Anti-poverty site weathers flood of traffic ‘beautifully’
|Site||Anti-poverty site weathers flood of traffic ‘beautifully’|
“In the course of ten days during the tsunami crisis, Oxfam had almost half of its typical yearly visits and almost one-third of its yearly bandwidth. The system performed beautifully. Our public Web site offered timely, critical content to our users while providing a solid gateway to our online donation system, helping us to raise over $14 million in online gifts.”Nicholas Rabinowitz, Internet Manager, Oxfam America
- Business need
- Oxfam needed to expand its online presence and use the Internet as a method of collecting revenue. Its current system was not usable by nontechnical staff and was failing to handle the growing amount of Web site traffic.
- Plone 2.0, later upgraded to 2.5, plus Enfold's Performance & Optimization solution, along with Web site development, Plone customization & integration, data conversion & migration, technical support and software upgrade services
- Nontechnical users around the world maintain sophisticated Web content.
- Oxfam staff were able to use the system to build a Spanish version of the site themselves.
- Software developed during the project is used and maintained by the open-source community.
- During the tsunami disaster, $14 million was raised online for victims.
About Oxfam America
Oxfam America raises approximately $20 million per year to create lasting solutions to global poverty, hunger and social injustice.
Making content management easy
Oxfam America required an easy-to-use interface with the ability to separate workflow, editing and staging requirements by using permissions and roles. In addition, Oxfam needed the ability for nontechnical staff to be able to add visual components and content items easily. Finally, the amount of existing content required an automated migration of data into the new content management system.
Oxfam chose the Plone content management system for its cross-platform flexibility and award-winning out-of-the-box user interface. The project team then chose a robust and efficient caching server to deliver content and ensure scalability in deployment.
- Proof of concept
- The project team created a simple prototype to demonstrate the separation of workflow, editing and staging. Enfold then applied a custom-designed look and feel, or “skin,” to the site.
- Information architecture
- The site structure was developed in numerous iterations using a "snapshot" mechanism, which allowed rapid experimentation and incorporated feedback from future content authors.
- Plone configuration
- Enfold Systems provided configuration files and production environment recommendations to Oxfam staff. With these tools, Oxfam was able to deploy and configure the system using its staff, reducing its overall cost.
- Content importing
- Content was exported from MySQL to XML, then transformed using XSLT into ATXML (simple xml dialect for Plone). Content was imported using WebDAV PUT methods, which created content and necessary relationships between items.
- Brand guidelines implementation
- Enfold Systems ensured that it would not be possible for an editor to change the branding elements of the Web site while authoring content.
- Application development
- Extensive development and usability tests were conducted to ensure that sophisticated aspects of the system worked as expected and allowed nontechnical staff to utilize the new system fully.