WVU Medicine Children's
Caring for the Future.
WVU Medicine Children’s provides the greatest range of pediatric specialty, high-risk maternal care, and comprehensive gynecological care in West Virginia.
WVU Medicine is West Virginia’s largest group of primary care and specialty care physicians and surgeons in the state. They have expanded significantly over the past several years and have in excess of 40 individual websites. The goal was to overhaul the various designs, CMS technologies, and sub-services into a unified online presence. We were selected to facilitate this process, and it was determined that we would begin with the creation of a new WVU Medicine Children’s website.
To create a truly first-class online presence for WVU Medicine Children’s required us to do our due diligence first. The project was segmented into two phases. Phase one involved research and analysis, planning, and structural formation. The second phase was the actual design and development of the Children's website.
Phase One: Marketing research, analysis, planning, and structural formation
Our first step was to conduct research and analysis regarding the WVU’s pediatric capabilities, target audiences, technical parameters, branding guidelines, and overall growth needs. This information was utilized to create and solid website structural flow, creative requirements, enterprise-level technical approach, and expansion plan into the broader WVU Medicine framework.
Phase Two: Website Design and Development (getting technical)
Typically, most companies utilize content management systems that a monolithic (self-contained) such as WordPress. These types of CMS platforms have many shortcomings and would not provide the basis for enterprise-level expansion. We took a much different approach.
Over the years we have worked with a multitude of technologies and frameworks to develop our clients’ websites. For the last couple of years, we have adopted JAMstack as our main architecture to build websites due to its many benefits. The JAMstack assumes the client-side layer of the website is independent of the back-end. Ideally, all of the content displayed to the end-user is pre-built and available immediately. This approach allowed us to avoid many of the disadvantages of conventional web development where the back-end server performs a significant role.
For the client-side layer of the Children’s website, we used GatsbyJS. Gatsby is a modern static site generator that allows us to build static files out of the content, which can then be served blazingly fast to the user.
As JAMstack is inherently different from the conventional approach of developing websites, managing content is also done differently. A headless CMS isn’t a part of the website itself. Instead, it is externalized and content is provided through an API. For the CMS, we used DatoCMS.
The website is hosted on Netlify, a powerful service that allows websites to be published in seconds. Netlify automatically handles the whole workflow for deploying websites. We used it to build the website from the source code kept in a GitHub repository and deploy it in a managed environment. The final result, a blazingly fast website served over a global CDN for enhanced security.
To achieve a truly effective marketing and informational website requires clear communications, high-quality custom photography, and clean logical design. We worked closely with the WVU Medicine marketing team and photography services to compile informative communications and high-quality custom photography. These elements, combined with the robust technical approach and clean design, produced an extremely effective online presence for WVU Medicine Children’s.