SwingColumbus, a local not-for-profit social swing dancing community, had a Joomla website that was just complex enough that no one wanted to update it. As a member of the community who first joined because of the website, I was happy to volunteer. Eventually, the SwingColumbus board wanted the website updated to be responsive (many of their members check event details on their phones), and moved from a .com domain to a .org to reflect the organization’s motivation. WordPress was chosen as the new websites content management system for ease of use in the case I no longer am the webmaster.
The Solution (2014)
The majority of the SwingColumbus website content consisted of event details, calendar, general information about swing dancing, the volunteer board and instructors, and calls to action. I chose the Attitude theme for its modularity, and clean, responsive design. I also found a series of plugins to help showcase special event announcements which can be written once in a blog post and disseminated throughout the website, and an events calendar which pulls in the organization’s Google Calendar. I studied their Google Analytics to determine which pages were used. Based on this data, we consolidated content and bubbled up important calls to action such as member registration.
With additional investigation, we realized our top navigation would benefit from additional tweaking. We switched to OnePress, a parallax theme, and bubbled up the pages that answer the primary questions our volunteer staff receives. My photography business provided the photos for this version of the website.
The final website required CSS style updates to match the SwingColumbus branding, and I continue to create graphics for each event announcement. The responsive design was a little buggy the first pass, so I had to tweak the code so it worked on each device held by individual board members. I reported to three board members throughout the process as we converted the website until we reached a design that highlighted the intent of the organization, emphasized upcoming events, and provided summary information about weekly and quarterly events.
A couple tweaks to the WordPress code so their login page was branded, and voila! A clarified design meant to entice swing dancers from around the region.
Front end development, visual design, technical support.
Team (August 2013 – 2014)
Binaebi Akah (ux and dev), Mark Calkins (content management), Shannon Varner (content management), Gail Clendenin (content management).
Attitude Portfolio theme, WordPress, MySQL Database