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Kale Will Save the World

June 26, 2012

I have to hand it to the University of Minnesota Press, they do a great job keeping their homepage fresh. It has lots of portlets around the edges, and a big slot in the middle to hold a featured image.  Every few weeks they swap a new image into that slot, and voilà! new homepage. This week’s UMP homepage features kale. Really. It made me both laugh and click (which took me to a page featuring local food writers and their books.) Their first hompage featured rock music (captured in the client blurb on our website), and by the time you read this it will probably be featuring something else. But whatever is featured, you can bet it will be intriguing and will draw you into exploring UMP’s amazing catalog of books.

Kudos to our partners, Might & Main, for a compelling design (it even looks good on mobile devices) that can be refocused with a single image upload.  And kudos to the Plone CMS for making this so easy to implement. We used ContentWellPortlets to provide the bottom porlet slots. The central image goes into the homepage body, and the rest of the content comes from normal Plone text, RSS, and collection portlets. The site is themed using Diazo (via, but the homepage magic is mostly CSS. The various portlets are styled depending on their location (right, left, bottom), plus there is extra CSS for the Twitter and New Releases portlets. This tyling is made possible by the fact that Plone provides CSS identifiers for just about everything on the page.

The result? A homepage that keeps surprising me.

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