For the past few years I’ve been working with Debbie Frazier at strollerhikes.com, a SF Bay Area group created to encourage parents to get out and hike with their babies and children, to update and improve the 501.3c’s website offerings and processes. I started by automating the groups’ calendar of events – creating an account on Google for a calendar and integrating the calendar and a display of a feed of all events onto the site’s Events page.
The group also wanted a better way to keep track of their event attendance and volunteer hours. Again using the Google account, I quickly set up an automated email to all of the groups’ hike leaders linking to an on-line form that populates a spreadsheet. It is remarkably easy to do this using Google Forms and Apps.
I also added a basic slideshow of pictures pulled from a Picassa web-feed to the main page, focusing on a non-FLASH version to avoid issues for those without FLASH installed or working on their systems.
We also looked at how to better integrate the archive of newsletters, new science and exploration curriculum, and hike locations into the site. We have added a WordPress site to handle the newsletters and curriculum to allow for better filtering and searching of the content. I helped set up the site and then integrate the theme from the existing site with the WordPress site.
I’ve spent the past two summers working with high school interns on various projects for Stroller Hikes. This past summer – 2012 – we worked on moving the entire PHP based site onto WP. We started by setting up the students with their own Amazon EC2 instances and running their own WP installations for testing/debugging. In order to better support our collection of hike descriptions, I created some Custom Types for locations and hikes in our new WP site and created custom templates to display them. I also created a custom template for the front-page of the site to integrate these hikes and locations and events from our Google Calendar. We are almost ready to move the WP site live, with some more work to be done integrating Google Maps into our hikes and locations. I’ll update this post once the new site is live.