The client is a private Christian college that serves approximately 3,000 undergraduates and has nearly 150 faculty and staff. The client sought a technology partner to build a new WordPress site that would allow them to enhance their digital presence and offer more dynamic user-centric content. New Local Media was one of two of potential vendors to receive a request for proposal from the client, and they were selected as the solution partner based on their demonstrated capabilities and the recommendation of a close business associate. Once commissioned, New Local Media was responsible for the client's WordPress implementation, which included requirements gathering, project scoping, strategic oversight, wireframing and template design, custom backend development, data preparation and migration, hosting and database configuration, systems integration, user interface/user experience and performance testing, training, and ongoing support.
The client expressed great enthusiasm and appreciation for the work delivered by New Local Media. According to the client, their successfully launched WordPress site has already driven considerable improvements in unique traffic, page views, and contact form submissions. The client also indicated that they've received overwhelmingly positive feedback from their internal staff and external stakeholders. New Local Media was praised highly for their flexibility and responsiveness with client requests. The client maintains an ongoing relationship with New Local Media and recommends them to others without reservation.
"We’ve already begun to see a consistent uptick in our traffic, page views, and click-through rates."
Could you briefly describe your organization?
I work for the Center for the Advancement of Christian Education at Dordt College. We have probably two approaches here. One is a micro approach in which we’re going to walk alongside Christian schools, helping them with sustainability, promotion, and Christian advocacy. The macro approach is to be able to use our website as a connecting point, as a place for resources to be distributed and so forth.
What is your position?
I’m the director.
Could you describe the business challenges you were attempting to address when you initiated the relationship with New Local Media?
We didn’t have the internal expertise to create a new website and populate it with high-quality, compelling content. We needed to find a company that had the technical ability to create our new site based on our specifications, but we also really needed a firm that was going to be able to provide some strategic insights. We had a rough idea of where we wanted to go with our brand and how we wanted the new site to look and feel, but we had little idea of how to implement those things, or even as to whether or not those priorities were even desirable from our standpoint.
Can you describe the scope of this project in greater detail?
This was essentially a full-service project. They even helped us modify our business plan. They helped us with research, discovery, requirements gathering, and project scoping. Once we moved through the planning stage, they began building the site from the ground up. They finalized and polished our new design and coded all of the custom functionality on the site. They continue to offer support services to us on a monthly basis.
How did you identify and select New Local Media as a partner?
It was really word of mouth. Someone we worked with in marketing had suggested them. We had a chance to meet with them, interview them, and it just felt like they were a company that would meet our needs.
How did you select New Local Media as your solution partner for this endeavor?
We did some initial research. They were one of two potential vendors that we approached with this project. After we’d met with the teams of both, we decided that New Local Media was probably the more capable and experienced of the two.
Had you already selected WordPress as your preferred content management system before approaching New Local Media?
No, we had not. They were a part of the decision-making process that led to the selection of WordPress. WordPress was their number one recommendation in terms of platforms. They argued for the flexibility and accessibility of WordPress and persuaded us that it would also be the most cost-effective solution in terms of obtaining future support services. We agreed with their assessment and went ahead and built the new site using WordPress
Could you provide a sense of the size of this project in monetary terms?
In total, the new site cost us a little more than $15,000 in the first year. We retain them for support service, too.
When was this WordPress site launched?
We launched it on March 15 of this year 2014, so very recently.
In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback that would demonstrate the effectiveness of their work?
We’ve been using Google Analytics to track and monitor our progress. We’ve been very happy with the number of unique hits generated on a weekly basis. Even though our new site hasn’t been live for that long, we’ve already begun to see a consistent uptick in our traffic, page views, and click-through rates. In terms of more qualitative results, we’ve definitely received some compliments on the design changes and the overall site navigation.
When working with New Local Media, is there anything you’d consider unique about their approach or development methodology that distinguishes them from other vendors?
The attention to detail that they display and the urgency they place on client interactions are the two crucial things that really stand out in my mind. They invest considerable time doing their research and attempting to gain a firm grasp of their clients’ needs and constraints. I think the quality of their work reflects these two characteristics, too. We’ve been thoroughly impressed.