I managed to put the new site live this afternoon. The home page shows a breakout box explaining to members that they'll get their ids and passwords shortly and referring them to the walkthrough for more information.
Note that you no longer have to include /wp in addresses of our web pages. If you pass web page addresses on to people please drop the /wp because the link might not work.
Since the last progress report, I've:
- Completed entry of details for all the groups (although, if I didn't get information from the group leader, the description is very basic)
- Worked with Bryan to capture details of all our members to the web site and allocate everyone a user id and password. We have made sure that the web site and the membership database are in sync - and Bryan has a utility to keep the two synchronised over time.
- Added members to groups using the information Bryan has collected. Some of this will be out of date, but it's a better starting point than no membership data at all. I'll be asking group leaders to review and update their lists.
- Added the option to join as an associate member to the 'Join us' page.
- Written an initial version of the 'Start a new group' page and asked Sue to review.
- Added an option to add a breakout box to the home page. I anticipate using this in future to highlight important or urgent items of information.
- Implemented a WordPress utility that notifies Google and Bing automatically of changes we make in the web site. This will ensure searches have the best chance of finding the latest information. The same mechanism also makes it easier for other search engines to find content on our site. We will see the effect of this change over the next few days.
- Tested the new site and fixed some issues. If you have some time, it would be good to see if the site works well for you, too. Please let me know of any problems you find.
Still to do:
- Provide group leaders with their ids and passwords and ask them to review their group pages and membership lists. I plan to send out those emails tomorrow.
- After a few days, I'll send ids and passwords to all the remaining members. They'll have to go out in batches so I don't get classed as a spammer.
- Write an article for the next newsletter.
- Talk to Brenda about publicising the new site in the local press.