I serve as Chair of the Technology & committee for the Association which governs my community. Our community has a little over 1200 members of which 800 plus or 2/3rds are non-residents. Many of the non-residents have been members for many years and rarely have an opportunity to visit. This is because they either live out of state, out of country or they inherited the property when the community was little more than a weekend campground.
The Association publishes a newsletter which is mailed between 3 - 4 times a year. While it is appreciated by the majority of our property owners, the Board wanted to provide another vehicle to communicate to all property owners as well as showcase the community for potential buyers.
The only possible option I considered was building a WAPOA web destination. It was the most economical solution which fit the community's need. The Board agreed and I volunteered to donate my time to create a simple website.
The website has gone through many iterations of design. My earlier web design styles have been highly 'artistic' with a LOT of customized graphics. This does not work well for the residents in our community who are mostly accessing the web via dial-up/narrowband connections.
Technology & Feature Highlights
The final iteration leverages a customized wordpress theme. This ended up being a better solution as it will allows someone else (office manager) to keep it updated.
The Trading Post was also a feature that allowed property owners to search for lots for sale as well as browse through an online 'roladex' of small business owners who live in 'The Park'. It has a mySQL backend and a custom search functionality. It basically passes parameters to find matches in the database. This was the first site I played with FormMail?.
The site uses several plug-ins to provide several 'nice to have' features - online forms, a document library, meeting calendar and a real search feature.
UI wise - I learned how to implement reflection on a graphic.
Still to do
- Implement photo gallery | done
- Update to HTML5? & CSS3? to make mobile friendly | done
- Transcribe documentation to create a formal requirements/specification document.
Lots of documentation exists. Posting it is on my to do.