Stutz Artists Association

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About the Project

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The Stutz Artists Association president emailed me one day with an urgent request for help. Google was displaying a warning not to visit their website saying it was dangerous to do so. At the time their site had been created and was managed by a volunteer.

I was able to quickly determine the problem. There was a line of malicious code that had been inserted in their home page, which was infecting users with a virus when they visited the page on a Windows machine. Their hosting provider had been hacked and many websites were affected - but the provider had NOT NOTIFIED any of it's users about the problem. Within an hour I had found and fixed the problem in the code, and even contacted Google and others to get them removed from various blacklists. This is frequently how I get involved with a client. Often they have been disappointed in the communication, abilities and/or professionalism of their internet administrator.

After fixing the immediate problem and assessing the general status of their internet presence I was happy to work with their association president, Jerry Points (who is himself very skilled graphic designer), to build a new website.

Part of the reason for going with an HTML site was to cut down on start up costs (as I've mentioned before it's more expensive to hire someone to do a thorough job putting up and filling out a CMS framework than it is to code a standard HTML site). But another consideration was that this allowed for one skilled person, paid by the organization, to have full control over the website. An important issue for all-volunteer organizations in which the leadership changes every year.

The Stutz Artists Association site is a robust site with over 50 pages devoted to individual artist members, and many more pages describing different programs, features and gallery exhibitions the association has held.

Having among its members many skilled graphic designers, the SAA was able to keep the cost of site updates down by providing me with graphics and text ready to code right into the site. I also utilized an embedded Google calendar so the organization could update event listings themselves.

I work directly with the organization's paid marketing and PR consultants within certain budgetary guidelines so the association leadership can focus on other things. The website, from their perspective, runs itself.

Often not for profit entities, eager to save money, think that having a CMS website maintained by a volunteer is the best way to go. I usually caution against this. It DOES work when you have a volunteer skilled in web technology, someone who is in it for the long haul. But often, what I've observed is that an organization will start out with someone doing a good job with their site, but after a while, or after that volunteer position turns over, things go south fast.

Stutz Artists Association website features:

  • Search engine optimization.
  • Several different complementary page designs within the site.
  • Embedded Google calendar allows organization to update their events.
  • Coordination with other paid marketing staff.
  • Monitoring of incoming information requests, and external site linking.
  • CircleWebWorks tech support, ensuring that questions are answered promptly, and the site is constantly updated and monitored for functional efficiency.