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.
Version 3: my first WordPress layout
Because I was a new Chapter Council member as Secretary and then Webmaster, I avoided dramatically changing the website. I left the static HTML pages alone and implemented my own WordPress design for the blog and website. It was a start, but not what expected.
I also identified three reasons why we needed to move completely to WordPress for powering our website:
- cleaner layout design
- consistent navigation
- easier to update
The site I designed used custom PHP, HTML, and CSS. It was great for providing the content we needed in one location, but it didn’t have the features or design I truly envisioned. The second issue I had was that the WordPress site was still in the same directory as before (http://stc-nm-kachina.org/main) and it did not replace the static HTML website. My next step was to use what I have learned so far and customize an already-made and free WordPress theme for the Kachina Chapter website.
Version 4: current design, pretty and professional
What I needed was a solution to merge all static HTML pages and all blog posts under one roof and one design.
My criteria for implementing WordPress for all chapter pages was that it had to be
- simple for users to contribute and collaborate,
- easy to integrate with social media sites,
- accessible for a wide variety of audiences and devices,
- powerful for utilizing search engine optimizations,
- and flexible enough to change layout designs and website architecture.
WordPress appeared to satisfy my criterion for the STC New Mexico Kachina Chapter website. I wanted a truly functional and professional looking site that was dynamic and best represented the field of technical communication. The content management system has many features which make it an advanced website for a local STC chapter. Did you know: there is a mobile version or it uses advanced SEO techniques, and offers XML and RSS feeds? You know now.
The old static HTML site did not have those features.