After a few years of gradual decline and inactivity followed by a few weeks of clearing up and subsequent rebuilding, I’m proud to reveal the all-new aacnw.com website. Here’s a round up of what’s changed and why it’s changed.
The first thing we did was to migrate to a new hosting provider. I won’t go into detail here, but as an IT professional I was alarmed at some of the things I found behind the scenes when I first logged in to the old website. Apart from anything else, the server software was too out-of-date to allow us to build anything decent. Our new hosting provider is secure and reliable, and provides useful additional features befitting a modern website at a very reasonable price. There will be a very slight increase in cost to the club, but as the total annual cost remains below £100 I felt that this was a reasonable – in fact, essential – trade-off. And as the new provider is based in the north west, we are still supporting the local economy.
As you may have noticed, the website is not a forum. Web forums are a dying breed and apart from a handful of very popular forums that attract enthusiasts from all over the world, club forums are becoming less and less utilised as more and more people prefer to interact on social media. Therefore I made the decision early on that we would not set up a discussion forum on the re-launched website. A forum that has no activity is worse than no forum at all. A website that has frequently updated articles and event information is much more useful to members and more likely to attract new members.
The site has a new look-and-feel that is unique to the club. All of the artwork has been created exclusively for the club, and if you see it anywhere else then it’s been stolen from here! The main club logo has been refreshed, with the new eagle – named Eric – head replacing the rather flat “duck” bonce whilst still retaining the recognisable elements of the original motif. You will see variations on this artwork across our new social media channels as they start to be used more. The colours and fonts used have much in common with the new Rumbles and Roars which will be launching later in the year.
If you haven’t seen it already, check out the new Events calendar. This is the definitive source for all AACNW hosted and affiliated meets and shows.
Joining and Renewing
New and existing members can join and renew via the website, although at the moment it’s still done using the old PayPal links and downloadable paper forms. The next phase of the website will include a complete online joining and renewing service which will accept payments via debit and credit card and PayPal (or bank transfer or cheque if you prefer). And for members who are more comfortable joining and renewing the traditional way, it will still be possible to join and renew in person at the gazebo. And if anyone reading this fancies taking on the post of Membership Secretary, the position is still vacant. The new online service will reduce the administrative burden considerably, so please do consider it if you have a few hours to spare for the club every month.
Finally, there is a whole new section providing general information about the club and committee. You can find it under the About menu. Each committee member has a profile page and contact form, making it easier for members, other clubs, and prospective members to get in touch with the right person.
Any members who are aspiring reporters or writers please get in touch. We are always on the lookout for original articles and news items for both the magazine and the website. Similarly, if you have a story to share but aren’t comfortable doing the writing yourself, please get in touch and we can discuss the best way of getting it published.