I recently finished building a brand new website for the New York State Outdoor Writers Association. Their old website, which I had built over two years ago, looked OK, but it had some problems.
First, the website was built on a theme that had lost support and, therefore, was not supported by WordPress 3.8. Second, it was not responsive, meaning it was not easily viewed on tablets or smartphones. And finally, we had a sort of hack-job membership side of the site, where all users shared the same password.
As the organization grew and their needs evolved, so did their need for a new website.
The other problem that the organization faced was the need to constantly update all their membership lists by hand. This included the website directory, the email list, and the printed membership directory. With limited staff, this was a non-stop job. There was a lot of room for human error and there was no way to sync the various lists they needed to maintain.
After some discussion at the fall membership meeting in Lake Placid, the Board approved spending on a new membership website that would automate a fair bit of the administrative work. The result is a first-class membership website.
The site is built on the Studiopress news Pro theme. It incorporates s2MemberPro and BuddyPress. Here are some of the user benefits and features to the new site:
- Members pay and renew their dues online with a credit card
- Each member creates a unique username and password that can be easily reset if they forget it
- Members can update their own contact info and profile
- The organization will export the member profiles to create an accurate printed directory
- Member profile images will be used to create the press passes
- Paid member emails are automatically synced with MailChimp, insuring that they have a complete and accurate email list
- The site has a new member-only Membership Directory, Announcements section and Events page
- The new website is current with HTML5 and WordPress 3.8 standards- so it shouldn’t break
- Website has improved navigation and layout
- It’s fully mobile responsive, so it looks good on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices
- There is a higher level of security for our members-only protected content