First, a huge thank you goes out to Steve Windom who maintained and hosted the troop’s website for the past several years! Steve did a great job and has always been an awesome contributor to many aspects of the troop’s success. The website was just one of them.
Steve has now passed on the duties of web to me, Swanie.
Like Steve, I’m pretty handy with the web stuff and decided to make several changes:
First, Steve had always hosted the website on his own personal resources. So, we’ve changed that. This website is now hosted and will soon be registered on a generic hosting account at DreamHost. The nice thing about DreamHost is they offer free web hosting for non-profit organizations. So, we’re currently applying for that status. So, this website should now costs no individual or the troop anything.
Second, Steve built the previous site on Joomla. I’m not as versed at Joomla as he is, so I have rebuilt the site on WordPress which, like Joomla, is a free content management system – again, costing no one or the troop any money. Amazing, huh? This stuff used to be quite time consuming and costly to build. Now its super fast and free. And it works really well. And it’s easy to use.
Next, as you’ll notice, the site is now pretty much just one page with a blog of news and events and all the information on the sidebar. The aim here is to try to make it easier to ‘put’ and ‘get’ information for the troop. At the same time, it has useful information for new visitors.
At the time I’m writing this blog post, I still have more features to add, but out of the gate you will now be able to do following:
- subscribe by email to get alerts anytime something new is posted to the website … you can opt out anytime.
- multiple people will be granted authorship status and can post information to the blog using several methods … 1.) login to the website itself and write a blog post, 2.) send an email to a ‘secret’ email address, and 3.) use the free WordPress mobile app.
- people can write comments which everyone else can see … this eliminates reply to all email chains that drive us all nuts. This records conversations and anyone can add a comment at any time. You can even choose to receive an email alert anytime anyone else comments.
- Send the troop leaders an email using a contact form
- Download forms (in .pdf format)
More information about an events calendar is coming. I have some research to do on that, but will try to get a nice calendar feature up as soon as I can.