A New Look for the New Year
About how VCNC.net is evolving. By Stephan Baur, VCNC webmaster.
A year ago, Nancy Colwell created a new layout of our website with a refreshed look and feel on a new web publishing tool (Wix.com). That was no small task and she invested a lot of time and dedication to get it done right. All her effort paid off for me when I took over the webmaster role last February. While not perfect, the new tool worked well in maintaining the website throughout the club year 2015. So I want to say a
BIG THANK YOU, Nancy!
If it wasn't for you taking the initiative and investing a lot of your time into making the important first step, I am not sure if I would have.
With the bulk of the work done by Nancy and after a couple of successfully published updates and additions, I started to get curious what else the tool can do. I played with new page layouts, themes, and explored a large list of complementary software products that are integrated by the website publisher. There were a couple of things I wanted to change: our shared password for the member's only section seemed a bit clumsy and maintaining the membership directory also had it's issues. Then somebody pointed out how difficult it was to navigate the content. After actually reading all our pages myself, I had to agree: the site was lacking a logical flow. So it was definitively time to give the website my own touch. Motivated and eager to get to work on my improvements, something else came up that required a shift in priorities: bugs! The forms program, which came from that list of complementary products out of a sudden stopped working right resulting in issues for VCNC Rescue. Oh no! That hits where it hurts the most: impacting our rescue team's ability to help Vizslas in need! I didn't expect that mission-critical operations was part of the webmaster job. Luckily, Candace and Kay quickly reverted to a simpler process that didn’t need the online form any longer. Pew! Releved from that pressure, and furstrated by unresponsive helpdesks and clueless support staff I decided to recreate VCNC.net again with a new format and without that troublesome forms program.
Here is a summary of what's new:
The front page is a single, simple page displaying a Vizsla themed picture. This picture (or video) will change periodically through the year. I hope to get photo or video contributions by the membership through the year and honor "great shots" on this prominent place on the site.
The top right corner has a login/sign-up link. This is where you create your initial personal account. Provide the email address that you used in the membership form and set your own password. It will automatically create your account and give you access to the "Member's Corner". I hope many of you will do this so that we don't have to maintain that shared password any longer. Later in the year, I will start to verify that only active club members are allowed access.
All online forms are fed by Google and integrated such that other club members can create their own.
The Events section is a standing list that will show the most recent event on top and with a “more…” button to the event’s flyer or own page.
Membership Directory allows to scroll the most up to date spreadsheet and members can send a correction request right from the page. A PDF version can still be downloaded. Also, at the bottom of the page are the membership statisitcs.
A dedicated page for News allows to get updates from a single place.
The Blog section will allow to publish Newsletter-style articles.
Bragzz! You can enter your brags with the online forms in the “Member’s Corner” and it automatically displays on the page in the “VCNC” public section.
Consolidated all content that explained how to “Become a Member”.
Consolidated all content about "The Breed".
Consolidated all content about "Getting a Vizsla".
Responsive design: Browse vcnc.net on your mobile.
Hopefully, you all will find this a useful evolution of VCNC.net. If you have questions, suggestions, or (gentle) complaints, please drop me line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in contributing to VCNC.net, please let me know too. Photo, Video, and blog contributions are needed the most.
With that, I wish you all a healthy, joyful, and successful 2016 and plenty of blissful Vizsla moments.
Find out how you can contribute content.