Wow, what a month September was for the official town website.
Just 18-months after its launch, the site has reached another record with over 14,000 views in a single month.

Improvements and tweaks…
You may have seen a few changes too, but with a successful formula they are fairly minor.
The main one you will notice is that the front page now allows more events and news items to be shown. The next ten events, and the latest ten news items are now always visible, though of course all previous ones can still be seen by using another tweak, the new Quick Links.
This is a direct result of receiving so many items for inclusion, another measure of the site’s popularity in the community.

Your own pages and access…
The site continues to offer space for local organisations to ‘host’ their content (and to have their own domain name and email) while giving them direct access to update and edit themselves, a unique feature in local community sites. The latest to join is the Whitchurch Town Plan.

Better marketing…
An updated ‘logo’ has also been produced that now markets the site better, and it is available to anyone who wishes to link in, by adding a pleasing graphic to their own site. You will start seeing it used in other places too.

Feedback…
A once ‘hidden feature’ has been activated for an experimental period, and visitors can now leave feedback on most of the articles. This allows community involvement in important issues. Just scroll to the bottom of articles to see if the function is available, then add in your comment.

Social networking…
Another minor change which improves communication is an increased use of Facebook and Twitter, and the site also now has a Google+ account, reaching even more viewers.

Having your say…
The site is also fully accountable, with the site team being answerable to the local registered charity, the Whitchurch Association, so all residents can have a say in how it is run. This ‘safety net’ for the community, ensures the site is run professionally and maintains high ethics. The site also fully recognises the support given from the Town Council, Basingstoke & Deane, Hampshire County Council and SEEDA in its original creation.

The team of volunteers…

Of course the website would not be so successful without its contributors, and the small volunteer team running the site could not function without this input. Please send anything along and usually a story can be made. More importantly if you would like to become part of the team that adds to the site please be in touch for a chat, as remember this is YOUR site; it really does belongs to the town – that’s not a soundbite, it is official. You could be the youth reporter, music critic, sports writer – the world is yours… It could even be the stepping stone to a new career!

Sometimes it is hard work, but mostly it is very satisfying, especially when we receive comments like that below:

I truly believe the Official website is the most trusted and valued form of communication for so many of us. The information, news and updates you have supplied to us through the year have been amazingly informative and always accurate.
Thank you so much for your dedication and time.
Julia, Whitchurch FOWPS


We must give one big thank you to everyone who makes this site what it is.
The town’s leading community-owned website.

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