LaNella Hooper-Williams, of Hooper-Williams Communications, came to me looking for a website solution for her client, New Jersey Healthy Communities Network. They had a unique need: the ability for all of their grantees to upload monthly blog posts to update the community on what they have been doing over the last month to promote healthy and active living.
Working on this site for the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network (NJHCN) was rewarding while challenging. The main goal was to provide grantees a way to upload blog posts to the site.
This presented several challenges we needed to work out. Would this mean grantees would have WordPress Dashboard access? How would they be able to log in? Would the posts be immediately available on the site or would they need to go through a proofing process first?
The solution: giving all grantees one login where they can login and be presented a form outside of the WordPress Dashboard where they can type their blog post, upload their photos, and select the appropriate details relating to their blog (such as their name, their funder, and the community(ies) in which the post was about).
This ability for the grantees to upload their own blog posts (and keep from adding work for NJHCN) was made possible with the power of the Advanced Custom Fields WordPress plugin. This plugin allowed us to create a form grantees could access on the front-end of the site without ever needing to learn WordPress.
I filmed instructional videos for the grantees to show them exactly how they can go through the process of logging in, entering in their blogs, formatting their images, and uploading their posts. They are even given the ability to edit their posts should they see something they need to change after they hit publish.
With 66+ grantees uploading monthly, this would mean there would be hundreds of blog posts on the site. We made sure the site had ways to easily filter through the blog posts based on grantees, funders, strategies, and communities.
In the navigation, visitors can filter through these posts to quickly find the information they need without endless scrolling through hundreds of posts. We also replicated this in the sidebar throughout the site as well (as you can see below).
The bulk of the site is designed around these grantee blogs, so the design was created around the grantee blogs and to stay on brand with their brand new logo. The site keeps with their green and blue color scheme while placing focus on the communities in which they serve by showcasing photos of communities throughout New Jersey.
While the grantee blogs were the primary focus of the website, we didn't want the website to be only about the blogs.
Other pages on the site were designed so that they could communicate different things to different parts of their community, including funders, communities, and those who which to apply for and become a grantee.
All of these pages can be easily updated at any time inside the WordPress dashboard, including opening up applications for grantees when that time comes.
In the sidebar, we still wanted visitors to have easy access to the grantee blogs and to search the site for exactly the information they were looking for.
The design and layout of these pages placed focus on the content in an easy-to-read and easy-to-access fashion.
In the end, the NJHCN has a powerful site that works well to showcase their grantee blogs in a well-designed and on-brand website.