Established since January 2009, the society provides a multidisciplinary forum for engineers, scientists and clinicians who are interested in employing new technologies for physical, psychological, cognitive, and social rehabilitation applications. The purpose of the society is to facilitate interaction between the communities interested in the field in order to: promote discussion, facilitate standardization, create opportunities for collaboration, represent the virtual rehabilitation community and provide recognition for excellence.
The 2009 Version
We were initially contacted by the ISVR in 2009, when it was first established, to design and develop their first website (click on image to the right for more details). After our numerous successful projects with the Virtual Rehabilitation Conference Websites we were not surprised when we were selected for this project.
We worked with them to come up with a design they liked and then implemented it into DreamWeaver templates, which would allow committee members without extensive knowledge of HTML and web development to make updates without any possibility of “breaking” the design. Another benefit of using DreamWeaver templates is that they could use the much simpler Adobe Contribute to make the changes, rather than DreamWeaver, which can be intimidating for the inexperienced user.
The ISVR administrative interface was built with the capability to send reminders if a member registered but failed to pay their membership dues. It also allowed the membership chair to activate and de-activate memberships, send out membership renewal requests and more.
Lastly we implemented a mailing list service for them using the open source PHPList software and integrated it with the website.
The 2013 Version
By 2013 the Society had gained popularity and needed to have their website modernized and expanded with extra functionality.
We started by porting the website over to WordPress, while keeping the design, which they like, close to the original. We picked the “Beta” theme for its outstanding looks and built in functionality. As with other WordPress websites it allowed for quick and easy updates and an easy and structured way of posting news items. Posting news regularly is incredibly important as it is one of the few ways of telling that a website is active and making it as easy as possible to do so was monumental.
We updated the Glossary module we had created for ISVR and integrated it into the new site.
The membership application we had developed for them in 2009 was working well but there were commercial solutions out there with tremendous capabilities and exceptional quality and the Society now had the funds to afford them. We chose the MagicMembers membership plugin for WordPress, which provides easily customizable registration forms, online payment handling, reminders, secure members area and content, integrates seamlessly with the Aweber mailing list service and much more.
Since MagicMembers integrates with Aweber it made sense to port the Society’s mailing list from PHPlist, over to Aweber, which while not free, is an exceptional mailing service.
The website’s list of features grew with the addition of online Polling capability using the WP-Polls WordPress plugin and an online discussion forum based on the popular SimplePress plugin.
WordPress initially started as a blogging platform, so it has the ability to let visitors leave comments built in. Nowadays there are automated bots trolling the internet posting spam messages to unsuspecting websites. This is a small but annoying problem, which we solved by integrating the Akismet automatic post moderation system, which has worked beautifully.
In order to prevent any data loss we put a reliable backup solution in place which regularly backs up the website’s file as well as its database.
We used or experience and expertise to wrap all these features into an exceptional final product, which the Society was delighted with.