SWIAHU AND THE WEB
For the past six years, it has been my pleasure to serve as webmaster for the Southwest Indiana Health Underwriters website, SWIAHU.ORG.
It is an award winning site that has received tremendous accolades from other NAHU organizations across the country, noted for not only it’s structure but content.
In the past several months we have taken the necessary steps to change the website from a static set of web pages to a more dynamic Content Management System (CMS) utilizing the power of the open source WordPress blogging tool.
For all intents, the new site doesn’t appear to be much different from that of a static site. There’s a Home Page, an About Us Page, a Calendar, a Links Page and Contact Us Page. The differences are all pretty much “under the hood”.
One major difference is that authorized users can directly post articles, events or thoughts directly to the website. This means that rather than contacting the webmaster to make the post, it can be done directly without a third person, speeding the process immensely.
In addition, upon posting to the website, the content of that post is seamlessly shared to our Facebook page, and simultaneously generates an email to all registered members of the website with a digest of that post and a link to its full content. As a result, members don’t have to regularly go to the website to see what’s been recently posted.
Each post made to the website is associated with a Category that tells, in general terms, what the post is about. This makes it possible for a person viewing the website to see all posts in a certain category. If you want to see what posts have been made about CONTINUING EDUCATION browse the right sidebar and find “CATEGORIES”. Click on “CONTINUING EDUCATION” (or any of the CATEGORIES displayed).
There are also additional categories that can be attached to a post called “TAGS” which further define the content of a post. The size of the TAG in the word cloud indicates the relative number of posts with that TAG and clicking on one of them will bring up all POSTS associated with that tag.
We are proud of SWIAHU.org and invite you to become a member. Members of our website will receive emails when new posts are made to the website. Simply locate the “SUBSCRIBE” box on the right sidebar and enter your email address. You will be sent a confirmation email with a link to complete the subscription.
The new format of our website also allows interactivity.
Users of the website who are logged in can leave COMMENTS on a POST or make POSTS themselves.
It is likely you have seen many websites with comments. These comments can add further information to the post, ask for clarification, show support for the post or disagree with it. In order to COMMENT or POST you must be a registered USER.
Any Active SWIAHU Member is automatically authorized to post and leave comments. All they have to do is request User Status from a board member or contact the site’s webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon approval the User will be assigned a Username, Password and the website address to access the blog.
Other users may be authorized by the SWIAHU Board. Requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis and would be authorized based on the content proposed by the applicant. Contact the webmaster for more details.
USERS also have access to an add-on from WordPress called “Press This”. It is a wonderful utility that installs on your browser taskbar. When a registered user of SWIAHU.org (who has this add-on installed) runs across an article or news story online that might be of interest to subscribers to the website, they can click this tab and share the article as a post to the website.
We feel we are in the infancy stage of developing our web presence and encourage you to visit our website at www.SWIAHU.ORG and like us on Facebook, find us, Search “SWIAHU Facebook” in your browser, or Click here
By: John R. Bowen
John Bowen is an independent web developer with 15 years experience in Web Design and implementation with expertise in HTML, MySQL and PHP applications. He can be reached at: email@example.com