An update from the 26 website officer: our tech’s gone a little wonky

That’s us, on the left, ready to fall over

Hey there, members and non-members alike. When I took over this role from the inimitable Richard back in January, he issued me a warning: the website is in dire need of an overhaul. And he wasn’t wrong. This trusty window into all things 26, and our companion projects websites, are sitting on incredibly cracked and shaky ground.

How shaky? Well, a recent automatic update to WordPress, the platform we use to build and maintain the website, caused a trickle-down impact that ultimately laid claim to our member directory. If you go onto it now, it’s a whole bunch of gobbledegook (see image below). We don’t know why nor what happened, but the delicate strings that were holding us together have finally snapped.

Our members are more than just numbers!

Over the coming months, we’ll be slowly but surely trying to shore-up our technology. As a non-profit organisation operating on the tiniest of shoestrings, 26 cannot just ditch everything and start afresh with state-of-the-art everything. But we’ll do what we can to make things more stable and more up-to-date for members. We’ve also got on our radar something that can help us to automate reminders for things like membership renewals—it can take us all by surprise to see the annual direct debit being taken without a reminder! (That reminds me: more members = more flexibility in the budget, so do encourage friends, family, workmates, your next-door neighbour, to join us!)

You may see things come and go on this website, and you may sometimes have trouble accessing something you’re use to. If this happens, please email us at admin@26.org.uk and I’ll do my best to figure it out. But please also be patient when the time inevitably comes that I can’t figure it out, and we have to add that thing to the list of things we need to reconsider.

In the meantime, I’ll be switching off the member directory temporarily. To be honest, it’s not particularly well-used by the majority of members, so I’ll be working with our incredibly patient freelance developer to see what else we could do to give our members some external visibility while not expecting them to upload photos and fill in profiles.

Any thoughts, comments, questions, etc, about the technology behind 26, please don’t hesitate to email me at admin@26.org.uk. I can’t promise we can do anything, but it’s good to know what our members need from the 26 shop window.

Thanks,

Lauren McMenemy
26 Website & Membership Officer

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