On October 14, 2015, Michel PONS, acting as CO-LaN Chief Technology Officer, presented (PDF, 165 Kbytes) during the CAPE-OPEN 2015 Annual Meeting about the evolution of the CO-LaN website.
Over the past year, CO-LaN gathered feedback from visitors, mostly representatives of CO-LaN Members, on their evaluation of the CO-LaN website. This website was not changed in structure since its move to TopConcepts as an hosting service back in 2004. At that time it was a move from a Content Management System based website (operated with OpenCMS) to a plain HTML website. But the transfer made in 2004 did not change the structure, lay-out and features developed back in 2001. So understandably, the CO-LaN website looked old-fashioned to many.
Still over more than 10 years of operation, the number of pages grew to several hundreds and without any Content Management System to help anymore in its management.
CO-LaN developed a set of requirements for a new website and issued the requirements to three companies providing services in the development of websites.One requirement was to propose two main entry points to the visitor, one for end-users of process simulation software and one for programmers of process simulation software. Also it was felt that giving easy access to videos would be a significant plus. The pages should be dynamic so that visitors would have a different experience over time.
Two companies in France and one company in Germany were approached and their proposals were evaluated and compared. CO-LaN Management Board chose Génération Internet, located mostly in Nantes, France for their offer based on WordPress. In part the choice was made to opt for a Content Management System (CMS) easily moved from one hosting service to another and not for a proprietary CMS even if its features could have been more applicable to the domain.
After a design phase in interactive mode between Génération Internet and CO-LaN, the design has been implemented by Génération Internet and as of October 2015, more than 300 Posts have been created by CO-LaN using editorial content previously available on the “old” CO-LaN website. While the objective is not to move the entire editorial content of the previous website to the new one run with WordPress, there is still much to move in order to present to visitors a complete experience.
Hosting of the new website to an different hosting service is being investigated in terms of cost and support. The current hosting service provider is among the ones consulted.