One of the first duties I tackled when I first started volunteering for the Friends of the Conservatory was taking a stab at redesigning our organization’s website. Having served time as a web designer in the heady days of the dot-com ’90s I still had a little HTML up my sleeve and in 2007 launched version 2.3 of our website to the public. While the redesign modernized the look and feel of the initial site, the design remained static with little opportunity for interaction. Changes had to be manually edited and uploaded and which made it difficult to ensure timely publication, and also led to the possibility of stagnant content. As time passed, the redesign of the website showed signs of age. Unfortunately priorities had changed and my 20th century web design knowledge was no longer sufficient to implement the features every contemporary website should have.
In late 2010, my attention was drawn to the Seattle Central Community College Advanced Web Design 210 Class. Each year, students choose from several non-profit organizations and design (or redesign) a website as a class project. We applied for consideration and were chosen as one of the projects for the 2011 summer quarter.
Our capable team consisted of Reed Wacker, Laura Sammons, and Brian Kluck . The process was very straightforward; the team asked about our needs and goals, and where we envisioned the site going. With the Conservatory’s upcoming centennial, we wanted to update our look. We also had a strong desire to allow visitors to interact with the site, integrating social media and blogging. Most importantly, we wanted to allow for varied contributors and editors who will help make the site vibrant.
From static HTML to dynamic WordPress PHP, in just over two months, the redesign was complete. We are still learning the ropes of our new technologies, so please bear with us as we work out a few of the kinks.
We are hoping that version 3.0 of our site will be welcoming, useful and fun to visitors!
Please let us know how you like it!
Anthonio Mighuel Bishop Pettit
President, Friends of the Conservatory