Quru chose to base the core of the new publishing system around the open source Wagtail content management system. This provided a solid foundation for staff to author their own newsletter articles and submit photographs, and also the basis for a review and editing procedure, with article approval and rejection.
During the development process we made several enhancements to the Wagtail framework, and found and fixed a number of issues. These were all submitted back to the Wagtail project and were accepted for inclusion in subsequent Wagtail releases.
The final newsletter publishing application included a large number of bespoke features. These included:
- A single sign-on system, integrated with the school’s staff directory
- An automatic date list section, integrated with the school’s calendar system
- Cover photo cropping and an automatic table of contents
- A dynamic newsletter preview, with built-in editing and workflow functions
- Customised access permissions for the editor and key staff members
- Newsletters published as HTML web pages and as downloadable PDF documents
- Scheduled email notifications to around 5000 subscribers, across 13 email lists, using the MailChimp API
- Built-in email list management, automatically synchronising with MailChimp
- A searchable archive of previous articles and past newsletters
Producing 4 action-packed newsletters every week, the newsletter editor had to be comfortable using the final solution all day, every day. Feedback since the application launched has included:
“I have to say, I think we’ve done a good job and it has been a real pleasure working with all of you”
“So relieved this went so well, can't thank you enough!”
“The work is excellent and thank you for it”