Web Case Study 1
We have a client that we have worked with for many years. This client had a website already established that was built by our company. The client contacted our company with a new strategy that they wanted to explore. This client was an educational institution, so their need for constantly update web content was high. They wanted to discuss with us if it was possible for them to control their entire website in-house without the need to hire additional staff. We should stress here that they were receiving terrific service from our company in regards to managing their website, but they felt that their staff would be take a more proactive role in the website if they had the ability to do it at their own pace and time.
The first iteration of this website was already established with a certain level of content management as they had complete control over news articles, schedules, directories, announcements, etc. Our first order of business in creating the new Content Management Solutions (CMS) was to bring over these existing features into the new architecture.
Next, they wanted a strict level of access control for each user. To accommodate, we developed a two-tiered level of security. There were two types of accounts established, Administrator access and Regular Users. Administrators could operate any area of the CMS and create new users. Since this software would be so multi-faceted, we created a security class architecture for the system. Administrators were able to manage user accounts and grant or deny access to each area of the CMS by selecting a checkbox next to each module. This was a very complex level of access control that, to our clients, was extremely simple and effective to use.
The next step was determining how to give them the level of control they desired. Obviously, the end users were not familiar with web based programming to create web pages, so we had to develop a way for them to create and edit web pages with no knowledge of HTML. First, an HTML page will link to primarily two types of resources, files (PDF, word documents, etc.) and images. In order for the page to function properly, these resources must be available on the web server of the web page. So, the first hurdle was constructing a way for them get these resources on the server. To meet this need, we created two new modules called File Library and Image Library. These functioned with a document tree folder structure that allowed resources to be grouped into folders and subfolders for easy access. The systems were also created using a tagging architecture. Each time a new resource was added into the library, the end user had the capability to attach keywords to the resources. Then, when they were editing web pages, they could search the libraries for certain keywords that would save them the time of hunting their resources as the libraries grew.
The next hurdle was in the Image Library. Images cannot simply be included on a web page. Care has to be taken to ensure that the image is sized and optimized properly for viewing on the web. Obviously, we didnít expect the end users to have knowledge of graphic software to optimize these images, so we create the Image Library functions to do it for them. Upon uploading each image, our software would examine the image and the parameters set by the end user, and then resize these images to optimize them for the website. This would ensure that no mistakes were made when managing images.
Next, we set out to create a Rich Text Editor that functioned online that would allow the users to create web pages, using Microsoft Word editing capabilities online. They didnít need to know HTML. They were able to work in a system they were entirely familiar with (Office) to create custom pages and formatting. Our software took their input and then translated it to HTML code to display the formatting on the website. This editor also gave them the ability to add links and images from the file and image libraries.
The next thing that must be maintained on a website is the navigational menus. We constructed a menu library that allowed the end user to add and delete their pages they had created through our system or outside web pages to menus for the website. By utilizing this module, they were able to completely control the navigational structure of their web site.
Next we set out to design a new website look and feel for this iteration of their site. As with all of our websites, great time and effort was put into making this iteration attractive and functional. We then had to create the necessary programming for this template to allow it to be controlled by the CMS.
When we finished, our client had a custom attractive website that they had absolute control over every aspect.
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