Membership in this community organization is voluntary, so the board of directors focuses on two things: Membership and neighborhood Security. One is related to the other, since the dues collected are primarily used for the security patrol. Because of this, the Website is an important resource. When we received the account in 2012, the site was built in HTML. Because the board had no knowledge of website construction or management, the siteʻs content was out of date. Our job was to provide a way for the organization to self-manage the site, which meant rebuilding it in WordPress. To complicate things, we were handed the account just at the time the domain expired, since no one had been monitoring it. We had our work cut out for us to regain the domain name. During the weeks of waiting, we began to build the WordPress site so that it was ready to go when we had a working domain.
As with many projects, we started with the legacy site content and made a few updates to better tell the story of the community and their mission. Over time weʻve worked with the organization to make the site more robust, including features such as:
- Online dues payments (e-commerce system)
- Information for prospective buyer & real estate agents
- Document repository
- Community links
This public facing website received an update in mid-2018 to provide better usability, a content refresh and better administration capabilities.
We also built a second site with content intended for members only. The entire site is password protected, the password is changed each year, and those who have paid dues receive a new password via email. This gave us the opportunity to greatly expand the members-only content, without having to password protect each page. It also works as an incentive to get people to pay the annual dues. Content that has been included in the member site includes:
- Member Directory (database)
- Pet Directory & Gallery
- Member to Member service listings
- Newsletter Archive
- Statistics of interest to the membership (pulled from the member database)
An Email Marketing program was put in place to simplify mailings. In the past, the board had used personal email accounts to send bulk messages. Because of ISP limitation, the Board President had to send each mailing in 3 or 4 groups of names. He was running the risk of jeopardizing his own email account because of the appearance that he was sending spam! Using Mail Chimp, we have been able to implement a monthly newsletter, and send out timely alerts when there is anything of concern to the residents.
While WIRCA’s demographic are not, in large, interested in social media, we did set up a Facebook page for them. It will be there when they are ready to use it.