In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback that would demonstrate the effectiveness of the work they’ve delivered?
This is kind of tricky because, with our previous content management system, we did not have analytics and reporting capabilities. In that sense, we don’t have any baseline of comparison. However, we did start pulling metrics when we first launched the site and as we’ve conducted some SEO [search engine optimization] with Elevated Third. In the beginning, we were receiving about 8,000 unique visitors a month. After working with Elevated Third and doing a comprehensive marketing plan, which includes the website, we’re now getting about 24,000 unique visitors a month, which is a significant upturn in.
How has your internal staff taken to Drupal? Have they adopted it fairly quickly, or have you experienced considerable resistance?
We haven’t had any real resistance to Drupal because our old CMS was so hard to deal with. We’ve had to wait for scheduled pushes of information. Elevated Third helped us create a good user workflow on the backend. We now have a moderated workflow, which gives us the ability to let each of our divisions have a liaison that can edit their section on the website. Having a distributed format like that has really increased our efficiency and productivity.
Then, of course, when they make their changes, it gets reported to our management team. We can then review the content before it goes live. Our marketing communications team looks at all the notifications and will approve or help make additional edits when necessary before the content goes live, which has given our staff a new level of autonomy.
When working with Elevated Third, is there anything you’d consider unique or special about their approach or development methodology that distinguishes them from other vendors you’ve worked with?
In my opinion, Elevated Third really digs in and does a lot of research to understand your business. They conducted a lot of research for us to try to understand our organization, the nuances of what we do, and how we do it. They also did a fantastic job of coming in and presenting to our senior staff the improvements they could make to our internal workflows. They also kept us on top of our content development tasks, so that all of the information would be prepared for our soft launch. We really appreciated that.
In retrospect, are there areas you think Elevated Third could improve upon as a service provider, or are there things you’d do differently as the client before initiating a project with them?
I would make sure that, in the scope of work, they included some training materials. I know we’ve had a lot of requests for training materials internally, something we simply don’t have time to create in-house. I wasn’t a part of that contract negotiation, but I think that the training piece of it could have been amplified. The training they gave us for the product was great, but materials for customizations, modifications, and troubleshooting would have been very helpful.
In terms of evaluating Drupal itself, do you still remain confident that it will continue to meet your business needs, both strategic and functional, into the foreseeable future?
Yes, most definitely, I do. The state was using a proprietary content management system, which I believe they’re still trying to transition from. I think even the state has seen some of the strengths of Drupal and is looking at transitioning to a comprehensive Drupal ecosystem. I see it having some serious longevity. With all of the customizations you can do with it, I could see this being something we’d use for quite a while.