As you may have noticed, we have been working hard behind the scenes on revamping the website over the past few months. The site is almost ten years old this year and the last revamp was done in 2010. During the past year, there have been many issues affecting the performance of the site, so it was important at this juncture to spend some time ensuring that visitors’ experience of the site was positive and to plan for the future viability of the site.
Some things have remained the same and some things have changed:
- We have stuck with the blog format of the site as this ensures that the site can be updated really easily with new resources and articles and it also helps to structure the site
- We have kept the same logo and the same colour scheme as we really liked these aspects of the site.
- We have more or less kept the same navigation structure so that teachers can find what they are looking for
- We have replaced the Search Bar and relocated it at the end of the Navigation Bar, where you can see the Magnifying Glass
- We have used some striking images on lots of the pages to make the site more visually appealing
- We have changed the look of the homepage to make a good first impression for site visitors
- The new theme should work better on different devices including PCs, Laptops, Tablets and mobile devices
One of the major changes in the site is a move to a paid membership model. As I mentioned before, the site has been totally free to the user for the past ten years. However, many teachers have been unaware that even though it was free to the end user it has never been free to run and, as the popularity of the site increased, so too did the costs associated with keeping the site online. These costs have up to this point been funded from my own pocket, supplemented by some occasional advertising. This funding model has resulted in substantial losses. The monthly and annual costs of running the site have risen to the extent that it has now become unsustainable as a free website.
Visitors to the site will now have to purchase a Membership to have full access to all of the resources on the site. Access to the “Blog” section of the site including book reviews, competitions, Guest Posts, educational articles will still remain free to access. App Reviews will also remain free and there will be a limited number of free resources in a new “Free” section, located in the navigation bar. However, in order to download resources teachers will now have to purchase a site Membership.
To purchase a site membership, simply click on any resource, click on the “Register” button and you will be taken through steps to enter your credit card details. These payments are done securely through the Stripe payments system.
An individual annual membership will now cost €40, a fee which I hope teachers will consider fair, working out at about 77c per week. There is an “Early Bird” offer to purchase a year’s subscription for a reduced fee of €30 until Monday August 21st, after which time the fee will revert to €40.
Teachers signed up to membership by August 21st will be entered into a draw for five free memberships for their second year.
Schools can also purchase a school membership. Details of schools’ memberships will be available in the coming days.
Incidentally, if teachers do not wish to purchase an annual Membership of the site, they can purchase a limited number of individual resources on the new Seomra Ranga Teachers Pay Teachers Store.
Changing the site to a paid membership model at this stage will help to defray the considerable costs associated with running such a successful venture and ensure the future viability of the site. I have sounded out some teachers on the proposed new developments on the site and have been encouraged by their steadfast support for the changes. Their support has been much appreciated.
It is my fervent hope that Seomra Ranga keeps going for many years to come – however, this is contingent on a successful uptake of membership to the site. I already have more than 100 new resources ready to go onto the site over the next while for all of the new members to enjoy.