Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center
Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center
A Quick Refresher
What should you do when the clock is counting down on your website turning technologically obsolete? And your budget for a new one is limited?
The easy answer: Call us.
Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, a nonprofit that works with public and private agencies to investigate and prosecute child abuse cases in Dallas County (as well as other mission support initiatives), was in that predicament. Their .NET Framework platform and content management system (CMS) were reaching the deprecation stage, and performance problems were numerous:
- The CMS was essentially incompatible with the site’s third-party donation and volunteer services system, consequential foundations for a nonprofit. Also, the site did not have modern site encryption.
- Entering content with the CMS was clunky. Page tagging and search engine optimization (SEO) features also were very difficult to implement.
- CMS and code issues were causing havoc with accurate Google Analytics reporting.
- Site navigation was bulky – visitors who hovered over a particular tab were served a daunting array of drop-down menus. This complicated things when accessing the site on mobile.
- Styling consistency was frustrating, particularly the size of text on site forms and when sharing pages on social platforms. Mobile-image display proved limiting and unwieldy. Some creative elements would not render correctly on the desktop version if the browser wasn’t at full screen.
- Page load times were unsatisfactory, running five to six seconds in some cases.
In sum, the client needed a lightweight, secure, and social-friendly site with a contemporary CMS that was a breeze to use. The timeline would be aggressive – only a couple of weeks to present working design concepts and not that much more time for production and launch – because the CMS was being deprecated.
We’ve Got This
We had the perfect solution: WordPress. This would bring the client’s site up to speed with value and ease. The new CMS would offer an intuitive and more streamlined way to enter content, and best-in-class plugins would make SEO configuration and site analytics simple.
Interestingly, creative concepts were fashioned by our graphic designers completely in the CMS itself rather than using the standard web design software typical for one-dimensional preproduction presentations. This meant the client ultimately could decide on a concept with the creative options already “proven” and ready to roll in a production environment.
WordPress also made it easy to fulfill the client’s request to create a new site blog that would support owned content like video and podcasts.
We took care of the old site’s navigation issues using user experience best practices and in consultation with the client about what was most important from a hierarchy standpoint. From there, we structured the new site with subpage navigation options.
The main navigation was updated to modern user interface design standards, so users wouldn’t be overwhelmed by choices every time they hovered over a menu item. Instead, they could select the main topic and then, with the benefit of some basic information on the subsequent landing page, review all the subtopics and make a choice to explore further.
On the back-end, we used features already available in WordPress to refine SEO and page tagging and make some of the bulkier copy modules – like financials, event schedules, and staff bios, for instance – easier to present, navigate, and digest.
Good to Go
All told, we were able to hit the tight deadline and provide the client with a fresh, fast, and easily scalable site.
They were impressed enough to quickly assign us another project, their site for the Crimes Against Children Conference, a Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center-hosted event that annually attracts thousands of professionals from across the globe. Because the look-and-feel “bones” of the main site were already established in the CMS, we produced this site even more quickly.
For this type of project and budget, we have the perfect solution.