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Novice webmaster resurrects site with great success

By Brad Unangst, 07/06/15, 10:00AM CDT

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Todd Shropshire breathes life into Norman Optimist Club site by adding graphics, replacing outdated info

Webmaster of the Week: July 6-12

Name:

Todd Shropshire

Site:

Norman Optimist Club

Position:

Vice President/President-elect, webmaster

Background:

Shropshire joined the Norman Optimist Club five years ago after forming a friendship with longtime organization member and current president Russ Lowry. The pair met while coaching their sons' city-sponsored T-ball team and have maintained their partnership ever since, including coaching teams featuring 10-year-old Jackson Shropshire and 9-year-old Jack Lowry in the football and basketball leagues offered by the Oklahoma-based non-profit. Last year 650 children played flag and tackle football in the fall and 475 participated in winter basketball through the organization that has served the community for more than 40 years. Shropshire, who is a territory sales manager for a Dallas-based tile distributor, assumed the role of webmaster two years ago and was also a board member for the club, which is managed completely by unpaid volunteers.

What he does:

Lowry tasked Shropshire with resurrecting the organization's website. Shropshire, who had no experience as a webmaster, said he spent 50 to 60 hours - roughly two hours a day for a month - not only learning how to use the Sport Ngin platform but also breathing life into the site by adding new graphics and replacing outdated information with more relevant content. He continued the transformation by reorganizing the page layout to give announcements and other messages more of a presence to improve the communication between the organization and parents. "With this being a non-profit, we don’t have an administrator or an office manager sitting there to answer the phone," he said. "So people would get upset because there was no way to get information about upcoming leagues." Information is organized under one of seven tabs in the top navigation bar, while a News Slideshow displays the most pertinent bulletins front and center. Below is a easy-to-read list of upcoming events organized by date, and the Facebook element provides visitors with another communication portal. The club's email, Facebook page and Twitter account are near the top right of the page, giving parents convenient messaging options.

Making his mark:

Shropshire regularly reads Sport Ngin's Webmaster of the Week posts looking for ideas he can use to improve the Norman Optimist Club's website. But one of the most significant additions to the redesigned home page was the brainchild of his wife of 24 years, Stephanie. Sitting in a prominent position just beneath a News Slideshow near the top of the page is a Countdown Timer showing how many days, hours, minutes and seconds remain until registration closes. Despite sending out a reminder using an email blast to the 2,200 to 2,300 addresses in the organization's database, the club continues to receive late registrations. "It never fails, we'll get a dozen people a week after registration saying, 'I didn't know,' " Shropshire said.

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