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  • Lori Gagen

New website powers Windmill Museum's marketing efforts

As a long-time supporter of local tourism and a past president of Visit Noble County, I have been a champion of efforts to market Noble County's many, extraordinary tourism assets for decades. Among those assets is the Mid-American Windmill Museum in Kendallville. When I ran into a museum volunteer while working on another local website project, I grew pretty exited about the prospects of helping the museum create a new, modern presence on the internet.


Sure enough, just a few weeks after our impromptu meeting, I received a formal request to submit a proposal for a new site for the museum. This project promised an opportunity to fix the display of images, an issue that resulted from upgrading the "old" website to operate with an SSL certificate. I had seen this issue occur on other sites, but did not expect to find that the content of this site was (still) being managed in a challenging and somewhat archaic way - manually, using raw HTML code in the site's file management system.


In 2022, in my opinion, no one should be expected to maintain a website's content without a modern, user-friendly front-end editor. Clearly, the museum's directors understood this and were quick to accept an affordable solution offered by Catchy Creations. Not only would a new website (in this case, using Wix) give a fresh look and feel to prospective visitors, it would also provide countless other updates resulting in an attractive, modern, interactive site for the museum to promote, raise money, and serve visitors.

The museum's website, before the relaunch, was only displaying its images if the user specified https:// in the URL. This indicated the site's SSL Certificate installation did not include necessary changes to the directory path for images. Though this "before" screenshot does not illustrate this issue, just imagine that where you see an image on the web page you would only see this placeholder instead:

The museum was also excited about the prospect of providing a responsive website. The existing site, still operating on the old platform, looked like this on a mobile device:

So let's look at the new website home page:

Visitors will enjoy the ease of viewing the new site on mobile devices:



In addition to improving the site's responsiveness, we also incorporated digital forms. Now, enthusiasts can apply to volunteer, send donations, and become members of the supporting organization safely, electronically, and instantly! (We used Wufoo forms, integrated with the museum's Square account, to accomplish these upgrades.)


Lastly, we recognized an opportunity to offer a more engaging, interactive look at the 52 windmills that make the museum a destination for wind wheel and history enthusiasts. The simple website table looked like this before relaunch:

The new site, using dynamic content (easily managed from a dashboard accessible to designated volunteers at the museum) allows visitors to see (and enlarge) images and even search the database for specific manufacturer models:

Working on this project was truly a privilege and satisfied my desire to support a local non-profit that has done great work to enhance quality of life and boost tourism and our local economy. I hope you'll find their new website easy to use as you plan your next visit!






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