The Mount Nittany Conservancy

The Mount Nittany Conservancy, the nonprofit that stewards 800+ acres of beautiful Mount Nittany in Central Pennsylvania, is sporting a fresh look with its web presence after many years. In the past five years I’ve become close friends with Ben Novak, the founder of the Mount Nittany Conservancy, and he more than any other person has imbued an affection and reverence for Mount Nittany and the work of the conservancy. (I spoke with Dr. Novak in 2011 on the nonprofit’s 30th anniversary.) When Vince Verbeke said I could be helpful in launching a new web presence I jumped at the chance. A little about what we’ve done with the new site is below, and the old site remains up if you want to give it a look.

Front End Features

  • Content & Navigation — Every web presence should tell a compelling story. The Conservancy’s story is a compelling one, and with the new look hopefully it’s communicated more clearly.
  • Blog Posts Delivered by E-mail — Not a new feature, but new for the Conservancy. Supporters can now receive blog posts automatically as they’re published thanks to Feedburner’s RSS-driven e-mail feature.
  • Retina/Responsive Design — A future-oriented Retina-resolution and mobile responsive design means the site should look good across many devices for at least a little while.
  • Pinterest — The Conservancy has long promoted Mount Nittany photos taken by people in the community. With Pinterest, we can organize, attribute, and source these photos more simply.

Back End Features

  • Dreamhost for Nonprofits — The Conservancy is benefiting from Dreamhost’s gratis hosting service for nonprofits. Thanks to Dreamhost the Conservancy has eliminated this recurring cost.
  • Google Apps for Nonprofits — For the first time the Conservancy is able to use Google Apps, bringing a full suite of services for future use.
  • WordPress — The Conservancy had been relying on traditional a HTML website, meaning technical knowledge was necessary for every update. WordPress dramatically modernizes the web presence.
  • Analytics — Another first is visitor analytics thanks to WordPress’s Jetpack plugin. It’s good to know where people are coming from and what they’re engaging with when they arrive.