What is it?

Webify is a web-based platform that helps early-stage nonprofit organizations and youth-driven civic movements create an online presence for their cause in just seconds.

Inspiration

As a founder of a nonprofit herself, one of our team members realized how difficult it was to put together a beautifully designed landing page for the organization, even with only basic information. However, their Twitter profile was well-curated and had photos, logos, and branding already there. Website creation is an obstacle that inhibits progress for many new nonprofits, especially those started by youth. For nonprofits in the grassroots funding stage or youth-driven civic movements, Squarespace and Wordpress are too expensive, with monthly membership fees and clunky superimposed logos. They also require development expertise, and hours of designing and manually inputting basic information. With this experience in mind we were inspired to make website creation easier.

How We Built Webify

We developed our web application using the Python Flask Framework and Jinja2 templating for the back end. For the front end we developed custom templates using Javascript, HTML, and CSS. Additionally, we used the Twitter API and Python to make HTTPS requests so we could access endpoints for the various Twitter timeline attributes such as name, description, location, profile image url, and the text and media in the most recent tweets. We then parsed the JSON data to access the values and use them to instantly generate a visually pleasing landing page.

How Webify Works

After a user goes to the Webify website, they simply have to enter their Twitter handle and choose one of our 4 expertly designed website themes. They are instantly provided with a landing page that has their organization's information and color scheme automatically generated for them. Our platform seamlessly integrates the organization's name, description, location (using the Google Maps API), profile picture, embedded tweets (using the Twitter oEmbed API), and both textual and visual information from the most recent tweets. Users can also easily access the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files attributed to their page, thus allowing them to further customize the results and publish them to the DNS & hosting provider of their choice. Overall Webify takes away a lot of the pressure from youth-driven or early-stage movements that don't have the funds for complex web development.

What’s Next

In the future we hope to include more template options, as well as a feature that automatically generates beautiful templates based on a nonprofit’s available information. Instead of merely delivering the raw code to the users, we will also implement a feature that allows users to easily customize website they receive, regardless of prior programming knowledge. Webify could integrate directly with domain providers like GoDaddy and Namecheap to purchase domains through our platform and publish instantly. Additionally, we will use multiple social media APIs to aggregate information from each platform the nonprofit uses.

Why is this important?

In an increasingly technological world, it is impossible for civic engagement to exist solely offline. Most movements, however, already use Twitter -- so this is the perfect starting point for a landing page.

We hope that Webify helps young people like us make a change and be taken more seriously for the civic work that we do. Thank you for supporting us!

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