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Design Department, New Naratif (NN)

Position : WordPress Developer (WPD)

Level : Mid-level (ML)

Working Hours : full-time, 40hrs per week

Salary Offered : US $1,100 per month

Location : Online/Digital within any one of the eleven Southeast Asian countries

Reporting to : Design Manager (DM) – direct line supervisor, with additional reporting to the Managing Director (MD) and Operations Manager (OM). In the absence of DM, the position reports to MD.

Peers : Civic Participation Coordinator, Network & Events Coordinator, and Operations Coordinator, and as identified within the department 

Forms part of : Design Team

Qualifications : As a Southeast Asian candidate (preferred), the WPD must have native-level English ability (spoken and written) and, preferably, fluency in one or more Southeast Asian languages. The WPD should have at least 2-3 years’ proven work experience of working on and with WordPress and associated platforms, front-end technologies including CSS3, JavaScript, HTML5, jQuery, add-ons, debugging tools such as Chrome Inspector and Firebut, linking digital and online payment. A Bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or website design, and the ability to manage projects would be preferred.

Travel Required : Domestically and Internationally as and when necessary and approved by MD

Type of Contract : Annual Contracts issued from April 1st to March 31, (renewable annually, based on performance and funding available).

New Naratif is a creative storytelling studio, community organiser, and think tank, rather than a pure media operation. We publish information, build communities, and empower people to create positive change. Learn more about us newnaratif.com.

New Naratif is fundamentally a community for members to engage with each other, discuss important issues, exchange information, and empower themselves to create democratic change. Our website needs to reflect this. It needs to put people in the frame of mind that we are first and foremost a participatory community. It needs to connect our members to each other to form a shared consciousness and awareness of the problems that confront us across the region, and facilitate the exchanging/brainstorming of solutions that help us all. It needs to be attractive, user-friendly and tailored to the thematic issue we aim to highlight and develop community. 

Your role is to help us develop a website that makes the above possible. We are about to embark on a major revision of our website to enable all the above. As part of this, we are moving away from a hosted platform and will be returning to running our site on our own virtual server. We are looking for a wordpress developer to work with us on this process. Following which, your role would shift towards maintenance and future development. It is envisioned that this will work in two phases:

  1. We will be working with a development agency to revise the website. In this stage, your responsibility will be as an interface between the New Naratif team and the agency. You are the person who both grasps what New Naratif aspires to achieve and what is technically feasible/practical. You will need to understand our needs and wants, and our mission and vision, and help communicate that to the agency. You’ll participate in the scoping of the work, the production and prototyping of wireframes, UI/UX research with our members, and the translating their feedback into the final design of the website. You will monitor the implementation of the design. Following this, we will launch our new website. You’ll oversee the troubleshooting and technical support for this work.
  1. Once the agency is done and the website is handed over to us, you’ll also act as our main developer and interface with our web platform providers. This includes maintaining our wordpress installation and the plugins that underpin our site, including WooCommerce, BuddyBoss, The Events Calendar, and other plugins as necessary. You’ll lead any further development of the site, whether on your own or overseeing the work of an agency. You’ll sit in meetings and help us understand how to translate our needs into practical reality. You’ll periodically survey our members to help us understand how members are using the site and what pain points/problems they have. You’ll handle all troubleshooting with the website. If we need to do significant work and require working again with an outside agency, you will oversee the work.

What you’ll be doing

As the WPD, your focus is to make New Naratif’s website accessible to its diverse audiences. Responsibilities include:

  1. Participate in New Naratif’s meetings as may be required.
  2. Under the supervision of the DM, contribute to the development of an overall website design strategy and implement the areas appropriate to your area of work and expertise.
  3. Meet with cross-department colleagues to discuss website design and functions that needs to be developed, updated, or explored for implementation. 
  4. Supervise any agencies or external partners hired to work on the website.
  5. Work with the server manager to ensure the server remains up and running smoothly.
  6. Design and build the website front-end and maintain the website architecture.
  7. Ensure the security of the website.
  8. Manage the website back-end including database, online payments, and associated server integrations, and if possible, customise it for optimum user experience.
  9. Look after all WordPress themes and plugins.
  10. Conducting website performance tests.
  11. Survey members and translate findings into concrete designs for optimum user experience.
  12. Conducting WordPress training with team members and writing documentation for them to operate day-to-day functions for content uploading and management. 
  13. Monitoring the performance of the live website and troubleshooting all website-related issues.

What you won’t be doing

  • You will not be designing how pages look. The Design Manager is in charge of design, you’ll be in charge of (first stage) ensuring that the agency implements it correctly and (second stage) leading/overseeing implementation of the design.
  • You will not be creating or formulating strategy. Instead, the Design Manager will set the strategy and you’ll help execute it.
  • You will not be working alone. This is a collaborative role with the rest of the design team and cross-departmentally.

What we’re looking for

Strong candidates will have the following capabilities:

  1. Design and Planning. You will engage internally with the key stakeholders, gather their feedback, inputs and concerns on what kind of functional website they would like to see in particular regarding their departmental preferences and as an organisation for audience engagement, and then help make that vision a reality.

What is your experience in design and planning? 

  1. WordPress. You should have in-depth knowledge of front-end wordpress development including implementation of themes, plugins, site integration, and security plugins/protocols to be developed, revised or upgraded from time to time. 

What is your WordPress design, plugin, site integration, and website security experience? 

  1. Content Management. You should have strong content management skills to create attractive, user-friendly websites that meets our needs and specifications and our digital audiences and subscribers’ expectations. 

What is your experience in creating attractive and user-friendly websites? 

  1. Communication & Collaboration. You’ll be working closely within your department and cross-departmentally in gathering information and inputs on website development, giving input into all of New Naratif’s outputs related to website, website development, its management, security and upkeep. In particular, you are going to be the only person with website-related technical skills in the entire team, so you need to be comfortable speaking and working with people who have zero technical knowledge.

What is your experience in engaging and collaborating with other team members or cross-departmentally, particularly those with no technical knowledge and skills? 

  1. Empathy for the marginalised and voiceless of Southeast Asia. New Naratif is first and foremost a platform for the people of Southeast Asia to imagine and then create a better Southeast Asia. You need to love and understand this region and its history, in all its complexity and diversity. You need to be willing to learn, explore, and grow alongside this region. It means you need to look beyond the borders and boundaries which are currently imposed on us. We want your experience of living in a Southeast Asian country, your connectivity to the communities, knowing everyday local experiences, concerns and challenges which reflect in your work and outputs you supervise. 

What does Southeast Asia mean to you?

Application Process

If you’re ready to take on the challenge of building capacity for change in Southeast Asia, please send an email to jobs AT newnaratif.com with your CV, cover letter answering the questions above, and examples of your work. Please provide the names and contact information for two character referees. One should be familiar with your professional work and neither should be related to you.

Shortlisted candidates will have 2 interview rounds. We anticipate the process will last around a month. Following your appointment, you would undergo a three-month trial period, inclusive of one-month review discussion.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, we encourage you to submit an application as soon as possible, as the process may close once we feel a sufficient number of applications are received or a suitable candidate has been found.

More Information

The role is a Mid-level position, meaning that you will be given clearly defined tasks and responsibilities, and will report to the Design Manager as head of your department.

  • You have to be responsible, communicate and collaborate well online and be willing to work from home or your own choice of location as long as you are digitally connected with your team and provide the necessary remote supervision and ensure the work schedule is smooth and uninterrupted. 
  • We collaborate chiefly using WordPress, Google Workspace, Signal, and Trello. 

Benefits include 

  • 28 days of personal leave per year
  • 12 days of public holiday leave per year (which can be taken on any public or religious holiday of your choice), and 
  • 1 session of company-paid mental health therapy per month. 

New Naratif contracts are governed by UK law, on a consultancy basis, and typically are for one year at a time, renewable at the end of every financial year (31 March). 

New Naratif is a not-for-profit, private company, limited by guarantee, registered in the United Kingdom and Malaysia, and headquartered in Kuala Lumpur. 

We are committed to creating an inclusive workplace for all employees regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, or disability. 

We have a strong preference for Southeast Asians who have personal experience of and understand being marginalised and oppressed.


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