All About…Web: February 2021

At Fíonta HQ in D.C., we’re headed into the coldest month of the year – but thankfully, like a good mug of hot cocoa, February is infused with warmth when it comes to celebrating love and partnership. In this edition of the newsletter, we’re sharing warm fuzzies from our latest WordPress site launch; tips on how to choose a vendor for your next project (and keep the partnership healthy once it’s underway); a few reminders for Drupal site owners to ensure no painful end-of-life breakups, and more. 

– Erin Rickard, Digital Services Manager

SITE LAUNCH: Great Lakes Women’s Business Council

We are excited to announce our launch of a new WordPress site for the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council. Great Lakes WBC supports women and minorities in business through access to capital, corporate procurement opportunities, certification for women-owned business enterprises, and small business educational support. With small businesses in even greater need of support during the pandemic, Great Lakes WBC decided to replace their outdated Joomla site with a more intuitive administrator interface, a streamlined information architecture to clarify their full range of services, and web forms and online payments to replace an application process previously dependent on PDF and snail-mailed forms. Using the Elementor page builder tool and custom development, Fionta built a site to simplify both Great Lakes WBC’s administrative tasks and visitors’ navigation through the range of opportunities. Visit the new Great Lakes WBC website!

DRUPAL UPDATE: 6 Web Development Pitfalls to Avoid

In make-believe land, technology projects come in under-budget, ahead of schedule, and without any unforeseen issues. Let’s be honest here…in the real world, tech projects can be challenging. In this blog, Fíonta senior developer Lisa Godare covers six ways you may inadvertently be putting the health of your website at risk, along with simple fixes or strategies to avoid doing so in the future.

EVENT: 10 Tips for Working With Vendors for a Successful Digital Project

NTEN’s article covers the essential steps to choosing the right vendor for your next technology project, from seeking out references from your online communities (like NTEN!), checking out vendors’ portfolios of work, and evaluating proposals for clear language and understanding of the project. For more tips on making your project a success once it’s underway, see our blog, The Principles of a Successful Project Partnership.

ARTICLE: Value-Based Digital Strategy: How Research, Measurement, and Experimentation Unlocks Impact

Speaking of new projects, if you’re about to make a big investment in a new website or other digital product, how do you ensure you’re set up for a worthwhile return on that investment? Last February, senior UX consultant Kailee Quinn presented a 45-minute webinar covering the value-based design framework—a set of strategic tactics that ties the structure, systems, copy, and design elements of any digital effort to organizational economic outcomes. Watch and learn how the proper application of user research, measurements, and experiments will help you understand what is truly valuable to your audiences and how you can unlock more value for both them and your organization itself.


A reminder for those with a Drupal 8 site – as 2021 gets underway, don’t forget about the D8 end-of-life date coming up in November! Get started now to give your organization plenty of time to prepare. You’ll need to check for any deprecated code or unsupported modules to replace when updating to Drupal 9. An upgrade audit will help you determine the scope of the move to 9 for your site. For more information on what to expect in Drupal 9, watch our on-demand webinar and the Ultimate Guide to Drupal 9

If your site is on Drupal 7, you have until November 2022 to upgrade. The jump from Drupal 7 to 9 requires a rebuild so now is the time to plan your project. This year, plan to undertake discovery to determine the functional and design requirements for the rebuild and arrive at an implementation plan and estimate to factor into your 2022 fiscal year budget. Kick off the implementation in early 2022 to ensure your new site is launched by the November end of life date.

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