The Austin Wellness Collaborative (AWC) is a collaboration and community for Health & Wellness Professionals. It was created by Dr. Ashley Maltz, in June of 2017.
Ashley is an old friend of mine who I’ve remained in touch with through Facebook. Around August of 2018, it came to my attention that she was looking for help to create an online directory for the AWC.
At the time I had been freshly back from extensive travels. I spent the better part of two years getting to know better the United States, as well as a little of my birth country, Mexico.
Despite the long work break, Ashley gave me a chance and I started looking into what the best option was to meet her goals.
At the start…
AWC’s original home on the web was on Weebly. Weebly is a fine basic choice for a general site but it has limited customization and extensibility options.
The original site had informational pages and a blog. Those would need to be brought along, along with whatever the Directory would end up being.
1. Research & Analyze
After getting familiar with the current web situation, I became more familiar with what the group operation was and got information about what the desired end goal was.
I briefly thought to code a completely custom solution, perhaps in a framework like CakePHP… but quickly realized that the most sensible solution was to find a suitable plugin for WordPress.
2. Prepare & Test
After setting up a development server. I found a base theme that I could customize to what was wanted (which was to retain as much as possible of the Weebly site). Then I began testing different available Directory plugins.
After evaluating about 12 different solutions, including some premium options that hosted the actual data on their own server. I found a simple one that was close to what we needed, and I could customize the rest of the way.
3. Go Live!
When it was ready, I cloned the system to the live server, then set the domain name server to point austinwellnesscollaborative.org to it’s new home.
4. The Work Continues…
Like any good project, the AWC site & project, is never done. Work continues to this day, and unlike many of my other projects AWC has plenty of new content added every week.
Over the past year, I’ve slowly worked to adjust our graphics and logos. Including vector-izing the main logo, which we only had in raster format before.
Recently I’ve also begun doing more content work for the AWC FB Group, and also creating member feature overlays. Till I get permission to put one here, you can see them on the AWC Instagram Page.
I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to work on a project like this, and to get to know the collaborative itself.