HSTAT Georgia

hstat-logo

The quote below is from the H-STAT website:

Health Students Taking Action Together, Inc. (H-STAT) is a nonprofit, member organization run by health professional students in Georgia.

H-STAT seeks to make being active in the health community a professional habit. By helping students and health professionals see advocacy as a continuum that links education and service to policy, we can facilitate the development of a new cohort of health leaders.

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501c Organizations

Developer Volunteers

Meeting H-STAT & Grassroots

Organizations Dedicated To Helping Others



Volunteering your efforts, and finding the right way to do so, can be rewarding…..and difficult to manage.

A year or so back, we found Catchafire.org, a site dedicated to linking non-profits to qualified Web Professionals with time to commit to volunteer work.

We recently discovered a new outlet as well, Grassroots.org. Likewise committed to helping worthy 501c organizations find help, we took on two projects from Grassroots right away. One in the Midwest and another in our own backyard. H-STAT based in Georgia, like us, was the first that we began, and is the first Case Study of the two.


Our initial contact with H-STAT was with Emily Woods, and she in fact became our primary contact throughout the project.

One of the Healthcare Professionals that works to better the community through a gamut of programs and efforts, Emily was extremely knowledgable, and a great creative mind to collaborate with.

After the initial period of meeting and discussing the scope of their needs, we dove into the first issue: Drupal, and migrating to a WordPress environment.

Drupal first released

  • Drupal Websites Worldwide 2%
  • 1,200,000+ Current Drupal Websites
  • 33,000 Drupal Modules Available

WordPress first release

  • WordPress Websites Worldwide 25%
  • 75,000,000 Current WordPress Websites Worlwide
  • 42,000 WordPress Plugins Available

Drupal to WordPress

Migrating the Website Data

Drupal, having roots going back to 2001, is a Content Management System. In February of 2014, Drupal was used on over 1,000,000 sites, and is one of the largest CMS environments.

WordPress is our choice, and though a powerful environment, boasting 30,000 modules, we were of an accord on moving to WordPress to supply the website H-STAT was after. The reasons were far more measured than opinion or preference, however.

  • Drupal is somewhat cumbersome, and hard for some clients to manage.
  • Security and Updating moving forward had to be simple, and reliable
  • Plugin/Module availability and popularity
  • Specifically, a Donations solution that was secure
  • Better blogging ability (read Simpler)
  • Comprehensive knowledgebase for client to access as needed

There were other thoughts, but, WordPress, with it’s 75 million sites, hundreds of thousands of active developers and designers….as well as the extensive online information on use….was the decision.

Of course that meant recovering over 10 years of blogging, and data from a Drupal home, and getting it into a clean WordPress installation was the first task. Through several different means, we were able to capture the data from the old site.

After spending some time internalizing the data we started to work on a front end for the new H-STAT website.  

Donation Functionality

The Give Plugin

Give_ButtonThough not really a noted issue at the start, the donations aspect of the HSTAT organization turned out to be one of the biggest boosts the new site would end up containing.

HSTAT runs a number of different fundraising activities, but had, up to this point, handled the lions share of their receiving via Razoo, an online donations and fundraising site. Though functional, the method being utilized added a tier to the receipt of funds, cost an extra bit….and really offered no integrated feel.

After looking over, and trying several plugins, we found Give, a newer, but feature rich plugin, that in it’s free version offered 99% of the functionality needed.

From the Give website:

HOW GIVE STARTED

Solving problems using WordPress has always fascinated us. Whether working on clients or our own products, our team gets excited about improving online user experience while making it easier for clients and users to accomplish their day-day goals. Since 2009, we’ve helped clients raise money online using WordPress. Whether a church or nonprofit, tweaking ecommerce plugins or adding donation functionality to forms were among the only viable solutions to building a proper “donation engine” inside WordPress.

All too often, even with heavy custom development, raising money was never a truly seamless experience. Give was built to help your organization increase giving, empower your cause, and improve donor user experience. The core of Give is free and always will be. Give will never charge your organization or institution on the basis of donations raised. We will never take a commission either.

Give was built to help you raise money directly on your WordPress website.

More About Give

Free vs. Premium

As the website was supposed to be helping this organization raise money, and every cut taken is a lot, we were determined to find a solution that cost as little as possible.

Though there are some pretty powerful add-ins available that have a fee attached…they are not needed for most sites….so Give was our choice. We wrote a small plugin with help from Gives EXTENSIVE knowledge base….adding in an extra field with the associated link to the notifications email.

The new website now had a free, and powerful donations handling solution.

Total Cost To Non-Profit: $0 Hats off to the folks responsible for Give

Jason Knill, Marketing and Financial Strategist

Jason Knill is partner at WordImpress and leads the marketing strategy and product finances for Give. He’s a member of the International Franchise Association and recently attended his first WordCamp. He focuses on building purposeful brands through national Brand campaigns and local marketing efforts.

Devin Walker, Founder and Lead Give Developer

Devin Walker is founder of WordImpress and has been working with WordPress since 2009. He is the lead developer and founder of Give and is very proud of the project. He loves to code, has a knack for design, and has built many successful websites and applications. He leads by doing in San Diego, CA.

Matt Cromwell, Brand Ambassador and Support Guru

Matt is Brand Ambassador and Support Guru at WordImpress – Matt leads the Brand development, community outreach and plugin bug testing for Give. He’s also the author of many free WordPress plugins, the lead admin of the Advanced WordPress Facebook group and a frequent WordCamp speaker.

Give Website

Along the way

The Build

There was very little revisioning done with the site structure.

A boxed layout with tight lines was the preference expressed early, and likewise, the branding colors were already a given. Those in mind we laid out a 1280px wide content area and started filing content. Much of the work done on the HSTAT site has been done over time by the organization itself.

H-STAT needed tools, and once given WordPress, coupled with The Elegant Themes, “Divi” Theme, The Divi Builder, and our customization of the admin area, layout of the modules in the builder and Global sections assigned for the site…HSTAT took the lead.

They continue to publish new content regularly and make changes to the pages and design. The only other real need that was expressed as important was the Events Calendar functionality. Though a Google calendar had been used and worked for them, a more integrated and feature rich solution was desired. We were able to again, find a free Plugin, that worked and provided security and function.

The Events Calendar by Modern Tribe, with a clean UI and simple but powerful admin functions, is among  the best of the events calendar plugins available for WordPress.

Total Cost to Non Profit: $0

Moving Forward

HSTAT Today & Future Plans

hstatmedWith the new site launched and having been through a fundraising campaign shortly after, the site has been run through the testing it needed to be considered to be at a stable and functional point.

The design and the content of the site continue to evolve as HSTAT and others that interact with the organization, think of new additions, or make new decisions on layouts and or color…etc. As an additional support offering, we maintain the sites security and state for HSTAT.

Handling plugin updates, custom code and front end design needed by the sites admin and editors, as well as continuing to confer with Emily on needs that they cannot cover without a Developer. In a world full of voices, this organization is both heard and felt….they do more than just speak, they act on their beliefs.

We applaud that effort, and urge others to pattern themselves after HSTAT.

Best Websites Fast truly lives up to the name!

They designed an attractive and easily-navigable website for us in a timely fashion. By combining our feedback with data-driven design concepts, they ensured that the website met our needs. We would highly recommend them to anyone in need of website design services.

 

Emily Woods

Marketing Chair, HealthSTAT Georgia

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