used something like BuddyPress with WordPress you'd have a nice social site set up fairly quickly
    sarahk, Jun 21, 2017 IP
  3. HenryCan

    HenryCan Member

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    Thank you for the suggestion, Sarah! (And forgive my delay in responding! I've been fighting some fires....)

    I'll have to look into BuddyPress. I'm not sure my hosting service supports BuddyPress or even WordPress but it sounds like it would be worth a look!
    HenryCan, Jun 26, 2017 IP