This year presented a number of challenges with the website’s WordPress format. There were many difficulties with hacking and with WordPress updates causing features of the site to become incompatible and unable to function. While these problems appear to be resolved at this point, we may want to closely consider using a standard format instead of WordPress if more problems occur. Due to the fact that many different parties design different pieces of a WordPress site, it can be more difficult to have control over the design.
We received a notice from Google in November that the site had been hacked. This is when people get into the web server and insert unauthorized files. This particular hacking does not change the appearance of the site. It is a common form of placing hidden files into a website to increase traffic and revenue to their websites. It took several months to identify the problem and resolve the hacking. At first, Godaddy, our web host, said there was no problem, that it was a mistaken diagnosis. But tools from Google helped me to identify that there were problems, and finally I was able to get someone from Godaddy who understood the problem. Part of the solution was to take down the site and rebuild it to make sure there were no compromised files. I am now adding a feature that will monitor the site for any unauthorized logins and unauthorized files being added.
While most of the site was switched over to WordPress last year, there was a lot of content that still needed to be migrated, including the Spiritual Journeys and Memorial Minutes. These are valuable resources for the Meeting and important to have access. The migrating of all this content has been completed.
While it was my goal for last year to have committees give input for content on the site, I have not accomplished that, yet. I will be reaching out to Clerks of committees and others in the Meeting to find the best way to do this.
Beyond the Meeting website, there has been great online activity with social media, especially by Nikki Loscalzo, announcing activities with the children and the wider community, keeping us more informed. I look forward to the possibilities of connecting the Meeting website with the social media to make these different types of information sources even more accessible.
Despite the challenges, the Meeting website continues to broadcast the wide range of activities in our Meeting community, allows access to easy on-line donations, and supports connections for people both locally and and at a distance.
Tim Mammel, web clerk