Welcome to the new NHLA website! This change modernizes the underlying website technology, provides better support for back-end operations, and allows more scope for future growth. All the major pieces required for operation are in place, but, it is a work in progress, so if you notice anything missing or wrong, or, want to add something, please let us know via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the fresh new interface, the following features have been added or improved:
- Advanced membership management, with auto-renewal, membership levels, and improved back-end functionality for our membership director.
- Better support for financial transactions for memberships and donations, including a familiar shopping-cart metaphor, and on-site credit card acceptance via Stripe.
- Improved content management tools, opening up a path to communicate better and more often with our membership and the public.
- Separation of the website and the bill review system – using the right tool for the job at hand.
What remains to be done?
Apart from fixing the inevitable gaps and bugs, the following still has to be done:
- Some content, especially the “Resources” from the old site, needs to be transferred to the new site.
- Publishing bill text and reviews on the website, sourced from the bill review system.
- It would be great to generate more, interesting content in a steady stream.
- The site “theme” is fairly standard, and it would be great if someone with a better eye for design picked a new off-the-shelf theme and customized it.
- Active management of the “Events” section.
- It would be totally awesome if we can get a volunteer who can oversee website content production and publishing. Editorial control, rather than content production, that includes pushing content to social media channels, etc.
Please reach out to email@example.com if you are willing and able to help.
Why did you pick X?
Given the many choices of platforms and technologies out there, we tried to pick the ones having broad support (i.e. easy to find volunteers to support it), and, covers all, or most of, our requirements. There’s no one right answer of course, and different people will arrive at different answers, but here’s where we landed:
- WordPress for content management. It is the most widely used general publishing platform, with the widest range of plugins and support available. There may be better platforms for pure publishing purposes, but then we’d lose what we need for our other requirements.
- WooCommerce for donations and membership payments. It comes as a plugin to WordPress, and is one of the major e-commerce systems out there. The prime reason for picking WooCommerce above stand-alone competitors is its membership management plugins, but it also is a solid e-commerce system, supports virtual currencies better than most, and, integrates with the WordPress site.
- WooCommerce Memberships + WooCommerce Subscriptions for membership management. An out-of-the-box solution like Shopify or Magento might have been easier, but to get the level of functionality WooCommerce provides would have required major outlays on special plugins.
- Moving bill review to a separate system based on Django/Python: The bill review system is a proper web application now, and building it using a content management system would have added unnecessary overhead and complications.