Building a big complicated site for a large membership organization
Mass-ALFA (The Assisted Living Association of Massachusetts) needed a new web site that did a better job at integrating their membership base (over 800 businesses/facilities and 2000 people) into their online activity. The new site needed to use a website content management system (CMS) to make it easy for them to create and manage their own content. And they also wanted to completely integrate all of their membership management tools into the website CMS so that they could create dynamic content relationships online and offer their members the ability to log-in and manage their own personal information via the website. As the Interactive Media Director for FirstTracks it was my task to plan, manage, design and develop this beast.
Because of the complexity Mass-ALFA’s database relationship needs presented we decided to build the new site using Joomla as the CMS. This allowed us to have complete freedom when it came to integrating all the custom database management components into the back end of the CMS System. This also presented us with the opportunity to create a lot of really smart functional data relationships on the website. For instance, using their sponsorship management component they can create sponsorships with multiple levels of cost and then pick specific events that have been added to the system to tell the website where those logos should be displayed within the site, and it’s all accomplished with simple checkbox selection tools in our admin components!
Here are some feature highlights from the new site:
- Fully integrated member residence search
- Fully integrated member vendor search
- Job Openings Search
- News / PR database and Search component
- Events Database and Search Component
- Products Database and Search Component
- Dynamic featured content JQuery sliders on all major sections of site and homepage
- Auto content population on homepage of website for news, events, and vendors
- Fully Integrated Global Site Search
- Social Media Sharing Tool using “ShareThis” application
Better construction means better search engine optimization:
For all of the website projects we tackle here at FirstTracks one of our first steps with new site overhauls and redesigns is to run the current site through Hubspot’s Website Grader application to get an idea of how their current website property is performing for them. In this instance the old Mass-ALFA website was graded at 45 after launching the new site their website grade is now a 97! So what does that mean? It means that their content is more than twice as useful to search engines and users when it comes to sharing, linking and indexing their content. What’s your website grade? Use the link above to find out, if it’s below a 70 you should call us.
Contact me over at FirstTracks Marketing Group
Could your business or organization benefit from being able to publish, manage, and manipulate your digital footprint? YOU BET IT CAN, AND WE CAN PROVE IT! We can guarantee you that you will be amazed at how much functionality and flexibility we can provide even with the tightest of budgets. Why not fill out our online request form and find out for yourself, or better yet give us a call at 603-924-1978 right now and ask us. We look forward to hearing from you!