Case Study: WordPress Website Development
The largest contributory retirement system in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was looking for a new, user-friendly website. Since 1997, their website had been hosted by the Commonwealth’s IT department on state servers; however, after the state’s major redesign of mass.gov’s structure and page design, the website’s format no longer met the retirement system’s needs. For this reason, the organization sought a qualified vendor to design, develop, and host a modern, accessible website.
Aciron began the engagement by working collaboratively with the key stakeholders to analyze the requirements and strategic direction for the website. The client was looking for a website built on a content management system (CMS) platform, with “must-have” requirements including a user-friendly interface for managing content and accessibility for all users. Based on these requirements, we recommended the use of WordPress for the new website.
We installed and configured the WordPress platform on the client’s server. The Aciron team assisted the client with theme selection by providing advice on design and usability, and then installed, configured, and customized the chosen WordPress theme using plugins. Based on the look and feel that the client was looking to achieve, Aciron worked with the key stakeholders to develop page templates for the site, which would allow the client to create new pages that maintain a consistent look and feel after the initial website launch. Aciron also helped the client to choose, install, and configure plugins that added desired functionality and design elements to the site. The team ensured that the plugins were able to fully integrate with the client’s system by working with the theme’s authors to overcome any issues that arose.
Aciron worked with the key stakeholders at the organization to develop an accessible WordPress website that helps visitors easily access information and improves the visitor user experience. We developed the client’s website to be user-friendly, visually compelling, and an interactive online experience for visitors. Because the client is a government entity, they required that the website meet government accessibility standards. For this reason, Aciron developed the website using accessibility best practices like alt text, consistent headers, and tooltips, which enables users to navigate the site using assistive technology like screen readers. Users can also adjust the visual elements of the website like color, text size, etc. to improve the user experience of the site. The website also includes:
- Intuitive content organization, including in-page navigation enabling visitors to browse the website with ease
- Responsive design providing device-optimized content for visitors
- SEO-optimized pages ensuring that the website ranks well with search engines
- Expanded search functionality to make finding relevant content quick and easy
Additionally, we developed the website to integrate with Formstack and Google Analytics, as well as to enable easy updating of dynamic content newsletters, events, and announcements. Other back-end admin features include:
- Role-based permissioning enabling the client to better control which staff members have access to which features and content
- Content versioning ensuring that the content can be reverted to a previous version for any reason
- Content tagging allowing the client to have greater control over each page’s SEO and search value
- Page templates that makes it quick and easy to create new pages that maintain a consistent look and feel to the rest of the website
- Media Library that stores all of the website’s images and documents in one, searchable repository
Upon completion of the website, Aciron provided training to help the client’s staff learn how to use the website platform and manage content creation and updates moving forward. Since going live, the organization has received rave reviews from members and staff about the new website. Aciron continues to work with the client providing hosting assistance, as well as support and maintenance for the website.