On behalf of the Webteam and the IT Committee I'm pleased to inform you that our new website is now up and running. We've successfully migrated a great deal of content from our old CMS version to the latest and greatest. While there is still some work to be done we are ready to "go public" with our new site. Here are the highlights:
- Responsive - the new site uses a responsive theme which dynamically adjusts based on the device that you are using to view the site with. This should lead to a much nicer experience for our phone and tablet users.
- Support Tickets - in addition to our regular channels of phone calls, emails and faxes we are now offering a handy support ticket system at http://rasc.ca/ticket. The system allows you to include upload pictures of issues or content that you would like added to the website. You will receive an automatic tracking number to help you follow-up and it will help to ensure that issues do not get lost.
- RASC Speaker's Directory - a new service, the RASC Speaker's Directory is a publicly searchable index of qualified RASC members who are willing and able to deliver astronomy talks to people across the country.
- Revised eNews Feature - The RASC eNews feature is back. Our RSS feed is available for you at http://rasc.ca/rasc-enews-feed and you can use it for your personal news feed or publish it on your website.
- New National Calendar - The RASC now offers a national calendar service which can be published on your Centre website and includes information on RASC and astronomy events from across the country. Look for more information on this service in the next few weeks.
- New Member Page - The new member page includes handy quick links for common things like renewing your membership, updating your profile as well as creating your own astronomy blog entries.
During the next few weeks we will be continuing to clean up the site and dealing with issues identified to date. So far over 100 QA issues have been identified by our volunteer contributors and closed by members of the webteam. There are another 50 or so left to clean up - hopefully you won't notice them. Here are the additional initiatives that we will be working on this year:
- Update to secure.rasc.ca - Now that our main website has been given a responsive theme we will be working to revise the secure.rasc.ca site as well as to move towards true single sign-on between the two properties.
- New GA Site - The General Assembly site will be integrated into our overall website at a new URL - events.rasc.ca - later this year.
- New Centre Sites - The Society's new Centre website program will be launched shortly giving participating Centres a full-featured local website with minimal cost, central support and local content.
- New Mailing List and Community Services - Our venerable mailing list software "Mailman" is due for an upgrade or replacement. We'll be looking at these options in the near future including creating more inclusive RASC communities at the national level.
We hope that you enjoy your new experience at rasc.ca and we look forward to your (gentle) feedback. Please use our new support ticket system to let us know if you spot any issues.