Many years ago I wrote a custom management system for Pinelands Hockey Club in order to replace the tedious paper-based member registration system. I chose WordPress as my platform/framework because of my experience with it. It was a successful project and made member management much simpler. Over time, though, some flaws have become apparent.
The system is tightly coupled with WordPress and out of necessity some core WordPress pages were customised, which has complicated the tasks of keeping WordPress up to date and further developing the system. Several key processes rely on the system administrator and some of these require direct database queries be run. Members generally have to log into the system only once a year and I noticed that many had to reset their passwords to do so. Only a single member could be registered using an e-mail address, which is often an issue for families.
I used this project and the learnings from it as the base for my Business Analysis Diploma project (see the document examples on my CV page
), and designed a new system. In 2016 I improved the design and implemented the system. My guiding principles were:
- Capture only the information that is needed. Several fields on the current form have never been used.
- Have a simpler login system. Many users forget their login details, most likely because they're used only once a year.
- Give the club's administrators more insight into the club's membership, particularly at the beginning of a new season.
- Give the club's administrators more control over the site. The current system relies heavily on the website developer/manager configuring the site for a new season and dealing with various issues members have with login, mailing list subscriptions, etc.
- Decouple the management system from the website. This will make it easier to manage both.
- Design the system to be more flexible to and easier to extend from a development perspective.
Some notable features of the new system include:
- The system is fully independent and can run next to a website.
- The club's administrators have full control over the site, with no reliance on the system administrator.
- Password-less login system: users request a login links, which is mailed to them.
- Customisable message templates (for on-site messages and e-mail).
- Multiple members can register using one e-mail address.
- The interface has bene radically changed, and now has a clean and modern feel.
- The system is easy for the developer to configure for different environments/clubs.