District 25 always had an outstanding website, which can thank Diana Patton our long standing Webmaster for. When Diana and I began the task of building a new improved website, I went and looked at every district in the world’s website. It was then I realized just how much information was on our district’s site. This is a mark of excellence that few of us really appreciate.
There is a dark side of having a ton of information and years of detailed history on your website. That dark side is revealed when you decide you need to move from hardcoded html to a modern WordPress website. You’ve got a lot to move. That is the reason this transition has take about 9 months. We’ve tried to move every single bit of information over to the new site. But if we’ve missed anything, it is still around on the archive of old site.
Why go to all of this trouble? There were some features that were needed to move D25 into the future. Here are some of the highlights.
About a third of the internet runs on WordPress. Think of it as software program than runs on your web server creating the pages everyone sees. Because it does this dynamically, you can do a lot of things very easily. For instance you change the whole look of your website by tweaking a few settings or changing themes. You can improve functionality by added Plug-ins to WordPress that let it do new things. Because it is used by huge companies like BBC America, The New Yorker, and Sony Music, you know it can grow as big as you do.
I was shocked the first time I went to the D25 website and realized I couldn’t just search for what I was looking for. Now we can. It isn’t perfect, but it is there and we can improve it over time. Look for the magnifying glass at the top of every page.
Let’s face it the world is moving to smart phones and websites have to take that into account. The new site is now ‘responsive’ which is a fancy tech/designer word that means it changes its layout in response to the size of the screen it is on. This means if you look at it on your big monitor at work it fills that display with information. If you look at it on your tablet, it gives less information by hiding controls. If you look at it on your phone, it stacks all the information to make it readable on your tiny screen.
This happens seamlessly and we don’t have to do any special formatting when we are creating content.
Everything In One Place
Websites evolve, and over time so has D25. When I first became Public Relations Manager, we had 4 separate Blogger blogs. This was so each member of the trio and the PRM could have somewhere they could post to without needing to go through the Webmaster.
Now all those blogs are part of the main site. Each person can post and edit as needed without having to give another task to the webmaster. This can expand to let anyone write a post and have it put on the site after review.
What is Discovery?
Every good software project needs a code name. Back when we started this, the new Star Trek show was shrouded in mystery, but we knew its name. We used the name as a code name, and for a place on the web to build the new site. Right now, you may get taken to discovery.d25toastmasters.org from time to time, but eventually everything will go to www.d25toastmasters.org.
What to do if you find something broken?
First you should fill out the feedback form telling us where the broken link is at so we can fixe it.
If you really want to go to an old link from the old site, change the URL to the old site from www.d25toastmasters.org to past.d25toastmasters.org. We’ve moved everything from the old site to the sub-domain past.d25toastmasters.org.
That is an introduction to the new site. Go on your own voyage of discovery and look around. If you get lost or can’t find something, use the feedback form to let us know.
2016-2018 Public Relations Manager