Note: this is a four-part series which I discuss the first two versions of the website pre-WordPress, the third and fourth versions of the site using WordPress, implementation of the fourth version using WordPress and its intricacies, and lastly how to keep the site alive.
Maintaining the site and keeping content fresh
While we moved houses and unpacked, the tricky part was to keep the content relevant and fresh. The problem with static websites and why they suffer is because content updated infrequently. It can be a time-consuming task being webmaster, but with WordPress, the task of updating the site can be delegated to a team. Instead of having a webmaster as a bottleneck for updating information, contributors can use the self-service interface and update the website themselves.
I love being a webmaster of website that will take little effort to update or add content. WordPress offers that convenience for a small price: the time to learn and familiarize oneself with the software and associated plug-ins.
I am truly satisfied how the final product came out. While the website is one step closer to having a fully functional chapter, it is definitely a start to communicate with members and represent the community. Many thanks go out to the previous webmasters who contributed their efforts on the website. I also want to thank my colleagues who helped with site content with their suggestions and advice–without their availability, this site would be stuck in a black hole.
Is the Future in Social Media?
The next step in moving forward is to promote the Kachina Chapter through our social media channels. What is great about the latest design is that there are social media links at the top of the website which direct visitors and members to view our site on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. I hope that we can use these tools to communicate with current members and recruit new individuals who may be interested in the field of technical communication. So far, this is only the beginning!
Websites take some interesting paths to get to where they are now. In this case, I believe the STC New Mexico Kachina website is at its best since it was originally created. While I understand that different technologies are working together to display the site in its current state, to most people this implementation may seem complicated on the back-end, but it was meant to make updates easier and have greater accessibility on the internet. The point I want to make is, while the current site took a tremendous amount of effort to implement, it is the best version that utilizes previous design cues, color schemes, and content. Now it should be easier to maintain and faster to update and change without having to use a WYSIWYG editor. All that future web masters can do is log into a web interface and update the site with ease.