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Home / Special Section / 2016 Best of the Web finalists

2016 Best of the Web finalists

Banking and financial services

teamdkb.com
DeJoy, Knauf & Blood LLP

Website went live: Approximately 2000

Last major overhaul: September 2015

Average number of page views per month: 2,264

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 78 percent of new sessions

Cost to create: Approximately $19,000

Cost to maintain annually: We have only had our website up and running for approximately six months so it is hard to tell at this point. I would say it will average out to approximately $2,000 to $5,000 per year depending on additions and upgrades we complete (i.e., new pictures, videos, etc.).

Developed: Externally, by Mason Marketing

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: Our sales and marketing coordinator manages and updates our website. We have a variety of team members contribute information for blog posts, videos, etc.

Internal webmaster: Stephanie Weaver, sales and marketing coordinator

Biggest return on your Web investment: Our website is meant to appeal to three different audiences: clients, prospects and referrals; our team internally; and potential recruits.  

For clients, prospects and referrals, the biggest return on investment is being proud to show off our website to them. It makes communicating and providing information as to what we do, team member bios, and relevant industry and technical information a lot easier. We implemented features such as our blog, QuickBooks login and secure client site login so our website could be a one-stop shop for all the information our clients need. We have received many calls from clients asking about our process for developing our website because it has made them want to upgrade their own.

For our team internally it was a huge morale boost. Our team was passionate about upgrading our website, and everyone who wanted to contribute was able to have a voice as to what would be included in our new and improved site. Our employees felt our website should reflect who we are as a firm, and they wanted to use it as a tool for communication with clients, prospects and referral sources. Features such as our blog allow our team to stay up-to-date on industry and technical topics and communicate those topics with their clients. It is another feature that allows them to be proud of where they work. 

From a recruiting perspective our return on investment has been very substantial. Our employment applications have increased dramatically because of the ability to apply and submit your resume online. When we were campus recruiting in the fall, many of the potential candidates we talked to already had looked at our new site and had relevant background information on our firm. It prompted them to want to learn more about our firm and ultimately apply to be a member of our team.  

Overall our website has been a great communication tool. It allows us to push messages out proactively and show the TeamDKB community, from clients and employees to potential employees, that we are thinking of relevant information that may impact them. In our industry we know that nothing will ever completely replace the personal touch of face-to-face communication, so through our website we did our best to allow people to understand the personality of our firm and get to know us a little bit better via the online world.

Big changes to the site in 2015: We did a complete overhaul of our old website, so it changed completely. We moved from a static site that could not be updated to a dynamic site that is updated weekly. We went from an online brochure of our firm to a site that allows for proactive communication and interaction. We are an accounting firm that prides itself on our ability to use technology to efficiently and effectively provide services to our clients. Our website now has the ability to play a part in this. The overhaul of our website not only shows the services we provide but gives an online personality to our firm.

Major changes planned for 2016: We will continue to update the website frequently with relevant industry and technical information such as blog posts, event posts and webinar recordings. We will also continue to add videos of our team members and new bios as team members are promoted. We plan to have a video of our HR manager on the site within the next month or two. Our home page will continue to change, spotlighting different services and team members. The pictures on our website will also continue to evolve based on firm and community events we participate in. Overall, our website’s purpose is to be a great resource and communication tool, so it will consistently be updated with relevant information. We will continue to upgrade the site to make sure we are staying within web design best practices.

What about your site would surprise people the most? I think what would surprise people the most is the amount of effort we put into making sure our site appealed to our users and was not just about us. We really wanted our personality of high-quality client and employee service to come through on our website.  We went as far as creating a separate home page for the careers section to make sure we were showing our firm from different angles. Our blog posts, webinars, e-newsletters, events, videos, secure site login, QuickBooks login, contact us and apply online are all examples of different tools we implemented for the user of our site. More than anything, we want our site to remain an interactive and dynamic communication tool.

Site owner: DeJoy, Knauf & Blood, LLP

masielloretirement.com
Masiello Retirement Solutions

Website went live: 1998

Last major overhaul: 2015

Average number of page views per month: NA

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: NA

Cost to create: Proprietary—shared expense across a network of more than 9,000 advisers.

Cost to maintain annually: Proprietary—shared expense across a network of more than 9,000 advisers.

Developed: Externally, by FMG Suites, an industry-specific provider that gets compliance approvals for information and format for us.

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: Three locally, plus FMG Suites; more than 25 people dedicated to our website’s success.

Internal webmaster: We do not have a single webmaster. Three people locally work on the site, and FMG Suites provides support dedicated to the website’s success.

Biggest return on your Web investment: The biggest return has been through the use of social media, such as Facebook, to draw people to the website in order to promote the company.

Big changes to the site in 2015: We began exploiting more social media capabilities in association with the website.

Major changes planned for 2016: Continue to enhance and make the customer experience better.

What about your site would surprise people the most? Depth and breadth of expert information, articles and world-class thought leaders who freely share their knowledge and information.

Site owner: Masiello Retirement Solutions

reliantcu.com
Reliant Community Federal Credit Union

Website went live: October 1999

Last major overhaul: April 2015

Average number of page views per month: 190,022

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 17 percent smartphone, 14 percent tablet for a total of 31 percent

Cost to create: $29,000 over a three-year period

Cost to maintain annually: $5,400 (includes hosting)

Developed: Externally. While we used an outside vendor, Banno LLC, to design/code for responsive design, our internal staff assisted with the design and did all of the content writing.

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: Four

Internal webmaster: Alisa Erbland, communications specialist

Biggest return on your Web investment: Attracting 25- to 44-year-olds to our website. This age group is our target audience, and prior to our website redesign these age groups were the least active users on our website. From the first full month the new website went live through the end of 2015, the 25-34 age group visits to the site increased 88 percent; the 35-44 group visits increased 63 percent.

Big changes to the site in 2015? Our site became more user friendly as it was responsively designed (site adapted to the size of the device), allowing for full-site viewing on smartphones, tablets and desktop PCs. It also included a more robust search engine, a suite of financial calculators and much easier site navigation.

Major changes planned for 2016: Adding a section on the website that is targeted to assist first-time homebuyers. It will be interactive and educational. There will also be a host of outside resources (links) to assist the first-time homebuyer. We will also be adding an online member satisfaction survey that can easily be accessed by members to tell us about their experience at Reliant.

What about your site would surprise people the most? We believe that the primary purpose of our website is to be an educational and convenient resource to each and every user. We receive many comments from people about how informative and helpful our site is. While listing rates, products and services is very important, we believe that adding the easy-to-understand educational component is very important (and unique) for the end-users to make decisions that improve their financial lives.

Site owner: Reliant Community Federal Credit Union

Business and professional services

catertrax.com
CaterTrax

Website went live: 2004

Last major overhaul: February 2015

Average number of page views per month: 13,766

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 10.65 percent year to date

Cost to create: $9,000

Cost to maintain annually: $15,000

Developed: Externally, by Erion Media

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: It’s a collaborative effort. We have one employee who is the point person for any projects or maintenance for the site.

Internal webmaster: Point person is Morgan Reddy, marketing manager. Kim Hoffman is VP marketing.

Biggest return on your Web investment: Quality and quantity of leads and time spent on the site.

Big changes to the site in 2015: Responsive design and new improved lead management.

Major changes planned for 2016: Quaternary pages for our solutions, child pages for our on-boarding process with clients.

What about your site would surprise people the most? One of the top visited pages is our careers page. We correlate that to the reputation of our company culture and earned spot in the Top 100 Fastest-Growing Companies in Rochester.

Site owner: Hospitality 101 LLC, dba CaterTrax

cmiav.com
CMI Audio/Visual

Website went live: July 1999

Last major overhaul: November 2015

Average number of page views per month: 220

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 2 percent

Cost to create: $32,000

Cost to maintain annually: $900

Developed: Externally, by Dumbwaiter

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: two

Internal webmaster: Joseph Kinney

Biggest return on your Web investment: The content management system gives our in-house team a strong platform for continued development and customization.

Big changes to the site in 2015: Our branding was updated to better represent our company’s services and culture.

Major changes planned for 2016: We plan to add detail to our service pages, case studies to the work section and showcase pages for our signature services.

What about your site would surprise people the most? The people photographed on our team page are actually high-paid models from the fashion industry.

Site owner: CMI Communications

complemar.com
Complemar Partners Inc.

Website went live: 2004

Last major overhaul: July 2015

Average number of page views per month: 3,500

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 23 percent

Cost to create: About $40,000

Cost to maintain annually: About $10,000

Developed: Internally

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: One

Internal webmaster: Tim Leverett

Biggest return on your Web investment: Hundreds of highly qualified leads directly from the site have led to many new customers, some worth over $1 million/year. Recent visits have resulted in new customer leads worth $3 million to $6 million/year in revenue.

Big changes to the site in 2015: Complete redesign alongside complete rebranding of the company. Modern design, responsive for mobile.

Major changes planned for 2016: Continue to evolve sections of the site; add significantly more video.

What about your site would surprise people the most? All design, photography, writing, programming, development and implementation of the site was done internally by one individual.

Site owner: Complemar Partners Inc.

Community
causewave.org
Causewave Community Partners

Website went live: Dec. 18, 2000

Last major overhaul: January 2016

Average number of page views per month: In the last year our site averaged 1,994 sessions per month.

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: Over the last year 21 percent of our traffic was mobile.

Cost to create: We spent $350 on the URL. The design was all donated.

Cost to maintain annually: We pay $200 annually to Squarespace for the service.

Developed: Externally, by Andrew Soucier, Soucier Design

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: Three people regularly make updates to different parts of the site.

Internal webmaster: Marta Driscoll, program coordinator

Biggest return on your Web investment: The most significant return on investment that we’ve seen is an increase in the number of people who reach out to us to inquire about things other than advertising after visiting our website. The new site communicates that we work on community change using many tools, not just advertising. We’ve seen an increase in organizations reaching out to us with other challenges they didn’t think to look to us for before the name change. 

We also offer volunteers from many professional backgrounds, not just marketing, the opportunity to use their skills to help make a difference in our community. Since the launch of the website we’ve had numerous, high-quality volunteers from various fields reach out to us about getting involved. 

Another new feature on our new site is the ability for donors to make regular, monthly payments instead of large, one-time donations. We’ve already seen people join our major giving society for the first time thanks to this capability.

Big changes to the site in 2015: We launched an entirely new website on Jan. 10, 2016, in conjunction with the announcement of our new name, Causewave Community Partners.

Major changes planned for 2016: We would like to continue to gradually add new content to keep the website feeling fresh. Ideas include new testimonials from supporters and partners, case studies on successful programs and a new page that uses an infographic to highlight our impact.

Site owner: The Advertising Council of Rochester dba Causewave Community Partners

lollypop.org
Lollypop Farm

Website went live: 1997

Last major overhaul: 2011

Average number of page views per month: 250,000

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 60 percent

Cost to create: Staff salary and site setup fees

Cost to maintain annually: Staff salary and site subscription fees

Developed: Externally. Our website is built on a marketing and fundraising platform offered by Blackbaud, a company that provides software and services for nonprofits.

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: One

Internal webmaster: Rick Murtha

Biggest return on your Web investment: Providing ready access to adoptable pets, ways to help homeless animals and resources for pet owners. Not only can users find information that is meaningful and helpful to them, our site offers multiple opportunities to engage users and allow them to connect directly with Lollypop Farm.

Big changes to the site in 2015: Content and structure were updated to reflect changes in programs in the organization.

Major changes planned for 2016: We are excited to be in the process of migrating content to a new website that is expected to launch in summer 2016. The new WordPress site is responsive and mobile-friendly, and it connects with an upgraded Blackbaud platform.

What about your site would surprise people the most? Pets available for adoption and those reported lost or found are updated by the minute, so users are seeing the most current and complete list of pets at any given time. Our site integrates our shelter management system pet database listings.

Site owner: Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester

racf.org
Rochester Area
Community Foundation

Website went live: 1999

Last major overhaul: Our current website went live on Sept. 21, 2015, just three days before our Annual Lunch. The scope of the overhaul was large enough to encompass much of 2014 (research, scope, concepts and architecture) and the first nine-plus months of 2015 (content, development, testing, and launch).

Average number of page views per month: As of mid-March, we have data for five complete months: October 2015 through February 2016, inclusively. In that time, our website has averaged 17,370 page views per month.

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 13 percent

Cost to create: Our in-house designer created all the visuals, and we paid our development firm $28,000 to program the site.

Cost to maintain annually: Our typical annual budget is $5,000. This includes $720 in hosting fees and $4,280 for ad hoc development work and new photography.

Developed: The design and content were developed in-house, with programming done externally by the Rhode Island-based firm Embolden.

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: Nine staff members share the responsibility of content updates and/or development for three searchable databases (grants, scholarships and funds), 91 distinct content pages (not including embedded PDFs, databases, and news articles), and user forms for donations, memberships, grant and scholarship applications, and three annual events.

Internal webmaster: Julie Johnson, multimedia marketing associate

Biggest return on your Web investment: Our primary goal for redesigning the website was to increase donor engagement. We identified two tactics for achieving this goal, and early analytics show promising results.

Tactic No. 1: Put donor-directed messaging front and center. Showing grant impact is critical to our success attracting new donors and increasing buy-in from current ones. On our new home page, we devoted our most valuable real estate to donor-directed messaging. Our analytics show that the home-page tabs for “Impact Areas” and “How We Help”—along with a new “Grants in Action” section—have quadrupled the amount of traffic to pages that convey grant impact compared to the Community Foundation’s previous site.

Tactic No. 2: Build a responsive site that adapts to all platforms. Our previous site was adapted for full-screen viewing only, and there was no mobile version. The new site is fully responsive, from the home page to databases and forms. A comparison of two six-month periods—from September 2014 to March 2015 (when the site was not mobile or responsive) and September 2015 to March 2016 (from launch to the present)—shows that our mobile bounce rate has dropped from 71 percent to 55 percent, our mobile pages per session have increased from 2.3 to 2.6, and average session duration in minutes has increased from 1:23 to 2:14.

Big changes to the site in 2015: If only this form allowed us to upload a jpeg of our previous and current home pages side by side—then we could let the images speak for themselves. The new site uses carefully crafted messages, thoughtful navigation, and bold photos, icons and infographics to tell our story in a far more powerful way than the previous site. Part of the reason we’re so proud of the new site is that we did not simply re-skin a previous version. Every piece of the old site was subjected to the microscope or the chopping block. Many sections of the new site were built as if from scratch. There were many disagreements along the way—often tense!—but our team emerged stronger and the website emerged better from every one of them.

The deliberate storytelling on the new site is timed appropriately with the foundation’s identity work over the past two years. The staff has worked closely with our board and committees to define our community leadership goals and hone our grantmaking strategies in pursuit of our vision: positive, enduring community change. We finally have a website that represents who we are—and who we aspire to be—in an inspiring, succinct and memorable way. 

Major changes planned for 2016: We are excited to map new terrain in social media even while improving infrastructure at home. Our Facebook page is robust, but there’s much more we can do with Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. And even though the new site offers huge advances in usability compared to the old site — like a dramatically streamlined search process for grants—we want to keep combing through every aspect of the user experience in pursuit of the most elegant interface possible. This is no small feat given the sheer diversity of users, from donors and professional advisers to scholarship and grant seekers, but we value all of these audiences. One example: We are redesigning the scholarship search section to triple the efficiency of the search process.

Finally, we plan to perform an accessibility audit this year. We are eager to learn what changes we need to make to optimize the experience for individuals with visual or cognitive impairments.

What about your site would surprise people the most? To the best of our knowledge, and based on copious research, our site breaks the mold used by more than 700 other community foundation sites across the nation. Most community foundation sites follow a template that places five standard links—for Donors, Professional Advisors, Grants, Scholarships, and About—front and center on the home page. At www.racf.org, these links are positioned in the top left corner to make room for powerful storytelling in the staging area that is geared strategically toward donors, whose contributions are the bedrock of our work. With new visits constituting 60 percent of our monthly traffic, it was also critical to design our site — the home page(s) in particular — for a powerful first impression.

The Web firm that programmed our site is a national expert in community foundation websites. It is because of this, ironically, that we insisted on doing the design work ourselves. We didn’t want a prepackaged community foundation website. We looked beyond the world of community foundations to national nonprofits and “celebrity” foundations like Ford, Gates and Robin Hood, and that’s where we drew our inspiration and confidence to depart from the template. We even managed to procure analytics from Robin Hood that justified a tabbed, donor-targeted home page like the one we have now.

We designed our site with the love and attention to detail that only an in-house team feels for its own home base—from a single Web page, to the Foundation itself, to all of the Greater Rochester region. We will work hard to keep spreading the love. 

Site owner: Rochester Area Community Foundation

Cultural

fairportmusicfestival.com
Fairport Music Festival

Website went live: The current version of the website went live in May 2011, with revisions each year that include a refreshed home page design, functionality upgrades and the addition of a mobile Web browser.

Last major overhaul: January 2013 with continued upgrades annually.

Average number of page views per month: Because the website supports a specific weekend event, it peaks in the month of August each year. Last year the website averaged 7,750 page views per month for the year but the peak is August, with 70,400 (76 percent of total) page views. Twenty-eight percent of all Content Search is for the Music LineUp (schedule of bands), 8 percent is for ticket purchases, and 6 percent is for directions to the event.

Percentage of traffic to your site is mobile: NA

Cost to create: In-kind gift of $7,500

Cost to maintain annually: In-kind gift of $600/year plus additional gift for event creative support of $3,500/year, which includes website and creative services.

Developed: Externally, by Catalog & Commerce Solutions LLC

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: Three

Internal webmaster: Kathy Gudich

Biggest return on your Web investment: Since upgrading the website we have seen a dramatic increase in online ticket sales as well as event attendance. We have visitors and interest from outside of our geographic region, and the website is a one-stop shop for information and tickets.  The website provides visitors with an easy path to key content of the event: band lineup (who) leading up to the event, band schedules (when) for the event, information for bands and vendors to apply for the event, ticket sales, directions to the event (where). The website is the focal point for all advertising and event promotion that all media outlets point to leading up to the event, serving as the public face of the Fairport Music Festival.

Big changes to the site in 2015: Primary focus was simplifying our mobile browser to be specific to the most popular content search based on analytics history.  We redesigned to have a simple graphic user interface that was pertinent to what is searched for the most, based on our metrics.  We continue to develop stronger graphics within the website, focusing on the spirit of our bands, the crowds and people having fun! Our photography team focuses on capturing the spirit of each band, and we strive to show background as much as possible to reflect the geographic location (downtown Fairport) and crowd reactions.

Major changes planned for 2016: We continue to focus on the graphics and website user experience. To continue to promote the event, we are looking to develop band and crowd video for the weekend using a combination of static camera positions combined with drones from above. This will create a three-dimensional view and enhance the viewer’s experience. Overall the website continues to evolve as a primary focus of marketing activities for the Fairport Music Festival with emphasis on event promotion. The result: more ticket sales, sponsorship dollars and ultimately more dollars to our charitable partners of Golisano Children’s Hospital and others.

What about your site would surprise people the most? The amount of website traffic  that comes to the website in the seven days leading up to the Fairport Music Festival (over 75 percent of the entire year), which drives event promotion and ticket sales. Given that the website supports a focused two-day event, it is imperative that the website can support the dramatic spike in traffic with optimized content supporting loading speed for the visitors and ability to find event information (band schedules, directions) and, most important, ticket sales. We have seen increased Web traffic from geographic locations beyond New York State (90 percent) that include Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and as far away as Texas and California.

Site owner: Fairport Music & Food Festival Inc.

eastman.org
George Eastman Museum

Website went live: Mid-1990s

Last major overhaul: Oct. 6, 2015

Average number of page views per month: 127,674

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 31 percent

Cost to create: $11,675 (does not include salaries/benefits of internal staff)

Cost to maintain annually: $23,050 (does not include salaries/benefits of internal staff)

Developed: Internally

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: Three staff members work hands-on; four staff members advise on design and content as part of Web planning group.

Internal webmaster: Marc Blumenfeld

Biggest return on your Web investment: Increased exposure following announcement of launch in fall 2016 as well as increased revenue for online sales.

Big changes to the site in 2015: The site was completely redesigned (including all text and images) into a Drupal format throughout the year, launching Oct. 6, 2015.

Major changes planned for 2016: We will launch our new online collections feature that will integrate Drupal and eMuseum. We also plan to introduce a “Where in the World” feature that will document where users may see exhibitions, films, loaned objects and staff presentations around the world.

What about your site would surprise people the most? That we’re more than a house. They’ll be surprised to learn of the depth and breadth of the museum’s collection and programming and that the museum is truly the world’s museum of photography and cinema.

Site owner: George Eastman House (museum’s name was changed in fall 2016 to George Eastman Museum; however, we’re in process of changing it legally)

rmsc.org
Rochester Museum & Science Center

Website went live: Aug. 5, 1996

Last major overhaul: Aug. 28, 2015

Average number of page views per month: 246,000 per month since the August 2015 launch

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 38.1 percent of our traffic is accessed by mobile users since the August 2015 launch.

Cost to create: Approximately $18,500

Cost to maintain annually: For the new site launched in August 2015, the annual cost is $550 for Web-hosting fees.

Developed: Externally, by Mason Digital

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: One full-time person for content management, with website technical support provided by the museum’s IT staff. Graphic design assistance is supplied by the museum’s graphic designer.

Internal webmaster: Hannah Barry, online marketing specialist

Biggest return on your Web investment: Allocating costs to more digital promotions featuring the new website has helped RMSC maximize its reach to several new audiences. Through this focus, we believe the new website has contributed to increases we have experienced in visitation and membership.

Big changes to the site in 2015: The new website is in line with the RMSC brand. Designed to provide the ultimate user-friendly experience with improved navigation and functionality throughout, the revamped www.rmsc.org allows customers to easily access details on the RMSC’s many offerings. With dynamic visuals, succinct content and a new blog, the website is built to best serve its many customers. The site also features mobile optimization, a simple ticketing structure and an enhanced press room that includes high-resolution photos available for download.

Major changes planned for 2016: Since the Plan Your Visit page of our website is one of the top visited by our users, we will be building in a calendar function to better communicate what programs and events we will have going on during their visit. This is one more way our website will serve as a tool to simplify the complex structure of our organization, pulling the programs and events going on in three different locations into one easy-to-use calendar. 

What about your site would surprise people the most? The many layers of RMSC are reflected in a simple, impactful and easy-to-understand way. RMSC includes several offerings: Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium, Cumming Nature Center, public programs, school break camps, classes, lectures, events, facility rentals, birthday parties, a preschool, educator tools, etc.

Site owner: Rochester Museum & Science Center

Education

Mcquaid.org
McQuaid Jesuit High School

Website went live: Jan. 14, 1998

Last major overhaul: July 1, 2015

Average number of page views per month: 100,000 – 125,000

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 35 to 40 percent

Cost to create: NA

Cost to maintain annually: Less than $1,500

Developed: Externally, by Mason Digital LLC

Internal webmaster: Sean Mullen, director of communications and alumni relations

Biggest return on your Web investment: Aside from cutting ties with a national firm and saving the school $15,000 a year, the biggest ROI has been the ability to customize the site to what we want to say and show as an organization.

Big changes to the site in 2015: Complete redesign with new messaging and a focus on marketing the school for prospective families. This launch was coupled with the launch of the school’s internal learning management system to unload some of the previous information typically found on the site into a place dedicated for current families, not pertinent to prospective families. The result has been a less cluttered site with easier navigation.

Major changes planned for 2016: Nothing major, but we will take a lot of the feedback/suggestions received from our constituents into consideration.

Site owner: McQuaid Jesuit High School

penfield.edu
Penfield Central School District

Website went live: January 2001

Last major overhaul: Fall 2015

Average number of page views per month: 250,000

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 18 percent

Cost to create: $2,995 for most recent update

Cost to maintain annually: $8,795 for hosting and support

Developed: Externally, by SchoolSites

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: 10

Internal webmaster: Nancy Bradstreet

Biggest return on your Web investment: The biggest return is parent and community engagement. We are not only able to showcase the great things going on in our schools, but also provide parents and the community with a wealth of information about our district.

Big changes to the site in 2015: The biggest change is the addition of our Twitter feed. This has allowed us to provide up-to-the-minute information on daily activities and events in our district and to engage people in interacting with our site.

Major changes planned for 2016: We are going to focus on stakeholder feedback to continue to improve content and navigation.

What about your site would surprise people the most? Our current site was created with input from a wide variety of stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers, staff, administrators and community members.

Site owner: Penfield Central School District

rochestercan.org
Rochester College Access Network

Website went live: Rochester College Access Network—Jan. 1, 2015; parent organization, Rochester Education Foundation—April 2006

Last major overhaul: NA

Average number of page views per month: 1,240

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 5.4 percent

Cost to create: $5,000

Cost to maintain annually: $750

Developed: Externally, by Simply Effective Web Design and Aurora Design

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: Two

Internal webmaster: Stuart Hencke

Biggest return on your Web investment: Visibility for our mission of supporting college access and success so our Rochester city students can meet their full potential. Hearing that students have learned information about where to go to college, how to apply to college, local admissions office contacts, and how to pay for college from the website. Sharing current information about our FAFSA Fest events, through which students get free help filling out and submitting federal financial aid forms.

Big changes to the site in 2015: Site launched.

Major changes planned for 2016: Adding information about student success stories, student videos, additional colleges and other information.

What about your site would surprise people the most? The challenges that existed prior to our website in tracking down much of the information on the website! This includes contacts for local students at our regional college admissions offices.

Site owner: Rochester Education Foundation Inc.

Health care

myrochealth.com
myROChealth

Website went live: myROChealth—July 2015. Rochester Regional Health has had several websites for its hospitals, dating back to the mid-1990s.

Last major overhaul: NA

Average number of page views per month: 30,000/month

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 9 percent mobile/tablet

Cost to create: $30,000

Cost to maintain annually: Internal time and resources

Developed: Internally, with external support from MedTouch for launch

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: Eight

Internal webmaster: Wendy Maxwell, director of digital engagement

Biggest return on your Web investment: Before myROChealth, a communication platform for all of our employees did not exist. Following our mergers, we had disparate technology, servers and networks. MyROChealth is the first unified communication platform for all 16,000 employees of our integrated health system to receive any and all relevant news and information, both on and off our internal network.

Big changes to the site in 2015: It was the year of myROChealth, which was a change for the organization.

Major changes planned for 2016: We are establishing automated processes to help transfer digest-style content from the website into weekly e-newsletters for employee and leadership populations, to get information to employees in a different way. We are also looking at ways to authenticate employees through the site. News and events will always be public, but we are planning to add authentication/login to connect to internal portal.

What about your site would surprise people the most? Because the site is available on any network and users are not authenticated or do not need to log in, we are reaching new levels of transparency with our employees and communities. This is unusual in the employee news space and is surprising to many when they access the site.

Site owner: Rochester Regional Health

carestream.com/expedition
Carestream Ascend

Website went live: 2007

Last major overhaul: The site was new in 2015. Began active promotion in early 2016.

Average number of page views per month: 8,859

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 29.5 percent

Cost to create: $29,600

Cost to maintain annually: NA

Developed: Externally, by Dumbwaiter Design

Number of people inside the company who work on the site: Four

Internal webmaster: Andrew Blake

Biggest return on your Web investment: Web forms that feed directly into our CRM tool (Salesforce.com)—these leads tend to be extremely high quality!

Big changes to the site in 2015: Added new product specific sitelets such as www.carestream.com/expedition (the one entered into this competition by Dumbwaiter Design) and www.carestream.com/clinical-collaboration.

Major changes planned for 2016: Additional tracking and (Google) tagging to better understand our visitors’ behaviors on the sitelet. We are interested in what the visitor is consuming and whether the Call To Actions (CTA) are clear.

What about your site would surprise people the most? It has a niche B2B audience which is regulated by the FDA and parallel organizations around the world. It is designed for a worldwide visitor who is a decision maker in a hospital or imaging center.

Site owner: Carestream Health

helendaledermatology.com
Helendale Dermatology & Medical Spa

Website went live: 2005

Last major overhaul: November 2015

Average number of page views per month: 13,300

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 60 percent

Cost to create: $15,000

Cost to maintain annually: Approximately $4,000. Portion of ongoing marketing efforts includes continual updating of website throughout the year based on campaigns. 

Developed: Externally by webSurge

Number of people inside the company who work on the site: 0

Internal webmaster: Managed externally by webSurge

Biggest return on your web investment: Increased engagement and time on website has assisted in increasing sales and web leads.

Big changes to the site in 2015: Completely new design and structure of website. The website is now a great educational resource highlighting Helendale’s many services.

Major changes planned for 2016: Adding more educational resources as service offering grows.

What about your site would surprise people the most? Provides a unique way for individuals to quickly get information about conditions and services. Our organization offers many services, so the contact form is set up to show which services the user had viewed during their session.

Site owner: Helendale Dermatology

Human services

bivonacac.org
Bivona Child Advocacy Center

Website went live: May 2004

Last major overhaul: November 2015

Average number of page views per month: Almost 5,000

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 31 percent

Cost to create: $13,000

Cost to maintain annually: $200

Developed: Externally, by Soucier Design

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: Two

Internal webmaster: Adam Cipolla, marketing and communications specialist

Biggest return on your web investment: The biggest return is the ability for clients and partner agencies to be able to find the services they need readily. For our clients it is so important for them to have access to assistance. In some situations, it could mean the difference between life and death.

Big changes to the site in 2015: The site was redesigned from the ground up. We started with a communication strategy, identifying our audiences and the information most meaningful to each. Then we organized all of our content with a focus on clarity and simplicity. The visual design supported those goals.

Major changes planned for 2016: Interactivity capabilities will be added and simple movement to the statistical sections of the site using HTML5 animations. The site will also grow organically through the addition of event-based information, photo galleries, etc.

What about your site would surprise people the most? How much traffic the website receives—averaging almost 5,000 page views/1,400 visitors per month.

Site owner: Bivona Child Advocacy Center

easthouse.org
East House

Website went live: 2002

Last major overhaul: Dec. 31, 2015

Average number of page views per month: 2,107

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 20 percent

Cost to create: Less than $20,000

Cost to maintain annually: $1,000

Developed: Externally, by UCO Media (Satchel Jake Levin, Olivia Prinzi)

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: Two

Internal webmaster: Sarah O’Brien

Biggest return on your Web investment: East House’s vision includes being a valued resource for our clients, their families and the community-at-large. By providing a website with information and resources that are easy to find, it is the first step toward moving individuals with mental illness and substance use disorder from illness to health.

Big changes to the site in 2015: Our primary goal for the new site was to create an environment that would provide information about East House services and programs in a clear and concise manner. The new design uses moving graphics and enhanced images in conjunction with a carefully considered architecture to make the user experience pleasant.

Major changes planned for 2016: Since we completed the website overhaul less than three months ago, we do not foresee any major changes within the next year. Instead, our goal is to analyze, finesse and refine our current site to maintain the best user experience.

What about your site would surprise people the most? East House serves individuals in recovery with mental illness and substance use disorder. These illnesses tend to have a lot of stigma associated with them. When planning the new site, we deliberately requested that the design provide a colorful, positive and interactive environment—which is not the stereotypical way these illnesses are represented. At East House, we know that recovery is possible and our website reflects that sentiment.

Site owner: East House Corp.

nwrochester.org
NeighborWorks Rochester

Website went live: Approximately 10 years ago

Last major overhaul: July 2015

Average number of page views per month: 3,042

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 71 percent

Cost to create: $27,000 (some was pro bono)

Cost to maintain annually: $7,000

Developed: Externally, by SiteHub

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: Two

Internal webmaster: Kelly Hallenbeck

Biggest return on your web investment: The ability to service customers at any time and place on the online platform, allowing us to capture the millennial market. We have greater integration capabilities with other service platforms as well as better statistical analysis.

Big changes to the site in 2015: It is much more mobile friendly and far more interactive, and it now has the ability to capture user information.

Major changes planned for 2016: Addition of other lines of business to the online portal.

What about your site would surprise people the most? The fact that people can start and complete their entire home-buying process online.

Site owner: Neighborhood Housing Services of Rochester Inc. dba NeighborWorks Rochester

Manufacturing

kodak.com
Eastman Kodak Co.

Website went live: Many years ago—1990s

Last major overhaul: 2015

Average number of page views per month: Approximately 500,000

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: Approximately 33 percent

Cost to create: NA

Cost to maintain annually: NA

Developed: Internally

Number of people inside the company who work on the site: 10 to 12

Internal webmaster: Matt Stoffel

Biggest return on your Web investment: Cycle time reduction and automated multiple output delivery

Big changes to the site in 2015: It was the first year in Kodak’s digital Web transformation. 2015 entailed extensive back-end platform work, new template development, feature enhancements, and development/conversion to responsive design.

Major changes planned for 2016: 2016 is the second year of Kodak’s digital web transformation. It will include completion of responsive design pages for Kodak’s Graphics products for Drupa, the major print industry trade show in Germany, content enhancements and ongoing capability improvements.

What about your site would surprise people the most? The architecture: It’s a global site comprising multiple servers with development, staging and production environments.

Site owner: Eastman Kodak Co.

newtex.com
Newtex Industries Inc.

Website went live: 1996

Last major overhaul: Nov. 20, 2015

Average number of page views per month: 10,773

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 16 percent

Cost to create: $150,000 (over three iterations)

Cost to maintain annually: $2,500

Developed: Externally, by Transform Studios

Number of people inside the company who work on the site: Two

Internal webmaster: Sarah Gulack

Biggest return on your Web investment: Investing in Newtex.com has helped us increase Web traffic, generate more leads and improve the efficiency of our customer service and sales team. The vast majority of our new customers find us and contact us through our website.

Big changes to the site in 2015: We transitioned to a mobile-friendly, responsive design and launched a more robust home page in November.

Major changes planned for 2016: We plan to add a customer portal that will offer self-service features including a configurator for specialized engineered systems, like industrial fire and smoke curtains with custom dimensions.

What about your site would surprise people the most? People are often surprised by the complexity of our website. It is really like three websites combined into one to support all three of Newtex’s business units: high-temperature performance materials, custom-engineered systems and extreme protective apparel. We also have an e-commerce platform underlying our Compare & Quote cart.

Site owner: Newtex Industries, Inc.

rochesteroptical.com
Rochester Optical

Website went live: March 2, 2011

Last major overhaul: Oct. 21, 2015

Average number of page views per month: About 24,000

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 29 percent

Cost to create: $6,000

Cost to maintain annually: $4,000

Developed: Externally, by Stejenski

Number of people inside the company who work on the site: One

Internal webmaster: Julia Powers

Biggest return on your web investment: The ability to use our website as a versatile digital asset compounds its impact and provides ongoing return. For example, making our product catalog available as an online flip-book provides instant sales collateral; the existence of our online store doubles as a POS system at trade shows and events.

Big changes to the site in 2015: We launched our online store for Smart Solutions product (frames, Rx lenses and accessories designed for smart glasses) in October. This project was a massive undertaking, involving SKU organization and selection, user interface design and testing, product photography, internal order processing procedure and the buildout of the e-commerce platform and store landing pages. The online store provides an outlet that was previously available only through our sales representatives.

Major changes planned for 2016: We’re planning to focus on continual content improvements, including updated video assets and more emphasis on both our wholesale and local retail divisions. Keeping up with new product launches and company news is also a priority.

What about your site would surprise people the most? It took two freelancers and one internal person to create.

Site owner: Vision Associates of Rochester Inc. dba Rochester Optical

Real estate and construction

concept-ii.com
Concept II

Website went live: 2005

Last major overhaul: June 25, 2015

Average number of page views per month: 3,500

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: As of March 9, 2016, 42.97 percent of traffic derives from mobile; 25.71 percent is phone; and 17.26 percent is tablet.

 Cost to create: Approximately $20,000.

After launching the website in late June 2015, we earned a return on our investment less than 14 days later. As one could imagine, it was worth every penny.

Cost to maintain annually: $1,800 ($150 monthly) for hosting and maintenance (one hour per month). If we make major changes (e.g., add a new page), the cost is dependent on the length of time it takes to complete the project.

Developed: Externally, by UCO Media

Number of people inside the company who work on the site: Three worked on the redesign.

Internal webmaster: We don’t have one internally as we consider UCO to be our webmaster. They want us to focus on what we do best (interior design) while they focus on what they do best (digital marketing). It makes for a collaborative relationship, and it’s worth every penny.

Biggest return on your Web investment: Immediate cost savings, allowing us to use our time more efficiently and effectively.

Users now know who we are, what we do, and more importantly: (a) what they are getting into, (b) what working with us involves and looks like, such as what does work-in-process look like, how long does it take, what does the finished product look like?

We cast a wider net and narrow down the prospects. Currently much of this is explained in person, and it sucks time and wastes our energy and focus.

Big changes to the site in 2015: Users now engage with an active and dynamic site with full functionality and compatibility across all platforms (desktop and mobile). The responsiveness and interactivity have allowed users to browse the website longer and navigate more pages in a way they weren’t able to before. This has increased our SEO rankings exceedingly. 

The result of the biggest way our website changed is that leads, prospects and customers feel more connected to our brand than ever before.

Major changes planned for 2016: The major changes we plan to make over the next year are (1) product diversification and (2) strides toward humanizing Concept II on the Web.

What about your site would surprise people the most? Our showroom tour, which is a 360-degree view of our bath, kitchen and tile showrooms. It’s like virtually walking around our store in the comfort of your own home.

Site owner: Concept II Kitchens, Baths, Tiles

hamiltonstern.com
Hamilton Stern Construction LLC

Website went live: May 2008

Last major overhaul: Sept. 22, 2015

Average number of page views per month: 200

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 20 percent

Cost to create: $7,900

Cost to maintain annually: $1,000

Developed: Externally, by Vertical Insites

Number of people inside the company who work on the site: One

Internal webmaster: Lora Hudson

Biggest return on your web investment: The increase in traffic to our site has enabled us to better showcase our abilities and the value provided to our clients.

Big changes to the site in 2015: The new site is extremely user friendly, allowing us to highlight a large number of projects and tell our story in a big, bold way.

Major changes planned for 2016: Regular updates

What about your site would surprise people the most? Our website highlights a wide variety of project types, all of which represent the highest level of construction quality.

Site owner: Hamilton Stern Construction LLC

lefrois.com
LeFrois Builders LLC

Website went live: 1996

Last major overhaul: June 2015

Average number of page views per month: 3,250

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 25 percent

Cost to create: $23,000

Cost to maintain annually: Approximately $6,000. Portion of ongoing marketing efforts include continual updating of website throughout the year based on campaigns.

Developed: Externally, by webSurge

Number of people inside the company who work on the site: None

Internal webmaster: None. Managed externally by webSurge.

Biggest return on your Web investment: Multiple contracts and leases generated through the website and marketing efforts. Website now reflects and validates the LeFrois brand.

Big changes to the site in 2015: Complete redesign and restructure. Also added a map of available properties as well as auto-generated pdfs about each property.

Major changes planned for 2016: To expand our project showcase and expand internal project login for clients and contractors.

What about your site would surprise people the most? Everything you see is 100 percent authentic and unique. Available Properties also generates a pdf download based on images and description entered in the CMS.

Site owner: Russell P. LeFrois Builders Inc.

Retail

gocarries.com
Carrie’s

Website went live: Jan. 7, 2016

Last major overhaul: NA—newly launched

Average number of page views per month: 2,500

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 60 percent

Cost to create: $5,000

Cost to maintain annually: $1,200

Developed: Internally, but received design help from Antithesis Advertising and Karrie Gurnow.

Number of people inside the company who work on the site: One

Internal webmaster: Edward Fawcett

Biggest return on your Web investment: The investment of high-quality photography (Kurt Brownell Photography).

Big changes to the site in 2015: NA

Major changes planned for 2016: The addition of a referral program as well as design and content updates.

What about your site would surprise people the most? Carrie’s is dedicated to the woman business traveler. Our purpose in life is to bring ease, confidence and beauty to women who travel.

Site owner: Lyneth Brands LLC

ironsmokewhiskey.com
Iron Smoke Whiskey

Website went live: September 2012

Last major overhaul: February 2016

Average number of page views per month: 1,200

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 33 percent

Cost to create: $9,500

Cost to maintain annually: $200

Developed: Internally (design) and externally (coding and development by Eagle Dream Technologies)

Number of people inside the company who work on the site: Five

Internal webmaster: Corey Vance

Biggest return on your Web investment: Online sales

Big changes to the site in 2015: Complete overhaul of photography

Major changes planned for 2016: Consolidating our websites under Iron Smoke Distillery to simplify things

Site owner: Iron Smoke Whiskey LLC

drinkkarma.com
Karma Culture LLC

Website went live: September 2011

Last major overhaul: September 2015

Average number of page views per month: 12,917

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 42.4 percent is mobile; 5.3 percent is from tablets

Cost to create: $18,700 for most recent overhaul

Cost to maintain annually: $1,925

Developed: Externally, by Martino Flynn

Number of people inside the company who work on the site: Three

Internal webmaster: Shanna Baccari

Biggest return on your Web investment: Converting the site to a responsive site

Big changes to the site in 2015: We launched our Push For Better campaign, which embraces and encourages a healthy, happy and good karma lifestyle!

Major changes planned for 2016: We plan to include more opportunities for consumers to interact and share through social media.

What about your site would surprise people the most? We love to include intriguing imagery to excite consumers about the product. Also, we make sure that consumers can access our company story on our site just as easily as they can learn about our products. It is important to us that those who visit the site can see and feel what KARMA is all about!

Site owner: Karma Culture LLC

Tourism/hospitality

grapparoc.com
Grappa

Website went live: June 30, 2015

Last major overhaul: NA

Average number of page views per month: 9,300

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 46 percent

Cost to create: NA

Cost to maintain annually: NA

Developed: Internally, using Squarespace

Number of people inside the company who work on the site: One

Internal webmaster: Lauren Cole

Biggest return on your Web investment: Just getting the word out about our restaurant.

Big changes to the site in 2015: We always make sure we have the most up-to-date, beautiful photos.

Major changes planned for 2016: Possibly adding an events page and always updating the photos.

What about your site would surprise people the most? The photos

Site owner: Grappa

strathallan.com
Strathallan

Website went live: November 2012

Last major overhaul: June 1, 2015

Average number of page views per month: 23,744

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 48.66 percent

Cost to create: $13,337

Cost to maintain annually: $7,200 (hosting fees)

Developed: Externally, by Archer Communications Inc.

Number of people inside the company who work on the site: One

Internal webmaster: Paul Walters

Biggest return on your Web investment: We have seen incredible ROI since the launch of the new website, specifically in our event and restaurant sales. Hattie’s, our new rooftop lounge, has seen nearly 16,000 online menu downloads since launch date.

Big changes to the website in 2015: From the design and interface to the details and photography, every detail is now well aligned with the chic and modern atmosphere of the hotel.

Major changes planned for 2016: We plan to continue to build out the content, including video and virtual tours.

What about your site would surprise people the most? What surprises people the most about our site is that there is so much more to it than just accommodations. People who come to book a hotel room find events and happenings, our restaurants, what’s nearby, virtual tours—a true glimpse into a stay at the Strathallan. Our website features much more than simply hotel rooms.

Site owner: The Strathallan Rochester – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

visitrochester.com
Visit Rochester

Website went live: 2001

Last major overhaul: The Visit Rochester website underwent a major redesign in 2015, starting  in January and officially launching on Oct. 27, 2015.

Average number of page views per month: 55,000

Percentage of site traffic that is mobile: 45 percent

Cost to create: Approximately $50,000

Cost to maintain annually: Approximately $30,000, including module licensing and web hosting

Developed: Externally, by Simpleview Inc.

Number of people inside the organization who work on the site: One dedicated full-time staff person maintains the website; two additional staff members make changes and update content in her absence.

Internal webmaster: Calin Lawrence, director of online presence

Biggest return on your Web investment: It is our ability to better manage the website and make dynamic changes to the site immediately and in-house, without the need to rely on the design company and incur additional costs.

We were able to integrate our meeting and convention sales website, a previously separate site and URL, which allows us to maintain one website instead of two and provide more comprehensive information and a cohesive brand experience.

Additionally, we were able to provide more enhanced options to our members.

Big changes to the site in 2015: It marked the complete redesign of the Visit Rochester website, a major overhaul that coincided with the re-imaging of the Visit Rochester brand. In addition to integrations and enhanced listings, the site was also transformed from a separate mobile site to a fully responsive design, now compatible across desktop, tablet and mobile. The site better reflects our community.

Major changes planned for 2016: We plan to fully unveil an extranet platform that will allow members to independently update their page listings, load images and receive leads through a Web-based log-in system. We will continually update content and our new blog section. We are also introducing a section where convention attendees can receive exclusive special offers and information.

What about your site would surprise people the most? We have guest bloggers, including the Rochesteriat and Adventures by Daddy, to help curate content that is enticing to visitors on our new blog.

Site owner: Greater Rochester Visitors Association

4/8/2016 (c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

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