Medora Success Story: How We Helped BCTEAL to Fix a Failing Website
When they first contacted Vancouver web designer, Medora, the British Columbia Teachers of English as an Additional Language (BC TEAL) were facing a number of significant challenges.
Not only their website had an outdated web design that didn’t accurately portray them as professionals, but their site was built on an outdated ColdFusion model that was painfully slow, took hours for each minor update, and required time-intensive data entry for simple tasks like event registration. Volunteers and committee members (who were already overworked) were often spending entire weeks performing simple administrative tasks – something had to be done.
The leadership at BC TEAL had considered web upgrades in the past, but were dealing with a situation where even small changes took days to complete. Fixing slow loading times and back-end programming issues seemed like an impossibility.
After spending some time with the BC TEAL team and finding out about their operational needs, we decided it would be best to rebuild their website from scratch.
Since we wanted to give them more than a fresh look, we designed the new pages in an open source WordPress format that most of the organization was already familiar with, so that it would be easier for them to maintain and update on a day-to-day basis. The new site was created on a virtual private server, meaning that it now had access to more processing power and disk space, which led to dramatically faster performance (for both users and administrators) right away. A regular checkup, maintenance, and data schedule were also put in place to ensure that things would keep running smoothly.
Additionally, we implemented custom programming for features like scheduling, payment processing, and registration. Members could now log in to the website and sign up for upcoming sessions and seminars without any manual entry from the staff.
Behind the scenes, we created multiple access levels, so that personnel from different parts of the organization could enter the site’s administrative controls with the appropriate permissions. And finally, we rounded out their new content management system with social features (like groups and friends) that would allow users to network with one another, share posts and information, and form more valuable professional connections.
After working with Medora, BC TEAL saw online registration and usage of their website grow dramatically. Membership and revenue are both up overall, even though staff members are spending less time than ever on administrative tasks.
On a deeper level, both the organization and its website are now more valuable to members. It has become a hub for industry and organizational news. The community area has become a popular forum for sharing ideas and best practices, and generates lots of ongoing feedback around current topics.
Within days of the site’s relaunch, positive reviews started coming in from all over the province, and continue to show up every day. With a little imagination, some custom programming, and ongoing support, we’ve been able to help a great organization create the online presence it should have had all along.
Visit BC TEAL website: www.bcteal.org