As a proud member of the Mid-Valley Business Network (MVBN) here in Salem, Oregon, it has been our privilege to design, build, and create a website for the group. But now we’ve launched a new plugin that allows its members to display the MVBN member directory on their own websites. MVBN members are always looking for new ways to refer business to one another, so this new plugin for WordPress websites allows each member to showcase the group and its members.
According to the MVBN website:
“We are a group of quality local business professionals in the Salem, Oregon area with the primary goal of helping each other succeed.”
The idea for this new plugin stemmed from Harness Media’s recent work on a fellow member’s website. During the build process, our client expressed her love for the group and requested that we build a special page to display the logo, name and business category of each MVBN member. So when we set out to build Serenity Cleaning‘s website, we wanted to make sure we built something she could be proud of.
But how could we pull this off without having to manually update her page every time we had a change in membership? What if other members wanted this same functionality? How would we manage all of this? We determined that we needed to be able to manage the content on the MVBN website, then distribute it to all requesting websites.
The first step was to stage the content on the MVBN website and prepare it for distribution. We also wanted to build it in a way that non-WordPress websites could utilize the data, with the help of a web designer or developer. Of course, the content would need to dynamically update itself when the members directory was updated to reflect new and exiting members. Check.
The next step was to build a WordPress plugin that members could install on their own website. The plugin would need to be relatively easy to use, yet flexible enough to be implemented regardless of what theme or other design processes had been used when their site was built. Check.
The final step was testing and troubleshooting. We installed the plugin on a test site and ran some tests, fixed some issues, and applied some nice styling. We then installed it on our requesting client’s website and all was good. Check.
By default, the plugin displays the member directory in a grid style, consisting of 3 columns. Future plans include multiple choices of layout style, including a bullet list.
To get the plugin, you’ll have to join Mid-Valley Business Network. 🙂