Dade County Federal Credit Union
Dade County Federal Credit Union’s website was originally built using PHP 4 and MySQL. The website’s original code was written using all procedural PHP and no development framework. The original developers also built a custom CMS to be used with the website, which provided the website administrator the ability to upload and publish web banners to various areas of the website, create and update different content pages, schedule different news posts, as well as setup and edit their branch and ATM locations. With the launch of PHP 5, the site lost the majority of its original functionality and began to have problems performing its day to day tasks.
The site administrator began to run into errors uploading images and banners, as well as using the CMS WSYWIG editor. Due to the amount of issues with the original code, the system was now out dated and not able to be used properly by the website administrator. The client had to then resort to having our team manually update the website via the source code for the various areas of the website as well as making direct edits in the database for many of the worst case scenarios. These issues became periodic, and eventually progressed to the CMS being un-usable by the client. One day in particular the client came to us saying “The site just doesn’t work anymore.” At that time with our recommendation the client agreed that it was time for an upgrade of their current system, as well as a full redesign of their website.
Things we did
Dade County Federal’s website had maintained a very distinctive look and feel with a very easy to use navigation for its various members. Approaching the redesign, we needed to provide not only a simple and intuitive design, but we also needed to ensure that the site was also functional with room for growth over the years. After reviewing our client’s needs while also looking ahead to what platform would better suit our client’s technical abilities, we chose to use WordPress as the websites core CMS platform. WordPress provided an easy to use pre-built CMS, which also has the ability to grow over time using custom modules and plugins to suit a variety of needs. WordPress also allows for seamless upgrades and maintenance which would ensure that the website would be kept up to date with the times and any newer releases of PHP.
The new layout incorporated the client’s needs to provide their members with the most important information first, while still having access to all of the information and services that its Credit Union offered. To accomplish this, we created various custom widgets as well as custom content areas that utilized the WordPress Post and Page functionality. The websites homepage incorporates 3 custom widget promotion and news areas, a dynamic featured promotion slider, and a custom news and alerts section that can all be controlled via the administration area. The website also uses a language switcher plugin which allows their website administrator to provide Spanish translations for any content they would like to add to the website. This is also used on the dynamic featured promotion slider, which will also display a Spanish translated banner when uploaded into the administration area.
On the previous version of the website, the customer also had a very limited and basic location system which limited the client’s ability to edit locations as soon as possible as well as limited their web masters ability to remove old locations. To address their needs, we developed a custom mapper plugin for WordPress, using PHP and Google Maps. Our plugin allows their webmaster to create, edit, and remove locations on the fly, as well as edit location details, upload an image of the location, and set the location hours without any issues and in moments. The plugin also uses a zip code lookup that allows members to find branches quickly and easily using their local zip code.
Our original mission when starting this project was to deliver a website that not only met our customers expectations but to also deliver a website that maintained easy usability for their website administrator, had speed and reliability, and a robust system that allowed room for growth. Our clients review and feedback, “This is FANTASTIC and more than we expected for!” Mission Accomplished!
- Dade County Federal Credit Union
- 25th February 2011
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