Cambridge Drawing Society

A simple Plone site that allows non-technical Society members to manage their own portfolios


The Cambridge Drawing Society is one of the oldest drawing societies in the UK, and has about 130 members in and around the Cambridge area.

There are a few professional artists associated with the society, but the majority are pursuing art in an amateur capacity.


Develop an easy to maintain website to showcase the work of the society

The Drawing Society’s website used to be a minimal site that required a single person to upload hand-written HTML files to the server. This meant that the site rarely had new content, and looked very basic and dated, with only a handful of pages.

Many of the Drawing Society’s members had never used a CMS, and first needed to be convinced to move away from the static HTML pages from before. However, once each artist realized that they could each get a mini-portal to advertise their works, they were very excited to use it. Very specific instructions were provided to the artists on how to use the site.


Rich and secure permissions capabilities

Each artist in the Society gets a login, and with appropriate permissions they are allowed to only edit their own section of the website. Different groups (committee, executive team, content helpers) allow the developer to assign access to different parts of the site.  The developer doesn’t worry about users accessing areas that they are not allowed to, or cross site scripting attacks.

Easy use of Bespoke types

A Dexterity content type was used to define the restricted content that artists can add about themselves (their Biographies). Previously the artists had no way of promoting their work through the Society website.

Simplicity of editing content

Most of the users are not particularly proficient in using computers, but about 110 of the 130 members are maintaining their own biographies and content on the site. This take-up-rate has blown the committee away - they never expected that so many of them would like to take advantage of this.

Consistent Styles

The developer has content rules set to automatically notify him by email when members update their biography content and upload images. He uses this to keep an eye on what they are doing, and to maintain standards of English style and quality of images.


  • NGO/Non-profit
  • Arts

Project developed by

Luke Tunmer