This is a general description of the web site structure.
The web site is built on software called Joomla. The membership database is a Joomla programme called Community Builder. The whole is hosted by Heart Internet. The NABO email system is separate from Joomla and is run by Heart on their mail servers.
The Joomla version is rather old, and we have to make a decision, perhaps next year (2014) whether to upgrade, or do something else. Joomla is controlled though windows menus and the like. It is complex and the big issue is not making changes, but finding the right place to make the changes. I use John Slee for this who designed the package when I am lost. John wrote a tome on this at handover and Simon and I have copies of this.
There are two ways in to Joomla, front and back. Most people will only ever see the front which is the sign on for the normal web site. The Heart internet is a separate access point.
There is a simplified hierarchy into Joomla for access and control. The lowest level is public access, then registered, publisher, editor, administrator and super administrator
Different features can be turned on and off, though menus on Joomla. The access is accumulative, so each level adds more access.
Public can see the public web site only, and are prompted to join if they try and access members areas. member who resign are down graded to public.
Registered is for members, and can see the members areas, new NN and other things we restrict access to. They can also add comments to items on the web site, though in practice few do. They can also access and update their own data.
Publisher is set for regional secs. They can enter articles for the web site, but subject to moderation
Editor is set for Council members, they can enter articles for the web site, but subject to moderation. They can also view the membership lists, which include a new members list, but could show almost anything in the database.
Administrator can do some more bits and they can enter articles for the web site without moderation, and make back access. Richard is at this level
Super administrators can walk on water, make changes to structure, fix errors, sort/reset passwords, block miscreants and are also moderators. Myself, Simon, Melanie and John Slee are at this level though in practice, only I use the powers at the moment, and John helps me from time to time to debug. Melanie only needs this level to manage the membership data base. She has no knowledge to do more.
The calender is a special and is based on google calendar system, which displays the sum of other linked calenders. Anybody can have a g calender and it is a matter of linking this to the master.
The system is really only limited by our imagination, though it is completely e focused and blind to snail mail issues. Any questions or thoughts feel free to suggest/ask