About The Author

David Grabitske

David Grabitske is the manager of outreach services at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Our website was launched in May 2010. The website took over a year to design and create. Meghan Lannan, student at Minnesota State University Moorhead, created and designed the website for free. I began my position with the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County in January 2010, so I entered during the tail end of the project. I am taking on the role of updating the website frequently with upcoming exhibits/events and archival information.

We decided we needed a new website after we merged our two organizations, Clay County Historical Society and the Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center, into the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County. We wanted to brand our new organization name, and we felt a new website would help establish ourselves. In addition to branding ourselves, we wanted to make the website more user-friendly so visitors knew what was happening at the Hjemkomst Center museum.

We use Adobe® Dreamweaver® for the entire site, as well as Adobe® Flash® for our main page. I had previously taken courses in college on Dreamweaver® but was not too familiar with the program. Meghan showed me the basics of Dreamweaver®, so I was able to make updates to our website.

To track our website, we use Google Analytics®. This helps us know where are visitors are coming from, which page they visit the most and how many new visitors we get daily. This helps us determine what pages we need put more emphasis on.  For instance, one of our most visited pages is our “Events” page, so I make sure that page is updated daily.

The site is designed to be more user-friendly for visitors and includes information on upcoming events and our in-house and traveling exhibits, as well as a partial listing of research materials available in our Archives. Visitors can also find directions to the Hjemkomst Center, contact information and more. We are currently in the process of transferring all of our holdings from our old website to our new website. In addition, we will eventually have a page setup so guests can view and purchase items in the Heritage Gift Shop.

Brianne Carlsrud
Marketing Coordinator
Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County

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