Exciting times at Minnesota Delta Chi! We are very excited to be launching a new and improved website for the upcoming 2015-2016 academic year.
In the Winter of 2014, I was elected to be the Marketing/Public Relations Chair for the fraternity. Now, normally this position is filled by someone who is majoring in strategic communications, marketing, or something of that nature. I, on the other hand, am pursuing a degree in computer science, and instead of spending my time communicating with people and understanding the public climate, I’m usually hunched over my computer researching how to make a database query or how a cache works. Funnily enough, I know little to nothing about what makes good Public Relations.
That was a pretty stupid decision on the part of my chapter, huh? Elect the guy who has no experience in PR.
Fortunately, I had a game plan. For years, we had been hosting our website through ChapterSpot, which gave us very limited ability to change the design and functionality of the site. And since it had been created over 4 years prior, the design definitely needed some updating. Only problem was, who was going to do it? I have the technical skills and design has always been something that has fascinated me. So I decided to give it a go. How hard can designing a website be?
As it turns out, pretty challenging. I began the process last Spring when I met with our executive board about what sort of information should go on the site. After several sessions with them, we discovered that the most important items were recruitment, alumni, Jimmy V, and any events we were going to hold. That’s why if you check out our homepage, you can see a newsletter signup for alumni in the sidebar, a recruitment signup form in the main content area, and an events list and link to donate to Jimmy V in the footer.
The summer was spent building the site. I chose to use WordPress because I think that it provides an excellent interface for people who don’t know how to code. The site is heavily customized though. I’m going to detail some of the work I did, because I think it’s pretty cool and you might find it interesting too!
- I created a custom post database for all of our brothers and a User Interface for adding new brothers to the database. Now, instead of someone having to know HTML to build the page, they simply have to create a new brother; give them a name, photo, graduating year, nickname, and position (if they have one), and voilà! The page automatically updates so the world can see the new brother.
- The site is fully responsive, so it looks great on devices of all sizes. Seriously, check it out on mobile and leave a comment about how it looks! I’d love some feedback. I think you’ll be pleased with how it functions.
- All of the forms on the website automatically send emails to the relevant people within the fraternity. Filling out the recruitment form? You better believe that Recruitment Officer Max Kane is going to be getting an email about it! Submitting a question about the site? Well that’ll come to me, the WebMaster!
I sincerely hope you peruse the site a little bit. We are very excited to have an updated web presence and we hope that the new website is both informative and visually pleasing to you.
Leave a comment with your thoughts! I’d love to hear them. Web design is a continual process and you never know, maybe your thought will be included in my next update.
Until next time friends~
Photo by Cirox (Flickr/Creative Commons)