OpenSpending Community Website Migration - 2015


Why are we doing this

  • Situation: our community site at is powered by wordpress. We do not have a wiki. Other material includes tech docs are at Start - OpenSpending, various google docs in gdrive etc
  • Complication: no wiki-like experience and so not easy for newcomers (or others to contribute). Giving access to wordpress is quite slow, no immediate ability to edit, and even with access somewhat painful to do editing.
  • Question: What setup could we create that would allow for a well structured community site that provides key information and allows people to contribute easily
  • Solution: 2 parts
    • Migrate to a new platform (github pages)
    • Restructure content and flag areas for development and contribution

Why Github Pages

It delivers the best balance of:

  • Ease of deployment and maintenance
  • Ease of editing (can do one click editing and see changes appear)
  • Auditable / moderatable (spam not a problem)
  • Configurability and themability

Options were:

  • Wiki (mediawiki)
  • Pros: standard wiki and quite easy to use
  • Cons: spam is now almost uncontrollable. Sysadmin needed to maintain and relatively complex to configure and hack
  • Wordpress
  • Pros: standard, stable and with a lot of CMS features. Also OK already host this by defalt
  • Cons: not really a wiki and difficult to make it so.
  • Github pages
  • Pros: nice moderation workflow that prevents spam. Reasonable and improving GUI for editing. Halfway between wiki and website so can look quite nice. Reasonably easy to configure and theme.
  • Cons: somewhat geeky/technical for contributors (jekyll, markdown etc)


The New Site Structure

Major sections:

  • / Landing page - gateway to the project from community side
  • /about/ About - incl Governance
  • /events/ - Events and collaboration
  • /get-involved/ Contribute / Get Involved pages - team pages (if we still have teams)
  • Technical
  • Data
  • Content
  • Blog section
  • /help/ Help - Using and contributing to OpenSpending (Guides and Howtos)
  • I want a visualization fast … (should just point to site as UX should be good enough to not need a guide!)
  • Data Wrangler
  • Developer
  • Where does my money go maker
  • /resources/ Resources on Financial Data - guides, research, reports, archives (?)
  • Reports - is this a separate section (?)

Details per section below

Note: we can ignore things that are hard to migrate from wordpress e.g. special embeds etc (and come back to these later).

Landing Page

Can follow current front page pretty closely

  • What is the project
  • Links to key other sections
  • Instructions for newcomers and old-hands

About Pages

Already largely exist. Just need to migrate

Team Pages

Ditto - migrate what we have


Maybe leave stuff on wordpress for time being and move it to (where it was originally). Either way defer this for the time being


This definitely needs sorting out and consolidating from the existing materials. We could do a straight migrate to start with though.


Currently called “Research” - “Guides” may be a bit ambiguous (guides to OpenSpending or to Money).

Maybe we call it something fun like “Guides to the World of Money” (though that won’t work in navbar)

Again, this is a bit of hodgepodge and we probably want to consolidate where we can.

Events and Collaboration

Ditto - can migrate what we have.


We plan to reuse the theme from

About Pages Migrated to

I’m starting to rebuild this here:

Hi Sam - assume this is just for the theme as the main github repo we’re work off is GitHub - openspending/ OpenSpending Community Site - you can just commit directly there if you want …

HI all, I’m excited to be continuing the migration process! Love the theme, @sam.

Hi all, I pulled @sam’s theme into the dotorg repo and started adding content from a wordpress export.

It’s there because I couldn’t find an existing repo (I guess because it is in a different org). Given that there is one, I will probably delete this new one, once migrated.

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Hi all, I’ve done some of the initial migration of the content from the Wordpress site. Please check out the current status ( ) and let me know what you think.

The /resources/ links currently point to the old content as it already exists in the repo so they (with the exception of the EU report) are not yet formatted in accordance with the theme.

Resources is currently a catch-all folder and I’m inclined to distinguish among different types of resources via YAML metadata (e.g. ‘report: true’, ‘archived: true’).

Also, should information about contributing go under both /help/ and /get-involved/?

@danfowler i’m moving all discussion here to the relevant github issue so we centralize in one place: