Website Design and Development


The ISC/SCI considers its website, to be fundamental to its operations. On the public side, it’s visited by authors and editors looking for someone to write the index for their books and papers. People who just want to learn more about indexes and indexing practices also come here for information.

Where the website does most of its heavy lifting is as a membership site. Members come here to join the society and to renew their membership. They can also access members-only resources, advertise their services to the public, and keep up to date with the activities of the society and fellow members.

In 2016 the ISC/SCI recognized that the five-year old website was outdated and needed to be replaced. The new website was written and launched in the fall of 2017. When the members convened at the Annual General Meeting in June, 2018, they unanimously declared their delight with the new design and functionality.

Features of the new website includes:

  • Membership registration system with automatic renewal reminders, integration with PayPal, and the ability for members to update their own profiles. The result has been a reduction in the workload of the Membership Secretary (a volunteer position).
  • New Listed Profile (Indexer Locator) system that lets members create and update their own advertising and also add a photo. With the old system, the website administrator (another volunteer) was tasked with inputting listings and photos were not allowed.
  • New conference registration form that allows discount codes and is linked to PayPal.
  • Calendar for regional groups to advertise their upcoming meetings.
  • Blog section on the home page. On the old site, the static home page made adding new announcements onerous and something to be avoided as much as possible. Now blog posts are added weekly or more. Members are feeling more engaged with the society.
  • Revamped architecture and page design makes it easier than ever to find content among the 56 pages and hundreds of uploaded documents.
  • Bilingual support—viewers can switch between English and French with one click.
  • Responsive design displays the website beautifully across all devices.

When clients invest in a new website, their fundamental consideration is the bottom line. What they really want to know is “Will it grow my revenue?

The ISC/SCI depends almost entirely on membership fees to stay afloat. They were delighted to report at the June 2018 AGM that after years of no change and occasionally decline, the number of members increased by 8% from June of the previous year.

I am amazed at what [JoAnne] is accomplishing with the website (Stephen Ullstrom, indexer)

[JoAnne showed] neurosurgeon-like skills in painstakingly examining every area of our website (Margaret de Boer, President, Indexing Society of Canada)

Development and Migration Steps

  1. Created an inventory of content on the existing website
  2. Developed a new site architecture
  3. Built and tested the new website
  4. Rewrote old web pages and wrote new ones
  5. Developed a script to link the hundreds of documents (newsletters, minutes, reports) into the new pages
  6. Created a manual documenting the website, its functions, and operations. The manual is directed at the website administrator, membership secretary, and future web developers
  7. A month before before launch, created a 7-minute video introducing the new website and showing what members will do to log in for the first time
  8. On launch day, migrated the existing membership records to the new registration system and put the new website into production.
  9. Executed the script to link all the uploaded documents to the appropriate new pages.

Thank you for your work on the Indexer Locator! I like this system. I published mine, then compared it against the others and revised it. It is easy to revise! (Judi Gibbs)

I enjoyed your excellent video preview of the new website. Thanks for taking the trouble to put that together for us, and for sending detailed instructions for logging in to the new site. (Jean Lawrence)