18/11/2011: CEGSA Website Upgraded

Friday, November 18, 2011 by Matt Woodward | Taxonomy: , , | No Comments

bbPress - Forum Software by the creators of WordPressI’ve recently revisited the website of an existing client, the Computers in Education Group of South Australia (CEGSA), to incorporate some new features. I thought I’d share these with you all so you to can see some of the benefits of these changes we’ve introduced.

First, the major change for this client was the introduction of “Membership” facilities to their website. This was achieved using a commercial (but extremely reasonable!) WordPress plugin called WP-eMember provided by the team over at Tips & Tricks HQ.

The plugin supports a number of features, but of note for this client it helped realise the following business benefits:

  • The membership registration process is more streamlined by using online registration forms (incl. payment gateway integration out-of-the-box).
  • Administrative overheads have been reduced by using an electronic registration process and centralising the management of members as part of the website.
  • Membership retention rates will be increased by automating renewal notices to members – both proactively as they approach expiry and on expiration of their membership.
  • Web content is monetised by providing “Member-Only” areas and using content teasers to entice new members.

Within a day or two after the implementation of this change, CEGSA had new members registering online; an immediate result allowing the client to build on their great work by utilising the additional revenue brought in by new members! Fantastic!

The second change for this client was this introduction of discussion forums using bbPress. The bbPress 2.0 Plugin for WordPress is a relatively recent port of the previously standalone bbPress discussion platform, but already performs very well. You can have the forums up and running with a few clicks and give your websites an extra tool to help build your online community.

In this instance, the discussion forums were also able to assist with enticing new Memberships. This was achieved by providing anonymous website users with read-only forum privileges.  This meant that website users had to register as a member to contribute, and thus interact, with other CEGSA members in order to benefit from their knowledge & expertise. Reading a forum thread is one thing, being able to join in and ask your own questions is something else all together!

This project was a great example of how to start integrating the concept of conventional association memberships with that of premium online content, features and knowledge-sharing. If this sounds like something you’d like for your website, then get in touch!

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