Posted July 27

During the next few months, we will be working on a redesign of the FHA website, www.fearringtonfha.com. The original website was created in the 1990s, and it remained a rather simple one until about ten years ago. At that time Jim Brooking, the current volunteer webmaster, was asked to create something more useful. He expanded the site to include a variety of functions requested by the board or by residents. For ten years Jim has devoted his time and energy to enhancing and maintaining the website, installing updates, protecting the site against hackers, and correcting errors.

Understandably, Jim wishes to pass on these responsibilities to someone else. It is unrealistic to expect that we can continue to find volunteers in Fearrington with the skills and the free time necessary to take Jim’s place. For this reason, the FHA board decided to seek professional help from outside the village. After soliciting proposals for a revision of the current site that would be easier to maintain, and hopefully easier to use by residents, we’ve engaged Chatham Fullstack, a website development company in Pittsboro which has helped a number of local non-profits.

We have been working with their lead developer, Sarah Pohlig, to create a site based on the WordPress web management system. WordPress is a widely used system for websites, and is relatively easy to maintain. Sarah has been working closely with Jim Brooking to ensure that the capabilities of the current website can be migrated to a WordPress system.

Over the next several months, we’ll be working with Sarah to make sure that each part of the site functions correctly and is easy to navigate. All of the features offered by the current site will be available, together with a few enhancements. If there is anything you consider missing on the current site, please let us know and we’ll see what might be done about it. Send comments to communications@fhaboard.org, and use “New website suggestion” as the header.

When this process is closer to completion, we will announce a date on which the old site will be replaced by the new one.  The address for the site will be unchanged, and we hope to make the transition as smooth as possible.

We have one other request to make of readers who have some background in website operations, especially if you are familiar with WordPress. We need to recruit a few volunteers who can help maintain the new site. It should not be a difficult or time-consuming task, but there will be regular updates and fixes that need attending to, as well as helping those who create new content for the site. If you are interested, please let us know. Write to communications@fhaboard.org, using “Help with website” as the header.

 Gordon Pitz, communications@fhaboard.org