Wow, talk about a niche market ready for exploitation.

I was talking a client today, and my first question to her was the first question I try to get most of my clients to answer: "If you don't do this, if you don't spend the money and the time, what's the worst that could happen?"

"The worst that could happen is that I keep getting dumped on by my tech-savvy members who know we can do better. The site is awful." And, to be fair, she's right: it's done with Front Page 1999, and it looks it: Frames, 256-color palette, poor tiling of the background for wide-screen monitors, no content management.

I'm still debating between putting them on Joomla and Wordpress. Or MediaWiki, but I'm not a sadist. While I like Joomla, it's probably more than they need, but Wordpress is less. And learning how to make a Joomla template, like a Wordpress theme or a MediaWiki skin, would be a heck of a saleable asset.

That said, 99.99% of Joomla templates are just re-arrangement of the standard layouts with art, and the art is simple to modify in-line after you've found a freebie that comes close.

I spent the day looking through the various websites of various labor unions and brotherhoods and so forth, and y'know what?  They're all tragic. Not just my client's (and she admits that her site is tragic), but all of them.   This is a niche market just the same way that election websites are a niche market: get the images and the art right, and you could sell themes to just about anyone.  And generally, unions-- at least those not currently pressing a strike-- tend to have some money.

One thing that gets my attention, though, is that a lot of these people keep their sites in-house.  They'd rather run it on their IIS server than trust a third party hosting solution.  Which means that I'd better get used to using the WAMP or XAMPP stacks.