Open Door Mission’s Website Gets a Facelift
Open Door Mission’s Challenge
Open Door Mission, a nonprofit Gospel Rescue Mission founded in 1954, provides 320 men, women and children with safe shelter beds, serves more than 1,500 hot nutritious meals each day and provides preventive measures to more than 250 families living in poverty.
The organization’s website serves as a key resource for three main audiences: donors, volunteers and people in need. In 2009, Open Door Mission recognized the need for an updated website design and began searching for an agency to complete the project.
“It was time for a change,” said Candace Gregory, president and CEO of Open Door Mission. “We needed a new look, but we also had some usability issues that needed to be accommodated. Our organization depends on donor support and volunteers, so we wanted to make it easy for people to help.”
Open Door Mission had definite goals for the new site. First, the organization wanted a fresh, unified design with cohesive branding. The new site also had to be user-friendly and better organized, so it would be easier to navigate. Finally, because Open Door Mission is a nonprofit organization, the cost to design the new website needed to fit within budget constraints.
Envoy Pitches the Solution
Open Door Mission was also impressed with Envoy’s portfolio and WebWorks Assessment, and this coupled with the organization’s previous experience with Envoy during Max I. Walker’s Ultra Chic Prom Boutique led to the selection of Envoy as the agency to design the new website.
The WebWorks Assessment examines the client’s current website against key criteria and competitors’ websites. Envoy also talks to current site visitors to determine what enhancements would make it more user-friendly, functional and relevant for them.
In addition, the new website had to be simple for Open Door Mission to implement, and the organization wanted to allow key employees to update the site, so multiple user access was necessary. A user-friendly framework was also a necessity. Finally, the organization had a wealth of information for its website, so it needed to be well-organized and easy to navigate.
Envoy recommended a flexible content management system (CMS) and framework. Open Door Mission’s CMS is a dynamic, open source CMS and application framework that is extremely modular and extendable. Moreover, it can maintain multiple user accounts and requires no programming skills for basic website installation and administration. With this CMS, users at Open Door Mission can update the website as needed, while maintaining stability so no one can inadvertently damage the site.
Open Door Mission’s website went live in September 2009. The site features a clean design that is easy to navigate. Each page allows users to quickly find information on donating and volunteering, and visitors can readily find other pertinent information they are looking for. In fact, the site’s page views have dramatically increased. For example, in November 2009, two months after launching, the site had 43,197 page views versus 28,256 in November 2008. In December 2009, the site had 32,820 page views compared to 26,857 in December 2008.
Furthermore, with Drupal (a Web-based content management platform), Open Door Mission staff members can update the site with events, information about fundraising campaigns and news, so the site is always fresh. Moreover, Open Door Mission doesn’t have to worry about the cost of an IT team or a third party for updates it generates.
“We are very happy with the new website. Envoy gave it a great look and made our website user-friendly for both our staff and our site visitors. They considered our needs and delivered outstandingly.”
President and CEO
Open Door Mission