JWHA is excited to announce its new website is now available. The previous website served the association well for some time. But with trends in web design constantly evolving, JWHA recognized the need for a major redesign to continue serving members as well as nonmembers increasingly using the website to find information and topics of interest relating to the history of Community of Christ, early Mormonism, and the history of the many denominations that comprise the Latter Day Saint movement.
A survey distributed by JWHA in 2016 yielded helpful feedback on areas in which JWHA’s website could be improved (PDF). The primary themes expressed were that the website is important to members but needs better content, must be updated more frequently, and should be easier to use.
With this in mind, the association realized more dedicated investment in its website was necessary to ensure JWHA’s online presence matched its reputation as a top source of information about the history of Community of Christ, early Mormonism, and the history of the many denominations that comprise the Latter Day Saint movement. Later in 2016, JWHA reached out to Terry Erisman, an independent specialist in online communication, web design, and web development based in Lawrence, Kansas.
Terry has provided support to JWHA in managing its previous website though the end of 2017. This included assistance in posting regular updates, building a new online membership form, expanding the annual conference content, and correcting any issues as they arose. He also helped JWHA transform its popular newsletter into a new format available online, created a Journal index, and set up an account with MailChimp for email messaging.
This was done with an eye toward having a redesigned website available in early 2018.
The new JWHA.info website has been designed to work better for all visitors, provide a clean, new appearance, and display reliably on all devices.
Improving the visitor’s experience
- The page layout was redesigned to bring the most important content higher onto each page with sidebars to highlight specific content.
- Content was re-organized into five main areas, each available in the top menu bar on every page. This new menu remains along the top of the page, even when scrolling down.
- A search field was added to help visitors quickly find what they are looking for.
- WordPress remains the content management system operating JWHA.info (A CMS is web-based software used to manage a website). However, a new WordPress installation was built and includes a new site template to help webpages load faster.
A new look, with an eye toward mobile devices
- JWHA is an association of people, for people. The new design was created to reinforce this with more images, warm colors, and other elements to present a modern visual look that appears to all audiences.
Text contrast was improved and a new font used to make pages easier to read.
- Today, more than half of all web site visits come from a mobile device. The smaller screens are often held in vertical orientation as opposed to the traditional horizontal orientation on laptops and monitors. Content must download quickly when connected on a phone’s mobile service network. The new JWHA.info addresses these areas.
- The new website has a dynamic menu that responds to the size of the screen. This allows readers to click a “button” with a finger to select a menu item.
- Page content has been streamlined. Long, text-heavy pages are more difficult to navigate on the small screen of a phone. Text has been edited to be more concise and additional pages were created when necessary.
- The JWHA Facebook feed now is embedded on the homepage so visitors without Facebook accounts can now read JWHA posts, too.
- New online forms allow visitors to easily make a donation online. Want to advertise in a JWHA publication? The old PDF form has been replaced with an online form accepting payment by credit card securely online.
- A new event calendar has been added and appears in the sidebar of each page of the website.
While JWHA is excited about its new website, the work does not stop here! The association will continue to make improvements.
Feedback on the new website is greatly appreciated. Please contact JWHA to provide comments, questions, or concerns.