This weekend I finally had a chance to migrate the nortonsoccer.org domain from the old static hosting provider over to Google Sites. And, I am quite pleased with the results. Now, the Norton Amateur Soccer Club is using the full compliment of Google services. And, since they are a registered not for profit organization, Google generously donates all of the services for no charge.
There were a couple of reasons that I wanted to move the website, the most important of which was that I wanted the content to stay more up to date. Previously, changes would have to be submitted to me and I would update the site as soon as I had time. Now, authorized members of the organization can update the website on their own.
The new website now has some great new features. There is now a site search that will allow visitors to quickly search the site to find specific content that they are looking for. There is also an embeded calendar, which functions much better than the previous bullet list of important dates. And, each of the sponsors now has their own page on the site, so the board could add additional information about the sponsors and provide them with greater value for their sponsorship dollars.
The new site did lose a few features, but through Google Analytics I knew that these features were not really being utilised much. One of those missing features is the photo gallary, but this will be coming back online once I set the club up with a Picasa web account.
Along with setting up the new website, I also set up the club to take advantage of Gmail for their domain. Now each of the board members has their own email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org), and when people leave the board the new members should be able to quickly pick up where the last left off.
Finally, I am also quite proud of the logo which I designed. The previous logo, which I also designed, did not work well with the new layout, so I needed a new one. It's a small thing, but considering that I am a technology person and not a graphical designer, I think it turned out quite well.
This was a great project for me, not only did it improve the Norton Amateur Soccer Club's technology, but it also gave me the opportunity to learn more about Google Apps. From my experience setting all of this technology up for NASC, I have come to believe that many small organizations and businesses could greatly benefit from these services. There seems to be a great potential to reduce an organizations technology costs while actually improving the level of service.