The Central Indiana chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) hired Cardinal Acres Web Development to administer and maintain their website (designed and implemented by a previous company). After a short time, it became very apparent that the website implementation was less than ideal. The implementation leveraged Advanced Custom Fields (not a bad thing as this is a well-respected plugin in the WordPress community) to create quite a byzantine and inscrutable site design, both on the front-end and back-end.

On the front-end, there were numerous references to “join”, “register”, etc. that presented different forms to the site visitor without clarifying their purpose. Cardinal Acres Web Development clarified and condensed these front-end forms into a single “Join NARI” form that included a break-down of the steps involved in becoming a NARI member (the application process involves a single application form for both the national and local chapter).

One of the main functions of the site, listing the businesses of NARI Central Indiana members, was also problematic. The listings could be filtered by category but they weren’t searchable in any way. The forms for defining a business listing also failed to require important business data like address and phone number. This made for unhelpful business listings as the site visitor potentially had no way to contact the business.

The problems continued on the back-end. Installing the Wordfence security plugin to the site resulted in some of the plugin settings being exposed to generic, non-administrator users (fortunately, further security checks prevented any changes being made to Wordfence settings by generic users). The site back-end also leveraged the standard WordPress “dashboard” for user settings. While the WordPress “dashboard” is serviceable for configuring and administering a WordPress installation, it isn’t a particularly user-friendly interface for non-WordPress-savvy users.

Cardinal Acres Web Development proposed a reimplementation of the site with the following updated features:

  • an overall site design that better reflected the style and colors used in the NARI logo
  • an improved and rationalized site structure
  • text search of the front-end business listings in addition to filtering by service category
  • front-end forms for creation/editing of business listings with screenshots to indicate what business data is displayed where on the site front-end
  • front-end forms for all member user settings
  • custom user roles of “Active Member” and “Inactive Member” to streamline member management
  • integration with WooCommerce should NARI Central Indiana want to implement a full-fledged membership site in the future
  • removal of personal email addresses in favor of auto-forwarding addresses using the domain (personal email addresses are no longer published on the website for hackers and scammers to harvest)