If there is a better place to pose this question, please let me know.
I have an almost-client. She's announced she wants to work with me but hasn't returned signed contract yet. Her experience with websites is limited to adding google adsense updates to some old 1990's edition code with table layout and deprecated inline style coding. She's not seen a CMS though she's been advised that for her new project, that is what she must use. Her budget is very limited and a commercial-license version of MT is not an option given the number of "authors" her approach will generate.
Our one phone conversation and emails have identified a site where many people will somehow be motivated to post a story. The phone conversation focused more on what the graphic look of the website should be and the fact that it should be senior-friendly, large print, flexible layout that doesn't get broken if text-size is maximized and definitely friendly to screenreaders such as JAWS.
Today I received an email which outlined the requirements as she sees them. Bear in mind that she doesn't know what a CMS does or how they operate. So I have education to do. My question to myself is can I meet her requirements with MTOS?
Her description of her requirements:
1- People register; names, IP addresses & info kept in db so I can hook up autoresponder & send them messages.
2-To post story, they will read how-to info, then sign a disclaimer, then there will be a box where they can post a story.
3-After entering story, they'll select category from dropdown menu and then stories will go to proper page [category]. Each category needs an unlimited capacity to add pages automatically.
4-Each story post needs to be numbered, and also have username of poster.
5-Each story should be searchable by username or number of post.
6 - People can also browse categories by clicking on various nav buttons.
7- I don't want to moderate all posts but I do want a way that people can flag inappropriate posts so I can check & remove them.
[Violet: So far, so good. It's the next part that has me wondering whether MTOS is the right solution.]
8- Many of the posters will be older and not very web-savvy so just a simple box for them to type their story into, a dropdown menu to select the category and a submit button is all I want.
[end of her requirements]
I've maintained MT 3.3 versions, upgraded them to v4.x, implemented MTOS v4.32 and MT-Professional v4.23 and v4.32. I'm comfortable with tweaking templates, writing my own widgets, and completely redoing the CSS, developing pages and new index templates as needed. I've done a bit of PHP tweaking but not without the manual and some hairpulling.
This project would go a step or two beyond that. I'm sure that for some, this would not represent a problem, but I am wondering several things at this point:
1 - Is MTOS the right tool for the job?
2 - Is there a plugin or a set of plugins that would help me tailor MTOS in a way that would meet the requirements for simplicity when adding a post?
3 - I'd offer to subcontract some of it out but the budget is very limited.
Any words of advice besides dump the client?
Reported on Movable Type 5