Bright Clients: Successful Membership Website Development

How This Organization Built a Multi-Chapter Website with Wild Apricot

Posted by Lamees Abourahma on Nov 10, 2015 10:41:10 AM

Even though the Exit Planning Exchange (XPX) had redone their website only four years ago, it wasn’t meeting their needs as they grew. As a professional organization with a number of chapters, what the Exit Planning Exchange needed most was a way to centralize the website, databases and information that they used. Though they had originally had a separate site for each chapter and the national organization, they realized that to streamline administration and maintain the brand, they needed to centralize their web presence. However, the first attempt at making one site for the entire organization wasn’t a total success. They needed a new site that would give them the functionality and flexibility to meet their and their chapter’s needs.

The Exit Planning Exchange is an organization of advisers to the owners of privately owned businesses, who help the owners grow then sell or transfer their businesses. The first chapter was established almost ten years ago in Boston. Now, with the sixth chapter about to open and plans to expand all over the country, it was even more important to find a platform and website that could manage multiple chapters and member databases.

An additional problem for the Exit Planning Exchange was that their old website didn’t have the capacity to hold the organization’s information in one database. “We really worked off of three databases,” says Mary Adams, one of the founders of the Exit Planning Exchange. To have everything in one place, she added “that’s the Holy Grail – the more you’re on a single database the simpler life gets.”

“...that’s the Holy Grail – the more you’re on a single database the simpler life gets.”

When XPX went looking for a new website and hosting platform, there were a number of items they required in their new site. They wanted member profiles, lots of social interaction between members, and somewhere that members could post content. They ended up looking at eight to ten vendors, but according to Adams, “what really brought us to Wild Apricot was the ability to maintain a single website with the flexibility to meet the needs of all the chapters.”

Once the XPX selected Wild Apricot as the platform to host their new site, they needed to find a vendor to help them build it out and transfer their content. They selected Webbright, according to Adams, because they found “a lot of great content from Webbright, so it was natural to reach out and it gave me a lot of confidence that you knew what you were doing.” XPX and Webbright worked together to build the different Wild Apricot functionalities to build different features XPX needed on their site.

One of the most important functionalities of the site for XPX has been how easily searched and managed the site and database are. “We’re thrilled with the search,” said Adams. She also mentioned that having 90% of the site automated keeps them from worrying if they’ve kept the website up to date with the database. Since one of the features of the new site is that once something is changed in the database, it automatically changes in the website, Adams says that “we’re really excited about how so much of what’s in here now is very automated.”

“...we’re really excited about how so much of what’s in here now is very automated.”

Overall, Adams says that she and XPX are very happy with both the new site and their experience with Webbright. “It was wonderful to have a partner like you and know that you’re still there for us. I keep thinking of new projects I want to work on with you.” 

Topics: wild apricot website development