I’ve been a member of Portland Velo, a local cycling group and had the opportunity to replace their old site with a new one using a better member management system. I chose to use WordPress as the Content Management System (CMS), as it remains the number one tool for developing web sites in the world, and allows the club volunteers to update their own content and events. The requirements for this web project were:
- More modern look to the layout, colors and styling.
- Show events on the Home page, and make it easy to add new events.
- Separate events for both members and the operations team.
- Member management system to allow new members to join, and existing members to renew, providing automation and reduce manual tasks.
- Responsive layout to support browsing on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.
- Slideshow to showcase photos of group members.
- Contact form to answer questions from group members.
- Migrate membership info from the old system to the new system.
- Viewing the Facebook group feed on the Home page.
- Migrating content from old pages to new pages.
- Accept payments with PayPal.
- Simplify the menu navigation system.
Here’s a comparison of the Home page, before and after:
From a design viewpoint we down-sized the logo to allow more room for content, replaced two adjacent menus with a single menu, replaced three columns with two, and placed the Login in the upper-right corner. The upcoming rides were placed on the home page in the first column, something that members refer to each week. The Facebook feed on the Home page reinforces where the club members go to socialize during the week. In the new site there is a calendar of events, something never featured before.
Prospects can become members by visiting the Join page, and this was customized to use all of the previous fields, plus add new features like automatic renewal every 12 months. Members to the club become WordPress members and we used the Profile Builder plugin from Cozmolabs to add these features. Also from Cozmoslabs was the Paid Member Subscriptions plugin to manage members by automatically sending out email messages when the annual subscription runs out, and handle the payment processing for annual dues. Using Cozmoslabs for both profile building and member subscriptions made the development process go more quickly. I did write some custom Plugin code to import data from the old web site into the new one, saving me from having to manually add all of the member details.
The operations teams can login to WordPress and see how many members renewed recently, and all of the automated email messages sent out:
Event pages have all of the details for cyclists to be prepared:
- Links to the RideWithGPS route for use on a bike computer
- Links to a map, to see the big picture of where they’re going
- Epic Ride Weather – temperature, precipitation, wind direction and elevation profile
Members can view and update their profile information, payment history and membership status:
Portland Velo now has a revamped membership system that automates much of the process of administering a club where an annual membership is collected, plus the process of joining for new members is a quick task, without any manual intervention required. Payments are handled through PayPal, and all automated email messages sent out by the new web site are logged, just in case there are any questions. Volunteers are able to add new Events and alert the membership along with prospects on all of the planned cycling details. There’s more time for riding, and less time required for membership management.