El Cortez Heights Redesign

This week simpledream web studio launched another standards-based web project: El Cortez Heights Neighborhood Association website. The group, ECHNA for short, is located in Tucson, Arizona. If you can’t wait to see it, then just visit site! If you want to know the why and how of the redesign, keep reading.

Why redesign?

To allow for greater control over the background technology and to streamline content production for the community-based website. The website had outgrown the previous setup and was ready to for change.

How was this accomplished?

By making a few big changes to the hosting, file management, and domain name as well as several smaller, much-needed changes to the visual design.

Here are the big changes:

  • Move to new host, Dreamhost. ECHNA was very tired of the Geocities ads that cluttered up the sidebar and the source code.
  • New domain name now: elcortezheights.org. Easier to remember and tell people.
  • The move to WordPress for site management allows a lot more control over the production and behind-the-scenes programming now. This is a huge improvement for site maintenance, stat monitoring, error pages, etc.

Now for some small changes:

  • Some basic improvements to the site were made, including ease of use and navigation. We tried to leave the look and feel the same, but update the design to be more professional and engaging. Still very simple and easy to use, though, and not complicated for someone to get around and find interesting and useful content.
  • Graphic elements were polished and updated.

You can view the old site (which is still up) for comparison. Also, compare it with a view of the original design from 2002. Needless to say, ECHNA has come a long way.

Published by

Lance Willett

My name is Lance, I am a blogger, product manager, software developer, and business executive creating high-quality, engaging, and customer-centered experiences for people online. México-born.

2 thoughts on “El Cortez Heights Redesign”

  1. Nice job man. Your neighbors are really lucky to have this.

    My only thought is to ask why you don’t add some community communication features — like a forum or at least comments? Seems to me that the people involved would do well to publically and hopefully civilly work on things together. Of course I’m an eternal optimist.

    Anyway. Congrats again! Keep ’em rolling.


  2. Thanks AJ, it is certainly nice to also get the backend into PHP and make it easier to update.

    Great idea on the community features! I will probably bring that up in our next meeting and see if anyone has ideas for what would be useful or needed so folks can communicate and share ideas/concerns.

    What do you think? Have just comments for each news item?


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