The Next Online Chapter

Joe Orozco July 22, 2019 - 10:08pm

For years the Virginia affiliate relied on the WordPress platform to render its website. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the WordPress platform, but we took our cues from the National Office and switched over to Drupal as a way to better integrate with their future web development. Also, we wanted to eventually align ourselves with their branding for consistency.

And, well, let’s face it. The website needed to be updated anyway. Over a time a website will become cluttered, and switching to a new platform helped us clean house.

Here’s what I’d like you to know about the website at the time of this writing:

First, at this stage, we are very much in the midst of an ongoing update. There are pages here in various states of completion. A website is meant to be a living entity, and as such, we are going to grow and evolve as the needs of the affiliate change. Don’t worry, we’re going to evolve with an eye to keeping things tidy.

Second, we are not there with consistent branding. There is a Drupal template we may eventually adopt from the national office, but we will only move to that template when we can be assured of its stability. In the meantime we will publish content that best suits our affiliate’s needs while keeping an eye on other affiliates to watch the general trend of web development across the organization.

Finally, this website overhaul could not have been possible without a team effort. Sarah Patnaude is our communications chair and therefore presides over the website, among other communication platforms. Cathy Schroeder has served, and will continue to serve, as the head webmaster for As the person familiar with Drupal, I am currently the lead on overhauling the website. The short version is that for whatever looks great, thank them. For whatever looks awful, blame me!

And then there’s you. We want your feedback. This is, after all, your website, and while we cannot promise to implement every feature requested, we will do our best to make this as user-friendly as possible. Leave us a comment below or send us a note with your thoughts!

A Word on the Blog

The Vigilant, our former newsletter, will now exist as a blog moving forward. That does not mean we’re eliminating the monthly publication. It just means that evergreen content from previous issues of the newsletter will be reproduced here. It also means that the monthly publication we push out on a monthly basis will be shorter, tighter, easier to follow, and will link to special interest items from right here in the blog. This may please people who previously complained about hosting the newsletter as one giant block of text. You see? Every now and then we actually listen.