21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — When the original 21st Force Support Squadron website launched in 2003, it was awesome, said Warren Schroeder, 21st FSS marketing director.
Seven years later, the website had not gone under any kind of facelift and was quickly falling behind the times. “Technology had advanced to the point where we couldn’t wait much longer to move up to a new platform,” Schroeder said.
Schroeder and Margie Arnold, 21st FSS editor, worked with 720Media, to design the new site using a WordPress platform. 720Media had also designed and maintained the previous website.
“We wanted it to be more than one link after another,” Arnold said.
Schroeder and Arnold told 720Media they wanted an online magazine look and feel, something sleek and sophisticated, Schroeder said.
The new 21st FSS website launched Sept. 30.
The 21st FSS homepage is more visually appealing than the old site. “It has a lot of photos. There are calendars. It’s a lot more user friendly than the old site,” Arnold said. “I just find the homepage really engaging. It’s not static the way the old one was.”
One of the immediate benefits of the new platform, Arnold said, is that she is able to make changes to the webpage herself, rather than paying 720Media to keep the website up-to-date. After a little training, activity managers will also be able to update their own pages and load photo galleries to enhance the information.
“It makes navigating a little more fun and less of a chore,” Schroeder said.
The new platform also gives the team the ability to track how many people visit the website, what pages they visit, and what search words brought them there. “It’s a really accurate tool as opposed to what we had in the past,” Arnold said.
Though not a new feature, the website also has an opt-in email news service.
“It’s not a newsletter but it’s an email announcement or reminder about something you indicated you were interested in,” Arnold said.
There are 28 different areas that visitors can select to receive emails about. Users have the option to opt-out of the service at anytime.
“You can load this (website) up and do whatever you want on it,” Schroeder said. Live chat and online registration and payment for events are just two capabilities that may appear on the website in the future.
“The capacity of the new website is so enormous we would be capable of including information from anyone on base,” Schroeder said. “The more inclusive it is, the more valuable it becomes.”
To see what’s new, visit www.21fss.com.