Gloucestershire County Cricket League
The new play-cricket system
Your club's web site - some easy things you can do

The new play-cricket system gives lots of flexibility so people can design their own flashy club web sites. If your club has someone who can do this, fine.

This guide is aimed to a club which hasn't got an administrator who is confident to do all that, and simply wants to use what is there. It contains a few easy things you may want to try.

You don't actually have to do anything! (Except have someone with administration access, which you had to have before play-cricket changed). Your club's web site, as set up for you, has all the functionality you need to get players names in, look up fixtures, results, statistics, enter results and scorecards.

But if you want to get started with a few bits of easy customisation, please read on ...

Why did play-cricket change? The previous system didn't allow any real customisation. It was a fixed display, the same for all clubs, and was aimed only to allow clubs to get players names in, look up fixtures, results, statistics, enter results and scorecards, and some newsletter functionality, plus not much more. So clubs could not make their own individual "look" to the site to make it more attractive and attention grabbing, for example. There were many requests to allow clubs to do such things. Many clubs (and this league) actually did the news and information stuff on a separate website, so were running two websites, one to look good and communicate well with members, the other for results and stats. This can all now be done on the one web site.

This is what your club website looks like if no-one has changed anything:

A nice picture of the Oval cricket ground, a box called the Cricket Directory, a bland and uncustomised welcome message, some links to Facebook and Twitter on the right. The pictue above is a screen shot but if you scroll down further on the actual site, you will see a weather forecast for Lords cricket ground and a scoreboard (labelled Total Cricket Scorer). All of this is there to give you ideas of the sort of thing you can actually put on your club's website if you want. If you don't want it I can show you how to get rid of it easily.

Play-cricket has made a number of very helpful videos and help documents. Notice that the "welcome" message on your web site comes with a message to click on the link shown for assistance. That brings up their first help video. That might be all the help you need. Read no further!

24/3/14. Web site administrator andyr2789 at gmail dot com

OK - if you got this far, you want more help from me.

Notice at the top of your web site a banner (called a navigation bar) with "Home", "About us", etc. This is where your club members, whether logged on to the system or not can see the fixtures and results (click on "Matches") and their stats. The navigation bar also points to other parts of your site that you might be using - e.g. newsletters.

To alter what you see, you need to be a site administrator. Assuming you are that, sign in. The top right of the screen will now show your name. Click on that and the options you can select are "Log Out", "Edit Account", and "Administration". Select the last of these. The Administration screen will appear:

Notice in the list on the left, three from the bottom, there are Help Guides. These bring up many more "how to" videos and other documents. Have a look at these to get more ideas on what to do and how to do it.

Probably the next thing to do is click on "About Us". The page that brings up allows you to enter your club's ground address, club officials names and other good stuff. Some information will already be in there, gathered from what was on your play-cricket web site last year. If you get that up to date, then people browsing your club's web site can see it when they click on the "About Us" tab in the navigation bar.

The list on the left on the Administration pages includes "Teams", "Fixtures", "Results" and "Members". These function more or less in the same way that they did on the old version of play-cricket. You can set up your teams, see and enter fixtures, see and enter results, add names to your list of members, etc.

To change what your front page looks like you need to click on "Site Builder". This is where things are very different from the previous play-cricket, and where most of the snazzy stuff is done. What you will see initially is your Home page:

As you move the cursor round the screen, you will notice elements get highlighted with a border, a black cross at the top centre and a red x at the top left. In the example above, the "Cricket Directory" has this. If you don't want that on your home page, click on the red cross at the top left, and it will disappear. So this is how to get rid of the features of the new play-cricket put in that you don't want, e.g. the Lords weather forecast, the Tweets, the Cricket Directory. You can click on the picture of the Oval cricket ground and remove that. You could remove the navigation bar, but I don't advise that. If you want to retain something, but in a different place, you can use the black cross on it to drag it somewhere else (hold down "left click" when your curser is on the black cross and move your mouse.)

I do suggest you keep the section that says "Please insert your welcome message here". Drag that to where you want it to be. When the cursor is in it, you will see a tiny red triangle at the bottom right. You can drag on that to make the area wider or narrower, longer or shorter on the page. And when you do a left click in this area, an editing box will appear:

Type in there what you want. You can use this for a welcome message, club news, whatever you like. Once you have got the text you want, you must click on "Save widget" at the bottom right (scroll the display down if that doesn't appear).

Click on "Exit builder" (top right) to go back to the Administration page, and on "Exit Admin" to see the results of your work.

This much gets your website starting to look like something you want rather than what play-cricket has set up for you. If you have got this far you may feel confident enough to do more.

To do more, in the first instance please look at the guides that play-cricket has provided. If you mess up and can't work out what to do or the guides leave you puzzled, you can always contact me!

24/3/14. Web site administrator andyr2789 at gmail dot com