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Improve / Modernize Website Themes

Websites look a little awkward and aren't particularly easy to design, so this could be improved.

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    rfh1957 shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    38 comments

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      • Jennifer Marx commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Even when I go to events through macros in the emails I've sent out, when it routes me to the event page, if I press the Back button, it takes me to an event template from 5 years ago. I have no idea how to tell a web developer how to fix this. I have been told that WA is very hard to integrate with my website. I'm afraid of what I will have to go through to change anything...

      • AlexSirota commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Sarah,

        You can use CSS to modify a lot of the Wild Apricot website without changing the underlying template. Do you know how to do that?

        We've changed the profile pages dramatically without theme overrides over at accountantscentral.com

        Check out one of the profiles there:

        http://accountantscentral.com/Sys/PublicProfile/41069757/3917912

        We used CSS to reposition some elements and even introduce some graphics under certain pieces of text. It's a bit cumbersome but it is possible WITHOUT THEME OVERRIDES!

      • AlexSirota commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Sarah,

        You can use CSS to modify a lot of the Wild Apricot website without changing the underlying template. Do you know how to do that?

      • Sarah Weir commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It'd be great to be able to edit the main Wild Apricot function pages. Like deleting the "Forum Subscriptions" information when we're not using Forums, edit the profile page buttons to make the page easier to read etc. I have found that not being able to edit the WA set pages really annoying!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please make it easier for non-web designers to customize, change things and add templates and widgets for easier page creation

      • AlexSirota commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have now had some experience building out equivalent functionality to Wild Apricot in WordPress. We built a membership site for an alumni club using several plugins and I must say the design capabilities in WordPress are superior to Wild Apricot. In most part this is because you are inheriting an existing template that looks good from the start. Is the functionality 100% equivalent? I don't think so, especially in the area of membership management, renewals. The plugin we used Ultimate Membership has some great capabilities that overlap with Wild Apricot but not quite as mature. There are others of course too that probably mirror. It took us 4 major plugins -- Mail Poet for email marketing, Ultimate Member for memberships/directories, WooCommerce for donations+ecommerce, The Event Calendar for event management. We also have Ninja Forms to create sign up forms to collect data through custom forms.

        On the plus site the integration with a single sign on for membership + ecommerce is much superior to Wild Apricot.

        On the minus side the event calendar solution does not have built in ecommerce and you'd need to use a form coordinated with ecommerce to build out custom registration forms.

        In the end, the capabilities are much more flexible in WordPress, but you need to know what you're doing.

        Wild Apricot is a perfect fit for new clubs/associations that don't have extensive design needs and ecommerce.

        WordPress is a perfect fit for those that need a nearly unlimited design capability and ecommerce flexibility.

        Of course with WordPress you own the code and need to maintain it, but there is no monthly increase in cost when you get to 1000 users. You just may need a better host to manage thousands of users at probably max of $50 per month in hosting fees.

        Wild Apricot is really aimed at a special kind of association and club -- one without an internal Marketing/IT department or staff.

      • Kopernicus commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Design vs Functionality should not be a "struggle." Furthermore, both your design and functionality are mediocre at best. The software feels like I am working in Win95

      • Carla Houston commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes I agreed, many templates available when we search in google "Free theme or free website theme" but those themes are uselless, I wasted much time when I was started to begin website making journey, so now finally I found some of the listed website which provides themes according to my criteria , I am sharing with you few of them.

        The top best free templates is:

        https://www.webgen.com/templates
        http://www.wix.com/website/templates
        https://www.weebly.com/themes

        Hope this would be useful for you as well

      • Tabatha commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree this is a must. It really really irritates me how narrow the page is. Especially now a days with everyone having wide screen monitors.

      • Tabatha commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I wish we were able to adjust the background images and colors directly from the template. Allow for it to be more drag/drop/ user friendly. Some pages you have different templates and might want a different background. Or you may want to have your events page look one way and forms another. Right now all changes apply to everything.

      • Tabatha commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree I really need the ability to widen my site. It drives me nuts that it is so narrow.

      • AlexSirota commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        A few observations we've had. Many customers come to us with an existing WordPress website wanting to integrate Wild Apricot into their site. They recognize the limitations of the WA design capabilities out of the box. It's quite interesting too because WordPress plugins and themes have a ton of capability and it is very likely that Wild Apricot like functionality can be assembled with lots of benefits.

        Yet, they don't want to do that or invest in the exploration and testing required. There are just a lot of gaps and unknowns.

        The Wild Apricot current theme functionality is actually quite mature. With theme overrides there appears to be almost a limitless set of capabilities, but there is one thing that really scares me:

        Theme overrides override an existing theme. Once that theme is updated the override is probably totally separate from the underlying theme.

        It would be ideal to build a stock theme built specifically for theme design. Then open a theme library where themes can be put into a marketplace. Some are free. Some are premium. Some start free go to premium. This theme development system in WordPress is one of the primary reasons WordPress has gotten so big -- that and the plugins of course.

        I think Wild Apricot is quite close to that but the marketplace and ecosystem has to be developed with some marketing push from WA. I hope you consider this for a future effort. Your partners can help kick start this process.

        ps. Custom WA theme designs right now cost $5000+ -- this is totally out of the range for investment for most WA customers unless they don't have an existing site and the current designs are not "worthy."

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        YES PLEASE! The themes are so outdated. I am dying to change our website but we simply don't have the budget for a custom design. I LOVE wildapricot and I'd be so grateful for updated themes. Especially some with image options that spread across the entire page.

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