Below is a full list of work examples by CMS.
Because the Association for the Accreditation of human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) website (www.aahrpp.org) has long been a critical component in communicating information to their clients, AAHRPP decided that it
was important for them to enhance the site’s appeal, user-friendliness, and product merchandising in order to increase overall applications and brand awareness. For this reason, they undertook a redesign project aimed at producing a simplified layout and enhanced navigation of the site for both the public and AAHRPP clients. Likewise, the redesign was needed to provide easy access to AAHRPP application materials, learning experiences, networking opportunities, and industry information.
An important component of the project was a design refresh that would establish a more clearly defined visual identity reflecting their organization and research community. A successful project would require that the look and feel of the site be updated and that navigation and information architecture be improved to enhance user experience. Finally, AAHRPP needed a content management system to provide functionality like advanced search, polling, custom form building, and integration with Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
AAHRPP contracted Hodgson to redesign their website and implement the Sitefinity CMS, which would provide them with the content management functionality and third party system integrations they required. Hodgson was selected for this project because of our significant experience in working with systems like Sitefinity and because, in addition to development, we are able to provide usability, content structure, information architecture, and design services.
We recommended Sitefinity not only because of its affordability and powerful .NET platform, but also because it offered important features that AAHRPP needed, including an integrated e-commerce module and email marketing capabilities.
The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP) promotes high-quality research through an accreditation process that helps organizations worldwide strengthen their human research protection programs (HRPPs).
An independent, nonprofit accrediting body, AAHRPP uses a voluntary, peer-driven, educational model to ensure that HRPPs meet rigorous standards for quality and protection. To earn accreditation, organizations must provide tangible evidence—through policies, procedures, and practices—of their commitment to scientifically and ethically sound research and to continuous improvement.
As the "gold seal," AAHRPP accreditation offers assurances—to research participants, researchers, sponsors, government regulators, and the general public—that an HRPP is focused first and foremost on excellence.
The Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) was seeking a complete website redesign, including the selection and implementation of a new content management system (CMS). In particular, they required a CMS that could be easily updated by nontechnical staff, and one that would integrate well with netFORUM, their association management system. The existing website was text-heavy and light on graphics, hard to navigate, and not encouraging member / user interaction. They also wanted to maximize search engine optimization (SEO).
Hodgson applied our proven five-step process and developed a clear project plan for AJS. We met extensively with the Board and the staff, and listened to what they wanted in the redesigned website: how should it look? How should it function? What capabilities does the CMS need to offer? After carefully considering different CMS platforms, we recommended and implemented Sitefinity.
This is a CMS that could be easily maintained and edited by the AJS staff, and offered a lot of the required functionality out of the box—a news module with social media sharing, an easy way to showcase directories and other resources, an events widget with simple registration, a calendar, and minimal integration with netFORUM (reskinning) or, if they later chose, a complete integration. Our design team presented visually appealing, clean designs from which AJS selected the look they wanted. We created an organized way to present publications and research materials, making it easy for members and nonmembers to find the material they sought and, if appropriate, subscribe. We offered guidance as AJS developed content to render it search-engine friendly. The website launched in 2017 and is quickly becoming a sophisticated, information-packed resource on Jewish studies for members and the general public.
The Association for Jewish Studies is a learned society and professional organization whose mission is to advance research and teaching in Jewish Studies at colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher learning, and to foster greater understanding of Jewish Studies scholarship among the wider public.
The Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD) is a global, nonprofit organization serving insurance and related industries. The association facilitates fast, accurate data exchange and more efficient workflows through the development of electronic standards, standardized forms, and tools to support their use.
ACORD was searching for a vendor to redesign their main website and implement the Enterprise Edition of the Sitefinity content management system (CMS). The association required integration and single sign-on with netFORUM Abila, their association management software (AMS), and required the implementation of ecommerce on the site. They also wanted to build a microsite—www.acordsolutions.com—and create an independent website with a unique design.
ACORD visited the Sitefinity Partner page and reached out to companies experienced in implementing this CMS. Ultimately, they selected Hodgson to redesign both sites and implement Sitefinity. Hodgson began with ACORD Solutions Group, designing a clean, colorful site that showcases the full-scale automation services and solutions offered by the group. The primary website, www.acord.org, required more advanced development skills to create and deploy a highly sophisticated, security-based permission system for members. Hodgson also had to develop a system for launching End User License Agreements (EULAs) based on the permission and status of each member, and the nature of the page they were viewing. ACORD requested assistance with manual content migration, which Hodgson executed. Finally, we migrated the structured content from SharePoint and completed an extensive integration with netFORUM, which included single sign-on, profile editing, change password, request username, a special product purchase, and other custom functions. ACORD maintains a relationship with Hodgson through Webmaster Services.
CSA required a complete redesign of their website. The goals for the new website were to enhance the overall member experience and value proposition, and to provide leading-edge tools that would better serve the needs of the CSA leadership and members. Hodgson began the project by recommending a new content management system (CMS) to take advantage of improved technology capabilities. As the previous site had been built on a combination of Drupal and legacy PHP code, CSA wanted a CMS that offered a lot of functionality out of the box and could streamline all content. CSA also sought a vendor who could improve the design and navigation of the website, optimize search engine results, provide better search functionality, and enhance the member and constituent experience.
Hodgson began the project by conducting interviews with CSA stakeholders and evaluating content management systems that could, potentially, provide the functionality CSA required. We determined the functional requirements of the redesigned website and matched those requirements to Drupal, Ektron and Sitefinity in an effort to determine which CMS was the most suitable. Hodgson recommended Sitefinity, which offered a high degree of scalability. It is also built on the .NET platform, which was suitable to CSA’s intended integration with MemberSuite, the association management system. In addition, it was more cost-effective than other options; it included forum and e-commerce capabilities out of the box, and it offered a “Content Personalization” add-on that would meet many of CSA’s content targeting goals. This personalization, as well as streamlining the sign-up and renewal funnel and centralizing the member portal, were some of the tools we leveraged to better serve the needs of the association’s leadership and members.
The Definitions phase began with developing a taxonomy, which included tagging content to improve search speed and to identify related content items. We created an intuitive, logical information architecture to guide the user experience. Hodgson developed wireframes and created several designs for CSA to review. Once a design was selected, we developed annotated wireframes to detail the functional requirements for each element on each template, and then created HTML files before developing Sitefinity templates and completing the implementation. Hodgson integrated with MemberSuite to provide single sign-on (SSO) functionality, allowing members to sign in and be authenticated to access not only member-based content, but individual member profile information. We ensured the website was responsive and tested it thoroughly before training CSA staff on Sitefinity and launching the site.
The California Society of Anesthesiologists (CSA) is comprised of nearly 4,000 anesthesiologists who practice in the state of California. CSA’s mission is to promote the highest standards for the anesthesiology profession, to foster excellence through continuing medical education, and to serve as an advocate for anesthesiologists and their patients.
Hodgson first became involved with Front Range Community College (FRCC) (www.frontrange.edu) when they were selecting a new content management system (CMS) for their site. At that time, we arranged demonstrations of Sitefinity for FRCC stakeholders, and we set up sandbox environments to allow FRCC’s development team to evaluate the features of the CMS through a fully hosted trial installation.
After FRCC’s web team had settled on Sitefinity as their new CMS of choice, they engaged Hodgson to design and build an innovative site that would offer their users an intuitive, personalized experience. We began the project by working with FRCC’s internal team to define the functional and business goals for the new site. With the requirements in hand, Hodgson’s designers were able to craft an entirely new look and feel for the FRCC website.
The updated design features prominent, red call-to-action buttons characterized by the “torn” effect prominent in FRCC’s print marketing materials. The dropdown menus in the main navigation are designed to draw the user further into the site and to encourage exploration (the featured images liven up these menus as well). Furthermore, the grid layout of the homepage and landing pages (e.g., www.frontrange.edu/getting-in) gives the site a very clean, balanced feel. It also allows users to easily find the content they seek, as it is presented in clear, discrete blocks throughout the site.
As part of the creative process, Hodgson’s project team conducted usability testing on designs to ensure that the finished product would conform to usability best practices. One key element of usability is the “breaking from tradition” approach to the main navigation. Often, higher education sites use a standard menu that includes “Academics,” “Admissions,” and “Student Life.” Instead of staying with established conventions, the FRCC team had based the new navigation primarily on the timing of the prospective student’s engagement with the College. During usability testing, we found that the new menu concepts created by FRCC were very clear and intuitive, and that an eye-appealing dropdown menu would draw a visitor deeper into the site.
Another important feature of the site is its capacity to provide a personalized experience to students, parents, and faculty based on which of the four campuses a visitor was associated with. By making a campus selection, a user has a personalized experience on nearly 40% of the site’s pages.
Incorporating the blog into the website was also a priority for FRCC, as they had an extensive collection of blog posts, contributed by both students and faculty. As WordPress blog posts are imported into the site, tags and categories are assigned to each post. Throughout the website, the blog widget is filtered to display posts specific to the content on the page, providing a greater amount of relevant information for the site visitor.
In addition to the elements discussed above, Hodgson’s developers built other useful features into the site: custom .NET controls to filter and display calendar events; campus alerts and emergency notification functionality; a searchable, sortable faculty and staff directory integrated with Active Directory; and IntelliResponse search results with a “Top 5 Questions” widget, which displays questions relevant to content on the page.
Front Range Community College (FRCC) is a two-year institution of higher learning with campuses in Westminster, Colorado; Longmont, Colorado; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Brighton, Colorado. It is the largest community college in Colorado and the number one transfer institution for the University of Colorado-Boulder, Colorado State University, and Metropolitan State University of Denver.
The Government Employee Benefits Association (GEBA) sought a web design firm to design and develop a new website that would accomplish the following goals: promote their brand; showcase their products and services; provide secure online applications and member services; and serve as a source of information and tools for current and prospective members.
The original GEBA site was using the outdated DotNetNuke (DNN) content management system (CMS), and it was characterized by an outdated design and lack of interactive online functionality. All insurance applications on the original site were handled via static PDFs that customers needed to fill out and mail or deliver in person.
Hodgson proposed a full redesign of the GEBA website (www.geba.com), including an overhaul of the dated look and feel of their site and implementation of a modern system that would replace DotNetNuke. We recommended Sitefinity, because it is affordable and because it includes the security features and extensibility of the Microsoft .NET platform.
After we worked through the strategy phase of the project with GEBA staff, our creative team mocked up several design options that were refined into a final, approved version. Our front end developers and Sitefinity developers worked together to build a working website that could be launched in time for GEBA’s midyear open enrollment period.
An important component of the project was the creation of new online applications, which were custom developed by Hodgson to ensure secure transmission of sensitive customer information over the internet. Hodgson continues to maintain and enhance the GEBA website in the context of a Webmaster Services contract, and our development team is currently building additional online applications to help GEBA better serve their members.
GEBA is a nonprofit member-owned employee benefit association dedicated to serving the federal employees of the U.S. Intelligence Community, Department of Defense, Department of State, FBI, and military and contractors assigned to NSA-W.
GEBA offers outstanding insurance and investment products from financially strong and highly reputable companies. Their licensed consultants integrate their expertise in insurance and investment products with their knowledge of federal benefit programs to provide personalized recommendations for GEBA customers and their families.
GCAAR needed to redesign their website and transition from the Ektron content management system (CMS) to Progress Sitefinity. They wanted a seamless integration with their member database, Rapattoni 9, to provide member-only content and single sign-on (SSO).
Hodgson followed a proven five-step process to redesign the website and implement Sitefinity. We began with the Definitions phase, in which we conducted workshops to determine how the new site should look, feel and function. We created a modern, clean design and mapped all functionality through the use of annotated wireframes. We installed, set up and configured Sitefinity, and developed a custom Sitefinity connector that would work with the Rapattoni API to facilitate SSO. Finally, we trained the content providers, tested the site and pushed it live. GCAAR then chose to engage Hodgson’s Webmaster Services for ongoing maintenance and support.
About the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors
The Greater Capital Area Association of REALTORS®, one of the largest local REALTOR® associations in the U.S., represents more than 10,000 REALTOR® members from Washington, DC and Montgomery County, MD, as well as industry-related professionals who follow the real estate business.
The Lenkin Company needed a skilled web technology company to improve their website (www.lenkin.com) by making it more interactive, more emblematic of their brand, and more user-friendly. The site needed to represent Lenkin’s emphasis on long-term customer service as well as the rich history and longevity of their business in the Washington area. The original Lenkin website was essentially an online informational brochure built entirely in Flash—it featured few calls to action, a limited number of media elements, and almost nonexistent content management functionality.
In order to offer Lenkin an online customer engagement platform that faithfully represented their brand and various business lines (residential, commercial, and construction), Hodgson redesigned and developed their site on the Sitefinity platform. This user-friendly content management system is at once both affordable and robust—it allows their team to customize all images, calls to action, pages, navigation, and content.
Of particular importance on the new site are the pages that highlight each one of their residential properties. Each residential property page includes a prominent image rotator with photographs from around the featured building. Another key element of the property pages is the “Neighborhood & Map” section, which is a Google Maps overlay designed to highlight the building itself along with the restaurants, parks, grocery stores, museums, and other attractions in the surrounding neighborhood. Every residential building’s page also includes tabs for amenities, floor plans, and scheduling a visit to the property.
The new website allows Lenkin to showcase the numerous benefits they offer to their customers, both residential and commercial; it also invites the user to learn more about their various properties through clear calls to action. The new site is accessible to smartphone and tablet users as well, thanks to the replacement of Flash technology with a user experience based in HTML and CSS.
Since 1929, The Lenkin Company has been meeting the demands of the Washington, DC metropolitan area business community. As a full-service construction and management firm, The Lenkin Company is involved in the entire building process, from the pre-construction services and value engineering, to constructability reviews and construction management, and finally to post-construction services and property management.
In addition, The Lenkin Company offers the confidence, trust, dedication, and ingenuity of their team members. Over 100 years, and three generations, of combined experience is available to each client they work with. The result of this experience is consistently meeting and exceeding their client expectations.
It is important to note that the index NACUA wanted was not what the GSA would produce by default (i.e., just by pointing the GSA at the resources). We developed a custom feed for the GSA which provided all the metadata required to produce eight (8) individual indexes, which could be searched and displayed separately.
To accomplish the goals above, we wrote an application that crawled the document repository and built up a finely tuned sitemap.xml file. The sitemap used a configuration file so NACUA could easily specify the behavior for each index; for example, the configuration file would specify if sub-directories were to be included in the index and whether or not a file should be included based on its modification date.
We then wrote a .NET console application which would read in the sitemap.xml file before creating and sending the feed to the GSA. As part of the process, we had to programmatically open each file and extract specific information, such as “Author” and “Title.” This was accomplished for all types of MS Office documents as well as PDFs. These metadata were part of the feed and became part of the index.
In addition to the tasks above, we also created another index that searched the entire web, except for NACUA’s own site, for any given search term. We used Google’s Custom Search Engine (GSE) to accomplish this. For each search term, the query was sent to the GSE, but the results were normalized to match those coming from the GSA. All results were presented in an identical manner.
One of the most significant challenges inherent in this project was the fact that nacua.org is a Classic ASP site featuring authentication against the ClearVantage AMS from Euclid Technology, which is not a particularly well documented product. Given that the search site we developed was an ASP.NET website hosted on a Classic ASP site, we had to implement authentication for the search site separately—the credentials could not be shared across the Classic ASP–ASP.NET boundary.
While we were implementing the new search, Euclid upgraded NACUA to the latest version of their product; however, Euclid’s professional services group could not get the authentication working with the Classic ASP site and needed Hodgson to troubleshoot the issue. We re-implemented the authentication with the new product version, and ensured that the Classic ASP authentication was working as well.
The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) contracted Hodgson to undertake a comprehensive update of their web presence, which included a complete visual and user experience redesign along with the implementation of a new Content Management System (CMS). In addition, NAPEO was looking to integrate their existing Association Management System (AMS), MemberSuite, for a more streamlined member experience. NAPEO also needed to develop a solution to manage both traditional and online publications for members and non-members alike.
With a large portion of the NAPEO user base utilizing a variety of devices to access the website tools and publications, NAPEO required a strategy to ensure all devices provided an outstanding user experience regardless of screen size. Finally, all of these goals needed to serve two separate and distinct audiences: the public and NAPEO members.
One of the first critical choices was selecting a CMS that would best fit NAPEO’s needs. After considering a number of potential options, Hodgson recommended, and implemented, Sitefinity. This CMS provided NAPEO with standardized page templates, robust site search, workflow, SEO tools and enhancements and the ability to integrate with the MemberSuite API.
Through significant discussion and research, Hodgson determined that by developing a custom publications module, NAPEO could manage all activities related to their publications through Sitefinity. This included allowing members additional access to archived publications and articles, based on membership levels, incorporating a federated search, and allowing NAPEO content provides an intuitive way to add and edit article and publication content.
Hodgson integrated with the AMS to provide single sign-on (SSO) functionality, allowing members to sign in and authenticated against MemberSuite to access not only member based content, but individual member profile information.
The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) is The Voice of the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Industry™. A PEO provides comprehensive human resources (HR) solutions for small and mid-size businesses that include payroll, benefits, HR, tax administration, and regulatory compliance assistance.
Hodgson began the project with a web strategy workshop, which included extensive audience research and the development of fictional personas that represented the expected audience for the new microsite. Detailing what these personas would seek and what challenges they would present and encounter, Hodgson was able to help Otterbein tailor the content and design to create an optimal user experience. After gaining this audience understanding, Hodgson was able to work with Otterbein to develop functional requirements for the Adult Admissions site, ensuring the site would meet the functional needs of users.
Hodgson’s design team created sophisticated designs that featured prominent personas and pathways. While remaining consistent with the Otterbein branding and colors, Hodgson was able to create clean, visually appealing designs that allow users to immediately self identify as one of six personas and then follow a specific user journey tailored to their needs.
Once the responsive designs were finalized, Hodgson created templates and implemented them into Sitefinity, the content management system used by Otterbein.
Otterbein was founded by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ in 1847. Those qualities built Otterbein to what it is today: a nationally recognized university offering bachelor and master degrees to a wide variety of students. The school included women as faculty members and as students from the founding, and was the first institution in the nation to do so. Otterbein admitted students of color before the Civil War and welcomed Japanese-American students who had been sent to internment camps during World War II. The school gave students a voice in its story through the unique governance system beginning in the 1960s. Today, students from diverse backgrounds enhance Otterbein's campus by sharing their unique experiences and perspectives.
In 2014, The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) initiated a multi-phase project to revitalize their entire web presence, which was built
on the Ektron platform. ASCE needed a website that would provide an optimal visitor experience; be flexible and extensible; be fully responsive to smartphones and tablets; and support the organization in achieving their important goals—technological advancement, lifelong learning, professional development, civil engineering leadership, and infrastructure and environmental stewardship.
After the design phase of their project had begun,
ASCE sought a web development partner with extensive Ektron experience and a track record of success in integrating content management systems with member database software (e.g., Personify, which is the system utilized by ASCE) to perform the technical heavy lifting in the project. At that point, ASCE had already been working with a design and strategy partner to conceive a new user interface, navigation, and content for all ASCE web properties.
ASCE selected Hodgson to build out their web properties in Ektron 9 and to integrate Ektron with all their third party systems. The project kicked off with a review of existing documentation and requirements created by ASCE’s design partner, including responsive HTML and CSS templates. Hodgson’s Ektron development team built out Ektron templates, including Smart Form and PageBuilder templates, and they set up taxonomies within Ektron to relate content within Ektron to a number of external databases. The project also included implementation of an advanced, faceted search using Ektron’s Solr-based search technology.
As is often the case in large, complex projects of this type, the functional requirements evolved even after development had already begun. Early in the project, Hodgson developers had the forethought to create an effective framework for serializing and deserializing smart form data, which allowed them to build all importing, sorting, and filtering of Personify and Ektron data well in advance. This effort proved invaluable late in the project, when requirements were finalized with the go-live date imminent.
Throughout the project, the Hodgson team worked with ASCE programmers to integrate Ektron templates with various existing technologies, including e-commerce applications, the Personify association management system, and other ASCE web properties. The result was a successful collaborative effort that produced a modern, user friendly website that leverages the power and flexibility of the Ektron platform.
The main ASCE website (www.asce.org), ASCE Foundation website (www.ascefoundation.org), and other sites are currently live. Hodgson’s Webmaster Services has been engaged to provide ongoing maintenance and support.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 145,000 members of the civil engineering profession in 174 countries. Founded in 1852, ASCE is the nation’s oldest engineering society. ASCE stands at the forefront of a profession that plans, designs, constructs, and operates society’s economic and social engine—the built environment—while protecting and restoring the natural environment.
BIO required a firm with extensive experience with the Ektron CMS to assist them with their existing Ektron implementation on many of their web properties. They also needed a vendor who was able to work with a wide range of third party applications that would need to be incorporated into the site.
Through Webmaster Services, Hodgson has managed and assisted with enhancements to all web properties for BIO, including convention sites for BIO India and BIO China. The organization purchased an enterprise level Ektron license and manages both public domain and internal operations websites through it. In addition to ongoing maintenance and support, Hodgson has built custom applications for BIO’s convention website (convention.bio.org), has redesigned the convention site, and has overseen all web-related activities for the convention itself. This includes incorporating feeds from social media outlets and other third party systems like Zerista, a convention-focused social application.
Hodgson has integrated session information, schedules, speaker information and personal bios from Zerista with the convention website. During the convention this year, Hodgson developed the homepage to be a large media outlet for all things social—YouTube videos, links to live coverage, multiple live blogs from attendees, Twitter feeds, a Flickr feed, and the official convention blog. Hodgson has also integrated the site with OpenX to allow for the display of ads with a wide range of sponsors and sponsor levels.
One of the most important tools Hodgson has built for BIO is a microsite creation wizard, which allows CMS users to create independent convention sites from the Ektron Workarea. To use the wizard, site administrators need only fill in a few forms and press the “submit” button; Ektron then generates a microsite automatically. This seamless process has allowed BIO to create numerous microsites with ease.
BIO is the world's largest biotechnology organization, providing advocacy, business development and communications services for more than 1,100 members worldwide. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. Corporate members range from entrepreneurial companies developing a first product to Fortune 500 multinationals. BIO also represents state and regional biotech associations, service providers to the industry and academic centers. The mission of BIO is to be the champion of biotechnology and the advocate for its member organizations—both large and small.
Clarke’s initial challenges arose after they had already implemented the Ektron content management system. At this time, their administrators contracted Hodgson to assist them with the redesign and re-skinning of www.clarke.edu. In addition, there were numerous maintenance tasks for which they required ongoing support.
After migrating the Clarke site to a development environment, Hodgson successfully completed the redesign and re-skinning portion of the project. In order to address numerous additional pain points and required updates, Clarke engaged Hodgson’s Webmaster Services Team, who performed the following design and development tasks (among others):
Upgraded their Ektron implementation to version 8.5
Customized the Ektron search functionality
Developed password protection for confidential admissions reports
Updated the sitemap
Configured Ektron breadcrumbs
Updated the sidebar on the website
Configured Google Analytics
Inserted custom code into existing content
Hodgson continues to offer our full range of services to Clarke today, with Hodgson’s dedicated project manager serving as the single point of contact for communications between Clarke’s Web Manager and our strategy, design, and development personnel.
Rooted in its Catholic mission, Clarke University of Dubuque, Iowa has moved into the 21st century with an impressive tradition of excellence in education. Established in 1843, the university is named for Mary Frances Clarke, who founded a congregation of religious women, the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVMs).
Throughout its growth and change, Clarke University has been “progressive with the times.” As new programs have developed, Clarke has continued to challenge and support students, who are the heart of the institution, in their intellectual and personal growth. Clarke is an institution known for its long tradition of excellence in education; students, faculty and staff work together to maintain and strengthen that heritage.
Hood College had implemented the Ektron content management system but it wasn’t functioning as they expected. They were concerned and needed an experienced team of Ektron developers to diagnose and fix the implementation.
Hodgson launched a site audit and assessment to identify issues with the Ektron implementation. Hodgson partnered with the College to prioritize the problems and began fixing them in order of importance. Recognizing the benefits of having a web development team at their disposal, Hood entered into a Webmaster Services contract with Hodgson. Under this agreement, Hodgson has been able to maintain and troubleshoot the website, and has performed two Ektron upgrades.
Hood College is an independent liberal arts college located on a striking and stunningly picturesque campus in the vibrant and historic central Maryland city of Frederick. The College’s well-regarded faculty and caring support staff provide a quality education at the undergraduate and graduate levels in a small-college environment that integrates the liberal arts with professional studies and experiential learning. Hood’s core values and traditions, its commitment to continuous improvement, comparative excellence, and exceeding student expectations have made it a treasured institution to current students and to more than 23,000 graduates living in the United States and around the world.
National Cooperative Bank (NCB) was seeking a web development partner to assess their web presence, implement the Ektron Content Management System (CMS) and redesign their website.
Hodgson began with the Definitions phase to thoroughly assess NCB’s web presence. During this phase, we met with NCB stakeholders to find out exactly how they used the website, and what improvements would improve the user experience (UX). We developed wireframes and annotated wireframes and developed a new information architecture before moving to the Design stage. We presented several designs to NCB, and developed a design for the company’s flash movies and for forms that would be used to capture data. We tested the site, NCB populated it with content, and the site went live.
National Cooperative Bank provides comprehensive banking products and services to cooperatives and other member-owned organizations throughout the country. What makes NCB unique is that the bank was created to address the financial needs of an underserved market niche- people who join together cooperatively to meet personal, social or business needs, especially in low-income communities.
The National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc.,(NECA) had implemented the Ektron content management system (CMS) but didn’t have any developers on staff to maintain the system.
Hodgson assigned a team of experienced Ektron developers to the NECA project. This team quickly remedied NECA’s most pressing issues, including using the Ektron PageBuilder functionality to significantly improve the design and functionality of the organization’s home page. Once familiar with the site and the implementation, Hodgson recommended a Webmaster Services contract. Under this contract, NECA had access to an entire web development team: a project manager, a business strategist, a creative team, and the developers who were familiar with the NECA website. Over the years, different team members have been deployed to assist NECA with functional changes to the site, including rendering the site responsive.
At one point, NECA felt a different CMS might serve their needs better than Ektron. Hodgson examined multiple CMSs for the client and examined each through the lens of NECA’s required functionality. The team concluded that Ektron was the most cost-effective and appropriate solution, and performed a product upgrade. Over the years, Hodgson has continued to serve as a partner to NECA, fully supporting their web development needs and providing experts to assist with all facets of their web presence.
The National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc., a membership association of U.S. local telecommunications companies, is dedicated to keeping customers connected on state-of-the-art communications networks. NECA’s services help more than 1000 members across rural America deliver high-speed multi-use broadband services.
The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD, www.risd.edu) sought a partnership with a web technology firm with experience in the Ektron CMS to assist their team with a variety of issues and requests, including an assessment of their existing server environment and an upgrade to the latest version of Ektron.
RISD leveraged Hodgson’s Webmaster Services offering to gain access to our team of resources in order to address a variety issues and requests as they arose. This “on call” aspect of Webmaster Services proved critical when, very early in our relationship with RISD, the school’s site suffered a SQL injection attack that exposed sensitive information to the public.
Our Webmaster Services team was able to quickly pull all necessary resources to address issues caused by the attack, coordinate with the RISD team, and provide insight and expertise to explain what site vulnerabilities caused the attack as well as what could be done to prevent such attacks in the future.
Hodgson’s Webmaster Services team assisted RISD with tasks like these: Ektron upgrade, .NET master page creation, database error resolution, eSync configuration, search server installation and configuration, cross-browser compatibility testing, and others.
The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is one of the premier schools for art and design in the United States. Founded in 1877, RISD was one of the first colleges of its kind and continues to push the envelope of social norms and expectations. Located in Providence, Rhode Island, RISD offers students a challenging curriculum in 19 different programs, over half of which are in fine arts.
Recent work of alumni, grad students and undergraduate students are showcased in local galleries that are open to the public. RISD Museum of Art was founded simultaneously with the college and serves as a cultural resource for the region, housing over 86,000 objects of historical significance.
The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) was seeking an Ektron partner to provide a partial website redesign. They wanted the new site to be responsive; in fact, they requested that the redesign take a mobile-first approach. They wanted to ensure the redesigned site would have a unique and engaging look and feel. They also required some developer support as they implemented SOLR Search, a functionality available within Ektron.
Hodgson took a true mobile-first approach and, to appeal to the large percentage of site visitors viewing the website on mobile devices, designed the mobile version of the site before designing the desktop version. The benefit to this approach was that the mobile version concentrated on presenting the most important content. This is enormously helpful when the school was trying to pare down their content and decide what should be migrated to the mobile and desktop sites. We redesigned the home page and helped the school implement SOLR Search.
The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), the state’s historically black 1890 land-grant institution, has its purpose and uniqueness grounded in distinctive learning, discovery and engagement opportunities in the arts and sciences, education, technology, engineering, agriculture, business and health professions.
The American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) approached Hodgson in 2009 seeking a website redesign and WordPress implementation. The association had a list of functionality that was critical to the new website, including a searchable directory and results page, Google site search, ecommerce and a contact us form.
Hodgson took ABAM through the proven five-step web development process. The website was developed in WordPress, and Hodgson’s developers ensured the required functionality was part of the finished project.
As the website grew in size and complexity, ABAM found themselves requiring ongoing assistance. Through a long-term Webmaster Services contract, Hodgson has been able to provide a full team of web development specialists to ABAM. Tasks have included, among many others, WordPress upgrades, the development of microsites, and a domain name change that had to be incorporated throughout the front and back ends of the website.
Hodgson maintains the ABAM site under a Webmaster Services contract to this day.
ABAM is the nation’s first medical specialty board that certifies addiction medicine physicians across a range of medical specialties. The board sets standards for physician education, assesses physicians’ knowledge and requires and tracks life-long education. It is an independent specialty board established in 2007.
Goodwin House, Inc. was in need of an experienced web technology vendor to redesign their website (www.goodwinhouse.org) in order to make it a more effective vehicle for promotion of their wide array of offered services and the high quality, active lifestyle experience by their residents.
Goodwin House staff felt that their original website was not warm or inviting, featuring instead a text-heavy, outdated look and feel. The original site also had a difficult navigation structure and lacked accessibility features. In addition, it did not offer the online donation or contact form functionality that the staff needed.
In order to offer Goodwin House an online home that would serve the needs of staff and residents while promoting their services to prospective residents, Hodgson redesigned and rebuilt the website on the WordPress platform, thereby allowing Goodwin House staff a user friendly means of controlling content and serving key audiences. WordPress is particularly straightforward and intuitive as a content management system, and it was selected precisely because it would allow non-technical Goodwin House staff to edit content without difficulty.
Hodgson’s creative team designed the new site to reflect the established branding guidelines of the organization. The goal was to build a site that was vibrant, engaging, innovative, and warm. The site which resulted from this redesign process is easier for staff to maintain and update; it offers highly accessible information about the multiple Goodwin House locations and associated amenities; and it serves as an effective sales and marketing tool for attracting new residents.
Goodwin House’s new online home includes a number of desirable features aimed at making it an informative, user-friendly web destination: text resizing options for improved accessibility; secure online donations; an online events calendar; an online tool for calculating the value of living at Goodwin House; a virtual tour section for prospective residents; site search functionality; and different, community-oriented content for each of the Goodwin House locations and the Goodwin House Foundation.
Goodwin House Incorporated is a nonprofit, non-stock Virginia corporation organized in 1955 by resolution of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Diocese of Virginia. The GHI family owns and operates two continuing care retirement communities—Goodwin House Alexandria and Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads, includes Goodwin House Foundation, and is management agent for The Lewinsville Retirement Residences, Inc.
The original Oceus Networks website was a text-heavy site built on the Drupal platform. The Oceus marketing team had a difficult time managing content because the Drupal administrative interface was not particularly user-friendly and intuitive.
The previous Oceus website also had a significant amount of superfluous functionality that distracted from the company’s core marketing message. For example, the old site’s e-commerce features were not particularly useful, because Oceus is primarily a Department of Defense contractor. The federal procurement process does not allow for e-commerce transactions; items must be purchased through GSA schedules.
Hodgson was contracted to design and build a modern-looking site with trimmed down content. This would allow Oceus to focus on promotion of their core products: ONmission, an end-to-end network management system for battlefield and emergency response situations; and Xiphos, a field-deployable 4G LTE tactical broadband solution.
To meet the goals above, we created a look and feel that represents a marriage of conservative DoD culture (black background in the header and chill blue) with a fresh, modern design (wide banner area with strong mission statement up front). The “top secret” nature of Oceus’s customer base and mission combined with a product that is not exciting to look at (essentially a field LTE network generator) made getting imagery for the site quite challenging.
Our creative team took photographs of the Oceus products (while turned off, to preserve security) and overlaid those images with visuals on device screen and background elements to show the products “in action.” We used abstract background images to add a sense of movement to the images.
When the design was approved, we built responsive HTML and CSS to ensure that the site would provide an excellent user experience regardless of device. Our development team implemented the new design into WordPress, which provides content management features that are simpler and more intuitive than the complex features of Drupal.
The new site went live in December of 2014 and is available for review at www.oceusnetworks.com.
Oceus Networks specializes in broadband and wireless communications solutions leveraging the latest in Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) technologies allowing them to deliver the highest value products and solutions at a reduced cost.
Their reliable and proven solutions support critical missions around the world. They deploy high-bandwidth, next generation wireless systems into austere tactical environments, first responder environments, enterprise systems for large user implementations, and discrete lab systems.
Presbyterian College (www.presby.edu) sought a vendor to assist them with the design and construction of a website that communicates a unified marketing image. The objective was to develop a visually attractive, highly effective and functional user-friendly site with the ability for Presbyterian College staff to manage and maintain the website.
PC’s chosen web partner would need to present the new designs in a way that the branding, creative ideas, and final creative work are identifiably distinctive, accurately portraying the mission and position of PC, and uniquely conveying a consistent meaning and value to prospective students and their family members. The primary message to communicate through the website was that PC offers challenging academics with a personal touch. The look of the new site was to be academic with a casual, down-to-earth feel.
In order to provide Presbyterian College with a site that met their marketing, usability, and content management goals, Hodgson recommended the highly user friendly WordPress CMS as the ideal platform for PC’s website. We began the project with several days of comprehensive web strategy and functional requirements meetings with PC staff from numerous departments and constituencies within the College.
During the project, Hodgson implemented a campus directory search and worked with the Google Calendar API to customize the PC events calendar. When the site had been tested and approved for launch, Hodgson’s technical writing staff produced a WordPress training manual to guide PC content editors and administrators as they maintained the site.
Presbyterian College (PC) is located on a beautiful 240-acre campus between Columbia and Greenville in South Carolina. With small classes and faculty who want the best for their students, their supportive community provides more than an exceptional liberal arts education. PC empowers students to be servant leaders in their communities through challenging academics and a culture of honor and ethics.
Since 1880, PC has been personally committed to success. As a result, 90 percent of their students are in graduate programs or have secured jobs within six months of graduation.
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and The National Alliance for Radiation Readiness (NARR) sought a technology partner to develop a web-based clearinghouse for radiological preparedness tools and resources. The site needed to be able to house numerous varieties of resources, including these: response plans, documents describing best practices / lessons learned, talking points, toolkits, training modules, and other relevant forms and templates that may be of use to the public health and healthcare practice community. In addition, ASTHO needed a vendor to design a logo for NARR before designing and building the website itself. The entire project needed to be completed within a span of four months on a limited budget.
Hodgson began the project by meeting with ASTHO and NARR personnel and stakeholders to establish the specific design goals for the project. Hodgson’s creative team developed a logo for NARR and also established color palettes and style sheets for the new website. The designs for the logo and the web-based clearinghouse were refined based on an iterative process of presentations and revisions that included feedback from ASTHO and NARR stakeholders.
Hodgson recommended WordPress as the ideal CMS for the NARR clearinghouse because of its simple yet effective content management functionality. Hodgson designed and built a WordPress site that fulfills all of the following roles:
A searchable repository of online documents in multiple formats on which users can provide feedback
A portal for users to submit documents and for administrators to review and approve / reject submissions
A real-time emergency response resource that can be easily updated in times of crisis
The online home of NARR
The NARR website may be viewed at www.radiationready.org.
In 2015, Hodgson’s creative team and WordPress developers completed a design refresh of the NARR site to bring the site’s design and functionality in line with modern web standards, including responsive design.
The National Alliance for Radiation Readiness (NARR) is a coalition of public health and healthcare organizations dedicated to radiological preparedness. It is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Environmental Health, and it is led by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). ASTHO is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3), the membership of which consists of the chief Health Officials representing the states and territories of the United States.
NARR's mission is to enhance radiological preparedness capability and capacity in public health and health care systems through a coalition of organizations committed to improving the nation’s ability to prepare, respond, and recover from radiological emergencies at the local, state, and national levels.
The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) needed a team of web development professionals to redesign their website and manage Episerver, their content management system. The client also had specific requirements to bring all of the site’s functionality, such as registration for the annual NDSS Buddy Walk, into Episerver. Finally, they sought a partner that could help them with ongoing tasks and website maintenance.
Hodgson assessed the NDSS website and decided that a Webmaster Services contract would be the most cost-effective option for the client. Under this contract, Hodgson was able to provide responsive designs, migrate the registration functionality to Episerver and add an image gallery to the website.
The National Down Syndrome Society is the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome. NDSS is the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome, and it offers support to people with Down syndrome and their family and friends, and seeks to educate the general public about Down syndrome.
The University of Pittsburgh Johnstown contracted Hodgson to redesign their website (www.upj.pitt.edu) and implement a new content management system (CMS). Pitt-Johnstown was interested in working with an experienced team with an in-depth understanding of the web and extensive experience in combining CMS technology with interactive, user-focused graphic designs.
The primary goal of the project was to maximize the effectiveness of the Pitt-Johnstown website in communicating with all of the University’s target audiences: current students, future students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and members of the community. A successful website would need to provide an intuitive navigation that would make content easily accessible on smartphones, tablets, desktops, and laptops alike.
In order to build the modern, engaging web presence that Pitt-Johnstown needed, Hodgson implemented the EPiServer content management system, which was selected because of its streamlined content management capabilities, its intuitive authoring environment, and the robust ASP.NET platform on which it is built. The advanced content personalization features and strong e-commerce capabilities of EPiServer were also key factors in selection of this system.
The project began with a thorough web strategy and definitions process aimed at evaluating the content, functionality, and information architecture of the existing site. With a new information architecture and wireframes in place, Hodgson’s creative team was able to design a new vision for the Pitt-Johnstown website that accurately represented the University’s unique strengths, as well as the value of their educational offerings.
Once the creative process was complete, Hodgson's user experience developers built out the designs into fully responsive HTML and CSS templates, which allow users to enjoy a browsing experience tailored to mobile devices and well as traditional desktop computers. These templates were then implemented into EPiServer by Hodgson’s .NET developers, who also built out all the features of the site according to functional specifications. After testing and training were conducted successfully, Hodgson’s team handed over the site to Pitt-Johnstown’s technical personnel for live launch.One of the key components of the new website is its capacity for content personalization. Site visitors may self-identify as one of five different audience segments; this selection has a direct impact on the types of content that are highlighted on the homepage, in sidebar callouts, and throughout the user journey. The new site also includes dynamic feeds from Pitt-Johnstown’s social media outlets; a site search; events calendar functionality; a faculty and staff directory; and many other features.
The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (Pitt-Johnstown) was founded in 1927, and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Located 70 miles east of Pittsburgh, Pitt-Johnstown is a vital knowledge center providing a high quality educational experience that is purposefully designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. The University offers a supportive living-learning environment that is grounded in the liberal arts and sciences, is current, and is responsive to the personal and professional needs of students and Pitt-Johnstown’s constituent communities.