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The NEW Standard in ASIS Chapter Website Design 

SFASIS Webmaster updates members about the newly designed site

The all new SFASIS.org Web site is a state of the art product. Active server pages and a dynamic database drive this site giving both the chapter officers and you, the member, more control of the website. For the member, you will have the ability to instantly update your profile, add achievements, certifications or recognitions to your public record, and sort thru the membership directory with ease. For chapter officers and committee members a Content Management System control panel and "Chair Tools" driven by the database "backend" allows them to update most parts of the site instantly without having to know HTML or to rely on the Webmaster (who does like to sleep occasionally).

Maybe you noticed that the images change randomly on each page and on each reload of a page? Or that the Certification Spotlight on the homepage is different each time you visit the site? Or perhaps that the all important sponsors have a significantly more prominent placement on each page, with their images and hyperlinks randomly loaded so that all sponsors can get "top billing". New Internet technology and lots of coding make it happen.

This site is designed with the future in mind: a navigation system that is expandable or contractible, depending on Chapter needs; on-line registration for many events, with instant database output to Chapter officers; a career center with job placement listings that is divided into public and member only areas; and an easy to access and easy to use Member Only area.

Way back in 1998 a then non-member, Steve Duell, had a revolutionary idea... a Chapter Website. He started a revolution to which many other chapters joined in by creating their own Chapter websites. Over the years he added many useful features to the SFASIS Website. SFASIS.org became a "household" name in the ASIS circles, becoming the first Chapter Website to receive ASIS International recognition and to be held up as the model for all other Chapters to follow.

In 2004, the SFBA chapter hired my company, Utkaduck Design, to take that website to "the next level". We incorporated many cutting edge techniques and technologies into the new site. During the first version of our website, we discovered that the Internet quickly became a very useful tool for our members because of its 24/7 availability and our ability to keep our website updated with the latest information and useful features. The Chapter volunteers also benefited from the website through the online forms gathering information that helped them with event registrations, online payments, and answering common questions. The Chapter saved money because operating the website has never cost more than what it used to spend on just the monthly printed version of the newsletter. And perhaps most importantly, we proved that Chapters CAN use a website to improve their Chapter's efficiency and effectiveness.

Since then we have added an online election process, a safe and secure credit card processing system, greatly expanded the capabilities of the sponsor display, modified the database and related code to significantly reduce the changes of rogue SQL Injection hack attempts, added a "drop-down" feature on the home page to display urgent messages, and created a process where vendors could sign up and pay for booth spaces at the yearly conference. Other enhancements included coding the site to ensure that only members who paid chapter dues were entitled to event discounts and access to the member only area.

We spent the first 5 months of 2009 planning and designing this new site. We incorporated a variety of design ideas and suggestions that we received in the past couple of years. Though much of the "text" content is the same as it has been for the past 5 years, the way in which it is displayed, updated and archived has changed dramatically. Several of the enhancements in this new site include a full site search feature (which also searches and indexes PDFs, Word docs, etc), all previous HTML based monthly newsletters were converted to PDF, and an improvement in the flow of the member only data - from the way it appears on the member only welcome page to the way that you access the info in the member area. Finally, for enhanced security, all member only area content is secured by SSL.

In the coming months we hope to make this Chapter Website even more popular and useful. Your input is important -whether it be a suggestion for improvement, or the submission of photos to use in our new "What Have I Missed" section of the website.

Alex Dourov
Utkaduck Design
Livermore CA


Also read about Tidewater ASIS Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement

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