The Mount Vernon Historic Preservation Commission – Website Update

The Mount Vernon Historic Preservation Commission (MVHPC) wanted to update the design and display of their website, and Market Street was eager to help. 

The goal of these updates was to enhance their ability to tell compelling stories about the local community over the passage of time.  We wanted to connect and engage the modern reader with the past.

We felt it was important to have the website accessible to as many people as possible:

  • We used a theme that has a proven commitment to being accessible friendly.
  • We tried our best to use appropriate color contrast and avoid possible color blindness issues.
  • We can translate the entire website via a single button using Google Translate.
  • We integrated an Accessibility Menu with more ways to help a person experience the website.

We integrated social media via a live Facebook feed element at the bottom of every page.  The volunteers at the MVHPC use Facebook to highlight and talk about unique exhibits on the website.  This synergy helps generate user engagement and makes the website the hub of their outreach.

We made sharing content easier with modern and colorful sharing icons automatically placed on each exhibit and article. 

We highlighted their YouTube channel and gave it a more prominent place in the Media navigation menu.

We made it more intuitive to navigate the main menu and created more natural and user-friendly categories.  Each category was enhanced to have a featured image and short description.  

We added a Newsletters and Articles section to highlight current events, normally distributed via their printed newsletter.  The printed newsletter is now easily imported and converted for web browsing.  This section also provides a showcase for longer articles that may encompass numerous individual exhibits.   

The website now has a Table Of Contents (TOC) feature that automatically generates a TOC in any large article.  Each listing in the TOC  hyperlinks to each section heading. 

With the new TOC feature the reader can see a summary of the content at a glance, and can easily navigate to the specific content area that interests them.  Furthermore, the article author doesn’t have to do anything new, they just focus on writing great content.

The new website automatically adds the caption information to the page hero images, allowing the website to give even more context to every page and reducing the need for the author to add text explaining a photo. 

Viewers can select any featured image and see the high resolution version, allowing the viewer to zoom in.  You can almost see the name on the dog’s dish on the front porch of the large two story brick house of one exhibit’s photo.

The website home page embraces modern photography by displaying an attention getting 3-panel hero image that represents each of the three historic districts.

The website uses numerous full-color images while also presenting older black and white photos in an attractive fashion. 

And much more…

Check it out at

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Author:  Scott Cannon

Helping NPOs & businesses for over 30 years as a technology consultant. I now focus on helping people use their website and social media more efficiently and effectively.

I've been told that I'm friendly, helpful and honest to a fault. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't heard it myself.   :-)

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