I have been a web design and online communications professional with non-profit organizations for over 12 years. My experience as a developer on staff and as an external user drives me to insure that my clients’ sites reflect their immediate needs and their capacity to adopt a new communications tool easily.
My speciality is the WordPress content management system. In developing dozens of sites, both personal and for clients, I have found it the most flexible, best supported and most intuitive for general users. The learning curve is very minimal – clients can begin adding basic content almost immediately and, as needed, can learn more advanced tools by building on their new skills. Anyone who has written an email or a Microsoft Word document can pick up WordPress in a matter of minutes.
Recent clients who use the WordPress platform include:
- Shining Stars Montessori Academy, PCS
- Karlo Marcelo
- Montpelier Community Association
- International Court of Justice Jurisdiction Project
- My Brother’s Keeper Transitional Living Services, Inc.
- Global Memo
(I also have experience working with the Drupal content management system as both a content provider with Citizens for Global Solutions and in overseeing the redesign and development of InterAction’s website. The robustness of a Drupal site, however, is off set by the significant learning curve that most non-technical staff experience in using it. In almost all cases, I recommend WordPress over Drupal.)
A website does not exist in a vacuum, however, and I often work with clients to help him identify unforeseen obstacles to successful outreach. With some clients, this involves developing a complimentary social media strategy. Other request assistance in securing a new domain name and/or hosting provider. These additional services can better position a client’s name recognition and improve outreach.
Those clients who adopt a new domain often also take the opportunity to update their email addresses and tools. many are familiar but unsatisfied with Microsoft Outlook or a previous webmail client. There is, of course, the usual trepidation at migrating to another tool. To ease this concern, I recommend a client consider Google Apps; many clients are familiar with Gmail, and others find it easily adopted. Google Apps provides a Gmail-like interface with the ability to send and receive email using the client’s custom domain name. In addition to almost unlimited email accounts and space, a Google Apps account for a nonprofit provided clients with a shared internal calendar, a shared document library and definable user groups for staff.
As we approach the launch of a new website, I meet with those staff who will be the primary content providers and provide a comprehensive training with a printed guide. As requested, we conduct a beta testing session with a client’s staff and other stakeholders to ensure the client’s expectations for the site’s use match reality.
Following the site’s roll-out and adoption, I work with staff to provide ongoing support through a maintenance agreement custom designed to their needs.