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Environment America

Consisting of around 120 employees, Environment America is a national federation of state environmental advocacy groups. These organizations work to project open spaces, fight for clean air and water, and to promote real solutions to our most pressing environmental problems. Environment America uses WebGUI as an integral part of its content management platform for each organization’s website in order to provide simple, customizable and cost-effective integration for updates performed by non-IT staff members.

 

“We needed to allow organization members across the country - many of whom had limited IT knowledge - to access and update a given website on their own.”

Search for a Solution

Environment America wanted to replace its current content management platform – which consisted of an ASP-based system of static HTML sites – with a more dynamic system that would allow non-IT personnel to update sites on their own, rather than piling updates into a backlog. Wes Morgan, internet organizer for Environment America, was part of a team designated the task of finding a comprehensive, robust CMS that could manage several websites at once while offering customizable functionality and an intuitive interface.

Environment America had crossed paths with WebGUI as early as 2004, when a consultant suggested utilizing the open source platform for the creation of a partner organization's voter registration and get-out-the-vote website. Now, Morgan and his team needed to find a CMS that would satisfy a long list of requirements they had assembled. WebGUI was a candidate, but could it pass the test?

“We needed to allow organization members across the country – many of whom had limited IT knowledge – to access and update a given website on their own,” said Morgan. “Additionally, our management and IT teams needed centralized control, monitoring and workflow approval for the entire system. Because our organization is a non-profit, finding a program that would accommodate so many members while maintaining cost-effectiveness were crucial components of the search.”

Environment America chose WebGUI to manage the network of websites. WebGUI’s open source platform gave Morgan and his team the potential to customize modules and processes. WebGUI’s low barrier to entry was a cost-effective way to evaluate the program before enlisting a support contract. WebGUI had the power to give IT teams centralized control over a large number of websites while allowing non-tech personnel monitored access to content updates.

 

“Because our organization is a non-profit, finding a program that would accommodate so many members while maintaining cost-effectiveness were crucial components of the search.”

Results

Environment America implemented the WebGUI solution for around 30 websites, establishing centralized control and remote access. Administrative members of the network around the country were assigned logins with pre-designated accessibility and could open the interface using any kind of web browser.

Morgan mentioned, “WebGUI’s accessibility is a big winner for us. Custom functionality was another kicker; with WebGUI’s open source platform, we’ve been able to add features and modules that firmly support what we need in a CMS. We’ve even taken it a few steps further by getting involved in the WebGUI community and working with Plain Black’s support teams to tweak existing features for our use.”

Morgan and his IT team no longer have to spend precious hours updating and catching up on an extensive backlog, freeing them up for more important tasks.

“WebGUI has enabled us to do things with our websites we’ve never been able to do before. With WebGUI, we can give the people who are creating the web content the power to perform maintenance hands-on over a large network of websites without extensive knowledge of web programming.”

 

“WebGUI’s accessibility is a big winner for us. Custom functionality was another kicker; with WebGUI’s open source platform, we’ve been able to add features and modules that firmly support what we need in a CMS. We’ve even taken it a few steps further by getting involved in the WebGUI community and working with Plain Black’s support teams to tweak existing features for our use.”

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At a Glance

Environment AmericaEnvironment America
http://www.environmentamerica.org

Location
Boston, MA

Industry
Environmental Advocacy

Challenge
Locate an open source CMS that:

  • Non-IT personnel can manipulate
  • Integrates simply with other systems
  • Allows content sharing over networks
  • Works with most forms of web browser

Results
By implementing WebGUI’s cost-effective web platform into its content management strategy, Environment America empowered non-IT staff to manage updates for close to 30 unique websites while utilizing content sharing capabilities and integration with other systems across the network.

Gray Bottom

“WebGUI has enabled us to do things with our websites we’ve never been able to do before. With WebGUI, we can give the people who are creating the web content the power to perform maintenance hands-on over a large network of websites without extensive knowledge of web programming.” Wes Morgan, Internet OrganizerEnvironment America