Latest Enterprise Project: New OCRI website launched

OAK is proud to announce its most recent enterprise project, OCRI’s new WordPress based website. Please visit the website at: www.ocri.ca

This was a significant project for us, not just because OCRI is such a big name in Ottawa but also because OCRI’s web needs were distinctively unique. OCRI’s reason for migrating to WordPress was to leverage WordPress’s powerful CMS abilities to pull information from its many different web presences representing different OCRI initiatives while presenting it all in a clean, organized, and highly automated fashion. 

OCRI needed an enterprise solution that would give its web marketing executives the ability to aggregate and conslolidate the OCRI web presences around a CMS platform while providing customized web layouts to each department and each individual departmental page having its own customized sidebar. Each department had very specific and different needs, from different banner images and colour schemes, to custom widgets and feeds on their sidebars and hence the scope of the project from a design and layout point of view was immense. Each department’s landing pages had different content requirements and multiple content sources – for example community event feeds, internal articles, external blogs, identified syndicated feeds, partner and stakeholder websites etc. 

The bulk of the OCRI solution is highly customized and leverages WordPress 3.0 capabilities. The solution leverages the core capabilities of WordPress such custom fields, custom tags etc and it is also supported by a couple of custom plugins that were specifically coded to address identified needs. These include the calendar in the sidebars, the events calendar, and custom plugins that import events from identified feeds after parsing the feed. On top, the solution has a hige number of custom widgets that were created to replicate the key elements of look and feel of the old OCRI website. Besides, the solution is rich in its Social Media capabilities and any article while being published can be pushed to twitter while assigning hashtags from within the backend. Standard Social Media capabilities such as on the fly video, flickr feeds, RSS aggregators etc can all be easily employed from within the system and can be employed in multiple different ways to keep the look and feel of the solution. This high level of customization is a requirement, since each department needed the ability to customize their pages on the fly, without having to go beyond the basic WordPress backend.

In summary, the four month project while being demanding was well worth the effort put into it. We learnt a lot, and we are very proud of the end result. Dave Hunt from OAK was the principal architect and developer on this project, and he worked closely with Jeff Elyea from OCRI who provided all the design directives and project management as well as stellar testing and deployment support from within OCRI. This was a big endeavour, and we look forward to re-creating this magic for another organization like OCRI.

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