Today The Lighthouse launched a new website at www.lighthousesaskatoon.org. It was the first site I have ever outsourced the design for and we hired Chris Enns. We hired Chris for a couple of reasons:
- He came highly recommended
- I liked his design of Lemon Productions. As I was looking at Lemon Productions website, I was thinking to myself, I need a website like this.
- His work on Ranger Lake Bible Camp came highly recommended.
- I follow him on Twitter.
The end result from a design perspective was quite satisfying. Chris took a WordPress theme and pounded it into shape for us, made a lot of changes, and helped me understand the potential that the site could become. That part was a lot of fun.
The not so fun part was writing almost 100 pages of content from scratch. That was my job and it was a bigger job than you can imagine. There was the writing, the editing, the hyperlinking, the changing the site structure so the links all broke, fixing all of the links, finding spelling mistakes along the way, finding photos and video, being harassed for being too long winded, and trying to decide if I should sell my soul and write content that is more SEO friendly (ummm, no). So yeah, it was like writing 100 columns. I am glad it is done and we are happy how the project turned out. Of course the depressing part of it is that everyone else is like, “umm, we have a website?” which makes the process a little depressing but I’ll try not to think about that.
There are a couple of things that I would love to point out.
- Our blog: I imported in the entries from our old blog by hand which was a lot of work. That being said I am glad that no one liked the old blog software and never used it as it would have meant a lot more work if they did.
- A staff directory with pages for each of the executive staff: Each staff page will feature content particular to them and their job responsibilities over the next couple of months.
- The Housing Plus page offers an overview of our housing options. From emergency shelter beds for men and women, the Complex Needs Wing and the The Harbour of Hope.
- With the Affordable Housing tower getting so much attention, there is a page and FAQ dedicated to the project.
- I put together a History of The Lighthouse which has some fun photos and facts from the time that the hotel was The Empire Hotel.
- For those of you who want to be kept up-to-date with what is happening around The Lighthouse, sign up for our email newsletter, RSS, or follow us on Twitter.
Now that the framework is there, look for it to be added to over the next couple of years. We have a lot of content, stories, and information that we want to add. Thanks to Chris Enns for making it happen.