They have a village, town, recreation department, economic development organization and more. And up until recently, Westfield, NY had many websites to tell their story. Last Summer, town leaders recognized that all this competing information was getting in the way of promoting their town, engaging with residents, and preparing for whatever the future might bring. So they reached out to Orbitist to re-imagine what a community web platform might look like. Here's what we came up with for the new westfieldny.com:
This mobile-responsive web platform is designed to let great content speak for itself. We created a suite of simple tools for admins and editors to manage their content; the platform's back-end is built with Drupal 8 and provides a robust set of permissions for controlling departmental and individual access to content.
We went far beyond pages and posts with this platform incorporating advanced content types that give audiences a better understanding of time and geographic location in the town. Things like events, organization listings, and points of interest all seemed obvious in the context of marketing a community.
API-driven = ready for the future
The future of the web goes far beyond browsers. Therefore, we wanted to create a platform for Westfield that could deliver and receive data and content to and from anywhere. The platform needed to be able to talk to any other technology today or in the future. With Drupal 8, we were able to build several API endpoints and feeds. We used those feeds for three initial projects:
1 - Digital signage - we created an interface for screens around town that would pull upcoming events and recent news in real time directly from the web platform.
2- Automated emailing - we wanted to automate the creation and delivery of email newsletters. In the example below, we automatically pull the next 10 days worth of events, assemble them into an email, and send that email out every Monday morning.
3 - Data connectors with neighboring municipalities - we wanted a way to share content with other municipalities in Western New York. The idea being that it would be very powerful to be able to help each other market the region. This functionality is built and ready for integration with neighboring sites.
The future is an exciting place full of internets of things, driverless cars, and wearable technology. Whatever devices are on the way, Westfield will be able to deliver content to them!
Sustainable path forward
Westfield leaders understood from the start that launching the site is just the beginning. As the web progresses and technology moves on, we'll be there to ensure that westfieldny.com is keeping pace.