Website Refresh

This activity  is being run by Mike Aston, Nick Holloway, Roy Bhakto, Sak Wathansin and Alan Jelley

The initiative was prompted in response to multiple comments as to the low level of attractiveness and usability of the website made over the course of several years. In addition it is becoming clearer that the spectrum of our communication techniques and who uses which mechanism when (and even on which type of device they access  the information) has changed significantly over the last couple of years and clarification is needed to ensure that the website is customised to be attractive and usable for each user / information type… and increasing that it works as well on a smartphone as it does on a laptop.
A key factor in comparing our website to other cycling clubs is that it is becoming apparent that we are a much larger club than many other cycling clubs in terms of the breadth of our involvement in many aspects of cycling (new riders, complex mix of day rides and events, extensive touring programme, off road and on road, Womens group, strong social programme, campaigning / advocacy, historical information, external events, and so on), and the website acts a single focal point for all of those.
A major driver in the changing role of the website is the success of the Bulletin which has meant that it has become the ‘go to’ source of information about what is happening in the club in the short term, and the increasing use of WhatsApp (especially with the WhatsApp Community concept) is/will be the the prime source for immediate announcements and interactive exchanges.
This leaves the Website with a role in communicating information related to more complex interchanges for multiple different user type.
We have gone out and sought ideas of what an improved version of the website should look like. However in spite of many comments being made informally in the past we have had no positive responses or ideas for a different ‘design’.
Mike Aston has done some improvements on other websites  and has suggested those improvements as a framework for an updated version of our website. However in the absence of a ‘design’ to work to and a lack of additional skills to assist him he has put his effort on hold.
So we are probably at the point where there will not be a wholesale restructuring of the look and feel of the website away from its WordPress architecture and any improvements are likely to be on the basis of –
– Incremental ‘polishing and tweaking’ of the look and feel within the basic functions of WordPress
– Ensuring that the website has the right information easily accessible
Improving the Look and Feel

Without the ‘big bang’ of implementing a significant new design the Webmaster has progressed a number of incremental look and feel enhancements

        • The WordPress ‘theme’ which which directs the underlying structure to the website has been changed to a ‘responsive’ version which should in ensuring that the website is usable both on a ‘landscape’ laptop screen and a ‘portrait’ mobile phone screen.
        • The Header section has been given a cleaner appearance …. along with a cleaner ‘header menu’
        • The sidebar has a more compact style to compensate for more information such as our social memeber contacts to be added
        • The sidebar has a warmer colour
        • The in-page text based menus have moved to a more visual icon approach, and these havebeen grouped according to four different usage types
        • To attract new riders the slideshow of what we have to offer them in positioned more prominently on the Home page
These changes are now at the limit of the Webmaster technical capabilities and the website will be stabilised  at this level
Right information easily accessible
We do have huge amounts of information and a wide and complex set of users of that information. In the past we have had a structure based upon arranging and presenting differents sets of information. This can make it difficult to find the information you want  …the intention is now to direct the different types of users to find the data aligned to their needs. The following is how it is intended to align information to the different users.
For our ‘Active’ Members
Rides Schedule (as a backup to the Bulletin information)
Listing of what is happening in the medium to long term – Tour Programme, Social Programme, Advocacy campaigns, etc
Useful Advice and Guidance
Archive Data
Advice and Guidance
How the club works and pointers to where you go to additional information
For Key role holders / teams
Management information repository
Working information for Teams such as Womens group and Ride Leaders
For New New Riders / Members
Portal for New Riders 
….and experienced riders looking for a different club
For the Outside World
Visibility and awareness of the club to the outside world
What we are in relation to Other cycling organisations
External groups we engage with
Our role in Advocacy
For Nostalgic members
Club History
Veteran Voices
Catalogue of key events
Many of the improvements have been implemented on a rolling, incremental basis and the website has been evolving over the course of the last couple of months. This is more of a report on what has been changed rather than what will be done in the future.
FLAG FOR FUTURE COMMITTEE ACTION REQUIRED –  As the website grows in structure and as the look and feel is enhanced by using more advanced customisation it becomes more challenging to support if personnel change (Along with other key roles in the club this remains an issue for the Club Committee to look to have contingency / succession plans for the future)