Job Description:  Problem Solver

This has been a really crazy week.  WordCamp Atlanta 2019 is right around the corner.  Being a organizer (making sure we have enough volunteers) has been a little stressful for some reason, not sure why I have done this for the past four years.  Probably because it is right around the corner.  One of my responsibility is to get the word out about WordCamp Atlanta.  This week, which is normal for me, I visited four local MeetUps.  Asking for volunteers and fielding questions about WordCamp.  Many has asked about why and how our community is so strong, my feeling is the sacrifice made by several of us.  Having to inform others, that WordCamp is one hundred percent volunteer with no expectations.  However, it is a good outreach for me to my community and allows me to provide good support to several newbies and fellow free lance web designers.

Help Needed

This past Thursday, my phone ranged.  Someone had heard me discussing WordCamp and needed a proposal for a potential web site.  It was a non profit organization.  They had a site up, but it had not been updated in several years (the newest blog post was from 2014).  It was still existing on WordPress 3.7, which I think was back in 2015.  Currently, the WordPress core is 5.01.

After a quick review of the site, what are you looking for?  Grabbing a pen to write down as much information as possible.  Their dream list was a membership site, which would create a directory.  The directory was to be searchable. Members should have the ability to private message each others.  Volunteer form was needed, and should serve as a sales funnel to solicit potential members.  And a donation page was needed. The donation page should allow donors to pay the recovery fee (typically 2.9%), so the organization can receive the full donation.  Also the donation page should send the donor a receipt of the donation, which should include the organization 501c information.

They did remind me that their dream list and reality was on two different roads.  Wondering why, I asked do you not want to have a self sufficient online presence.  Should your website reflect your organization goals and beliefs.  Meet with an astonishing, “Yes”.  

Problem Solver

Because the potential client had request a directory to be tied into the membership platform.  This eliminated many membership plugins, however, I was able to locate a solution.  The solution offer a membership platform, which allowed members to register, log in, log out, and create a portfolio.  The portfolio could be customize to the client’s specifics.

The membership plugin also allow payment from all the leading payment gateways, paypal, stripe and  Once a member signed up and paid (their dues), then they could create a profile.  The profile would have industry, which they worked in and where the member lived.  The member could upload an image, or the organization’s logo would be used as a default.

Wanting to make sure the members stayed engaged, we recommended a forum.  The forum would have topics, which the members could ask for.  We would send out quarterly inquiries to keep a pulse on the membership basis.  Asking questions which the members were seeking answers or help with.

A private message solution was going to be created.  It would allow the administrator to serve as big brother.  The terms and conditions would let the members know that the administrator could view all private message.  Bad or offensive language would result in loss of private messages privilege.  This was a business website and not a dating site.

Volunteer form was created.  The form was attached to a calendar of events.  On each of the pages would be call to action, and each call to action would have A/B Testing.  If you do not know what A/B testing is, then I would recommend you check out my blog post on A/B Testing.  All members, who sent out a request for more information about volunteer efforts, were place in a drip campaign.  We would create three emails to provide more information to the member about the organization, how to join the organization, why it was important for them to join.

Finally, the donation page would be created.  It would allow anonymous donations.  It would provide all donors, the opportunity to pay the recovery fee (the payment gateway fee).  And the donation page would email the donor with a pdf receipt.  If the donor did not receive the pdf receipt, then the administrators email would be provided.  They could email the administrator, and all receipts would be sent within 3 – 5 business days.

Problem solved

Once the potential client received all this information, I was met with a look of astonishment.  They were looking for a basic quote for a membership site.  Not someone, who would be digging into what were the problem area.  And how to solve them problem areas.

My response was unless your web designer is looking to solve your pain points…then you should be budgeting to re design your site in about six months.  We see if they become a client of mine.  Remember you should never just design a web site, you should plan to solve your client’s pain points.

Image courtesy of Emma Dau.


JDS WebDesign is a Web Design and Brand Marketing Agency located in Marietta, Georgia.  We create AWESOME on line presence for Start-ups and Influential People/Organizations.  To learn more about us or how we can help you and your organization, you can contact us.