LAKEKIT NEWS December 2018

First off, let me thank all of you who have participated in Lakekit over the course of 2018, whether by maintaining an existing website or by creating a new one. And for those of you waiting in the wings, we look forward to bringing you online in 2019! I also appreciate the patience all of you have afforded us as we’ve worked through the transition to managing the system as a program of Wisconsin Lakes, bringing on Northern Graphics as our technical service provider, navigating a change to a new WordPress theme and editor, and all the upgrades and improvements WordPress implemented over the course of the year.

All of us working on this project are very excited about 2019 and are ready to get rolling on it as the calendar flips tonight!

One change that will impact all of you is that we’ve decided to time all annual renewals to the time most new members come onboard – our workshop at the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership Convention. As a result, your 2019 fees are not due until April 15, and will run until April 2020 once paid. In addition, as a thank you for bearing with us while we’ve been largely buried in the “backend” managing the transition, we’re keeping 2019 fees for all 2018 members at the same rate – $50.

More on all things Lakekit, including a user survey, will be coming soon. Formal invoicing for the 2019-20 subscription will be coming soon as well.

In the meantime, thanks so much for being part of Lakekit, We all look forward to working with you in 2019!

Mike Engleson
Executive Director, Wisconsin Lakes

LAKEKIT NEWS June 2018

Welcome to the new Lakekit!

Hello Lakekit users! As you’ve probably heard, Lakekit is now a program of Wisconsin Lakes. We hope to bring more resources, more tools, and more sites on board in the coming years as part of our strategy to help build your organization’s communications capacity and foster better information sharing between lake organizations around the state.

In the coming months you’ll be seeing many different kinds of changes:

  • Cosmetic – For instance, take a look at the new lakekit.net, if you haven’t seen it yet!
  • Technical – Slowly we’ll be migrating all of you to a new WordPress editor, Elementor Pro, a “drag and drop” editor that will allow you to manage more of the content and the look of your site with even less hassles (see the story on Elementor Pro, below)
  • New tools – We plan on developing interactive plugins that you’ll be able to use in your site, such as a “Lake News” news feed that could automatically include news and info from Wisconsin Lakes, your own content, and possibly even content from other Lakekit member sites!

But the biggest goal for Lakekit is that it becomes a true community effort. While we have the strong professional backing of Northern Graphics Operations (NGOps), our aim is to build a community around the network where most problems are solved by the knowledge and experience of other users, and to do so we’ll be building a library of problems and their solutions, offering trainings and volunteer opportunities to those who wish to pitch in with a little extra help, and developing communication vehicles to get information out (for now, I encourage you to check out the Lakekit Talk Facebook group).

The Lakekit program is overseen by a Steering Committee that includes myself, volunteers Larry Bresina (the “Father of Lakekit”!) and Karen Reynolds, and Ken Justiniano from NGOps. Look for these news and info briefs to resume a monthly schedule, and don’t hesitate to contact me or any of us with any questions or comments at any time.

We’re excited to be on board. Talk to you again in July!

Mike Engleson
Executive Director
Wisconsin Lakes

Elementor Pro – Meet the new editor

All new sites are currently being designed using the Elementor Pro WordPress editor and eventually we’ll be asking all member sites to make the conversion. Don’t worry, we’ll provide you with lots of technical assistance and NGOps will handle the actual transition of the site for you as part of your membership. We’re still working out the process for this transition, and don’t plan on pushing anyone to the new system until you’re ready.

But there’s reason to be excited about the transfer! Elementor is a powerful editor that uses a simple drag and drop format and comes with a ton of features. For instance – not happy with your current header? Now you’ll be able to edit it’s look and content right from within Elementor. Buttons, headlines, forms? All are available “widgets” and most everything is doable with knowing how to code!

We’ll be talking more about specific Elementor features in future newsletters, but for now, check it out at https://elementor.com/pro/. (And don’t fret about the pricing – use of Elementor Pro will be included in your membership fee).

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