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We'll See You in Courtenay! - September 23, 2014

As kids, we here at ElementCMS aspired to a career in the law. Maybe it was watching too many John Grisham movies, but lawyers always seemed so suave, polished, erudite. As four year-olds, we bought three-piece suits and practiced saying things like "Habeas Corpus" and "You can't handle the truth!" It was later, when realized we were a little less like Tom Cruise in "The Firm" and a little more like Joe Pesci in "My Cousin Vinny", that we opted to change our passion from the criminal code to source code and lay down the law, web design style. So we were very excited when we heard the latest verdict: We'd been selected to create the engaging new website for the City of Courtenay!

The City of Courtenay is a culturally diverse, scenic city of approximately 24,000 people. It lies on the east coast of Vancouver Island and located within the traditional lands of the K'ómoks First Nation. Courtenay is home to the largest music festival on Vancouver Island as well as numerous provincial parks and rivers, making it a prime destination for nature and culture lovers, alike.

After being judged the right company to re-design their website, we cross-examined City staff to find out exactly what they were looking for. They let us know that their site needed a new re-design, something with stronger visual appeal to show off the natural beauty of the region. While improving the website's look & feel, they also knew their site warranted more functionality, too. And with that, we took the case!

The new site features a gorgeous new design and a wealth of features, including a compendium of our biggest & baddest modules. We have also integrated of a number of custom applications, including a Property Tax Calculator and Interactive Parks Map.

While we're very proud of all of these factors, if there's one thing we're guilty of bragging about it is that this is our very first responsive municipal design. We have combined an attractive, feature-rich and necessarily content-heavy website with slick, responsive functionality. That is something we want to shout from the rooftops; so sue us!

We believe beyond a reasonable doubt that this is our best website yet. Exhibit A:

The Chronicles of RDCK - February 13, 2013

We have an admission to make here at ElementCMS: We're nerds, and we like sci-fi. To those of you who were shocked by that revelation, we hope both of you were sitting down when you read it.

From "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" to "The Fifth Element" and from "Pitch Black" to "Sunshine", get us some popcorn and some dubious scientific theory, and we're hooked. So we gladly put on our lab coats and boiled our Bunsen burners to concoct our latest online creation: The new website for the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK).

The RDCK is one of 27 regional districts in the Province of British Columbia created to provide local government services and political accountability for people living in the unincorporated (rural) areas outside of municipal boundaries. In addition, regional districts are widely used to provide services and facilities for both municipal and non-municipal residents in a cooperative manner.

On top of our definitive fusion of crackling design, logical navigation and positronic accessibility options, we worked at warp speed to add a myriad of new features to make the website really hum.

These features include: a brand new Photo Gallery module, which helps to display the profound natural beauty of the area; a category-based Events Calendar, a powerful tool to help residents and visitors alike see future events throughout the Regional District; and responsive design, to maximize the browsing experience for all website visitors, no matter what device they are using.

The project benefitted greatly from a top-notch staff at the RDCK and our good fortune to work with some truly fantastic Soylent Gree… I mean, people. Setting phasers to awesome:

Three is a Magic Number - June 17, 2014

Around the office we've often wondered: Why do so many good things come in threes? Three-piece suits. Hat tricks. The Indiana Jones trilogy (at ElementCMS we will go to our graves insisting the fourth movie never happened).

The Comox Valley Regional District certainly falls into the Rule of Three. The CVRD (pop. 64,000) is a federation of three electoral areas and three municipalities, located on beautiful Vancouver Island. Each electoral area and municipality are unique, but they join together to form a single, fantastic district whose geography includes rural agricultural, vibrant urban, meandering coastline and dramatic mountains.

Now, while three is company, it can also make things pretty complicated (we've watched enough 1980's sitcoms to know this to be a fact). In the case of the CVRD's website, it equated to the largest number of individual stakeholders we'd ever worked with on a project.

For this site, we worked closer than ever with the client, focusing on creating an exceptionally navigable site with powerful search capabilities. Strength of organization would be the central factor in this website's success. It would allow constituents, visitors and businesses to find out what specific information they needed while reducing the need to filter through unwanted pages.

Constructed with our latest and greatest release of our content management system, ElementCMS, it will ensure that the content is always current, relevant and easy to locate.

Wrapped up in a gorgeous design that snaps, crackles and really pops, their new website will be sure to let everyone know how great a place the CVRD is. The beautiful parks, the community-focused local government and the wealth of top-notch amenities will all be on display and being shown off. Heck, even their schoolhouses rock!

Three really is a magic number:

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