Content Management CMS
Fenix has been offering CMS solutions for 14 years. We understand implicitly the challenges and opportunities offered by the web and the content publishing needs of organizations. Our CMS solutions allow you to manage your site ongoing including adding/editing/updating all content on the site including documents, pages, images, links, video, and more. A CMS is a necessary and valuable tool to organizations looking to take control of their website and update their content routinely and easily.
Fenix is considered Ottawa's top Drupal integrators. We have worked with Drupal for the last 5+ years and know its capabilities and features intimately. Drupal is a full-featured, robust CMS which offers functionality and capabilities unlike any other free, open source CMS on the market. Key Drupal differentiators and features include:
- Ease of use > Designed for use by non-technical resources, Drupal is extremely user friendly and easy to use, specifically if built properly. The use of a WYSIWYG editor with common bold, italic, and list features makes using Drupal as easy as using Word.
- Bilingual > Drupal is the only free, open source CMS that offers multilingual capabilities as part of its core offering. This means you can translate all content, content types, theme elements, GUI elements, and more. Fenix has built Drupal websites with 2, 3, and 86 languages.
- Content > Drupal is the only CMS that allows for the flexibility you need to manage multiple types of content typical on most web projects. Many CMS solutions come with preconceived ideas about your content, which means you have to force your content into the way the CMS works (e.g., WordPress is based on "Articles"). Not all your content will fit into one template. In fact, this is where most clients have trouble with their CMS solutions: they don't offer flexibility to meet their content needs. With Drupal, we can build content types for each piece of unique content, so that a basic page looks very different from a news or your event calendar page. This means you have a template to suit all your specific content requirements, and you are never forced to format a page into a template that doesn't work for you.
- Mobile > Drupal offers mobile responsive templates out of the box, so you can build your site responsive from the start. This is a critical consideration given the ongoing trend toward mobile and tablet web browsing.
- Multi-site > Drupal offers the wonderful ability to host multiple websites off a single Drupal install, each with their own theming, templating, content, and user administration. Some organizations are using one Drupal configuration to power 100s of regional or departmental websites.
- Dynamic Content > We often hear from clients that they want to upload content once, and have it propagate to other areas of the site automatically. Drupal does this beautifully. It allows you to upload a News item to the News area, and will automatically populate the News item on the homepage and throughout the site if needed. So you only have to add the content once.
- File/Image Management and Rich Media >Adding documents and images to Drupal is easy-peasy using the File Upload feature. You can add images and documents to any page or piece of content. These are also uploaded once and dynamically added to the relevant content areas you have defined. Additionally, Drupal integrates beautifully with video streaming channels to populate playlists on your site and provide an engaging, visual experience.
- Password/Portal Areas > Drupal offers a robust and fully featured member area for documents, pages, and discussions that need to be put in a private location for access only by certain authenticated users. The Organic Groups module allows clients to organize users into many groups, each with different access permissions. Many of our clients are using this feature to run their multiple Committees and Boards, including The Ottawa Hospital Foundation and the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada. They allows various users access to the specific groups and upload documents, images, presentations, and pages specific to those groups.
- Member Management > Different from the member areas above, these types of clients need to put their full membership roster (often 4000+ members) online, with all related member functionality: online payments and renewals, member search, online donations, and more. Drupal integrates seamlessly with an Open Source application called CiviCRM to power membership-based features and functionality. One of our clients, the Royal Society of Canada, is currently using Drupal to power their front-end website and CiviCRM to power their Membership — all online.
- Search & Acquia > The native Drupal search feature is robust and offers excellent searching capabilities. However, should you want faceted search or the ability to search the contents of PDF documents, Apache Solr search and Acquia search are both services we can tap into. For those unfamiliar with Acquia, they offer enterprise hosting support and related services for Drupal deployments. One of our clients — Cree Health — uses the Acquia search for their website and online Library (Biblio Module) feature.
- Ease of Design Updates > Because Drupal separates the presentation layer (design) from the content, changing your site design is easy and trouble-free. You can actually change the design and all of your content will be automatically reconfigured to the new CSS. Now when you want to "refresh" your site, you can do it without a complete rebuild.
- SEO > Drupal offers excellent SEO modules to manage metadata, page titles, page descriptions, alt tags on images, and all the criteria necessary to make your site SEO optimized. With large organizations like the Whit e House and the University of Calgary using Drupal, it meets SEO expectations and requirements
- Security > With a developer community of thousands watching the application and updating it daily, Drupal is considered one of the most secure open source CMS applications on the market. Key to keeping your install safe is applying the software patches and releases as soon as possible after their release. Fenix offers annual support packages to clients where we conduct these updates for you, thereby keeping your install safe, clean and worry-free.
With a growing trend toward mobile and table browsing, Fenix develops all our web initiatives to the best practices of responsive design. Knowing how to build and design to a grid system is key to successful content presentation and layout on all devices and platforms. Additionally, choosing a CMS that is built for responsive optimization is key to easily and efficiently developing a website optimized for mobile responsive.
Mobile Web Applications
Mobile applications are a great alternative to native mobile apps. In fact, most clients who have come to us thinking they need a native mobile app find their needs met and satisfied with a mobile web app. Mobile web apps are specific websites that look and feel like applications and are optimized for mobile viewing and use. Quick-link icons can be saved to your device and the web app can be easily accessed by clicking it.
For clients with very unique needs and workflows not easily addressed and resolved through the use of an off-the-shelf software products, Fenix develops custom applications on frameworks like CakePHP and Laravel using programming technologies like PHP and Angular. Examples of this include: NAV CANADA ACT application, Giant Tiger 50th Anniversary Guest Book, and the Grapevine mobile web website. Further information on each of these can be found in the Our Work section.
Building products on a software-as-a-service methodology is where it's at right now. Using CakePHP as a framework, Fenix has built two SAAS-based applications for internal products at Fenix. Building a product from scratch based on an idea, and having clients sign up and pay for it online, is an exciting and dynamic opportunity. Our experience building these SAAS products has provided immeasurable insight and experience for our technology team.
Fenix has built many eCommerce projects both in the form of straight-up eStores and in combination with other workflows and processes. For example, for Membership-based clients often require a Portal with:
- Membership payments & renewal > Our eCommerce solutions allow for multiple tiers of membership and payments based on those tiers, including new registrants and annual renewals. Automatic email notifications are sent to remind the members to login and pay their dues. Late fees and discounts can also be applied.
- eStore > The most common eCommerce environment we have built includes an eStore which houses products, documents, publications, and so on. Frequently, members are offered discounted pricing on store products and these are all applied using the eCommerce system. Robust reporting lets our clients see what products are being purchased by which users and the overall health of their eCommerce and eStore environments.
- Course/Conference Registration > Many client require an ability to offer registration for online courses, events, or conferences, with pricing tiers. Our eCommerce solutions allow for the facilitation and completion of these tasks online, and additionally provide useful information for analysis and business intelligence gathering post-event.
Fenix has built a large number of association- and member-based websites for national organizations. These clients typically require a combination of solutions. This often includes a CMS to manage their website and with a Portal to manage their members. The Portal typically includes integration with a CRM, the inclusion of eCommerce capabilities, and tiered content based on user authentication and permissions. We have many examples of these CMS/Portal solutions, all using Drupal, in the Our Work section of our website. These solutions have saved the associations money and time by consolidating their membership online.
Most of our clients require a password-protected section of their website to allow authorized users the ability to access tiered content and sensitive documents and information, along with a variety of collaborative tools and unique, custom-built functionality. These portals allow for multiple groups of users, with access to information based on their group status. Additionally, they feature the ability to add/edit/delete group users, and collaborate online. They also include many of the features noted in the Membership Management offering above, including: eCommerce, eStore, online registration for training/events/courses, and so on. Many include the ability for portal users to upload documentation and certification required to maintain compliance and move through the organization's unique membership precise.
More and more often our clients require us to build to WCAG/AODA compliance. No longer is this an optional decision for our clients, and we have educated ourselves on these compliance requirements. Fenix has completed 10+ WCAG/AODA projects in the last year and know the specifics regarding this requirement. Not only do we build compliant websites, starting at the design phase, we provide a compliance report at site completion. Additionally, we educate our clients on maintaining compliance post launch as content they add affects their compliance rating. Samples of our WCAG work can be found in the Our Work section.