The Cheeky Monkey Media Blog

A few words from the apes, monkeys, and various primates that make up the Cheeky Monkey Super Squad.

Banner with the Samaritan House logo and text that reads My Experience: Working on Samaritan House San Mateo

As a project manager and designer, working on projects is part of the day-to-day routine, and often can feel repetitious. However, working on the Samaritan House San Mateo website, alongside their team, was easily a highlight of 2023. 

When they first joined in 2022, the CMM team focused more on regular maintenance and security. Samaritan House, along with consultation with CMM, concluded that their WordPress Website on Sage was not meeting their current or future needs. Their old site was inflexible for content and image adjustments and was designed with desktop presentation in mind rather than mobile.

In spring of 2023, we began planning for the rebuild and set regular weekly sprint meetings with Amanda, executive assistant, and our main contact, to show off the progress made as we worked through the project. As would be the case for people meeting so regularly, the team quickly formed a bond and looked forward to those weekly meetings. 

As we had been working on their site on regular maintenance, we expected the rebuild – which was based on their current design – to be straightforward. However, we took this opportunity to take their design and enhance features, make it accessible, and upgrade it to mobile-responsiveness. We collaborated to add editing flexibility, drag and drop features, and fixing broken functions that were previously put on the back burner.

Through this work, some features went through multiple iterations in order to get them perfect, and extensive quality assurance and training was wisely undertaken. These improvements added to the original timeline for launch, but all parties agreed it was important to include them with the new site.

Some of the improvements we made were: 

  • Improving the site search
  • Standardizing page headers
  • Improving responsiveness
  • Improved mobile UX

This project also allowed us to get in and get our hands dirty during the content entry portion – Which we have no problem doing! CMM took the lead on re-entering the old content into the new page templates. Best practices and time usually dictates an automated process for content entry, however, due to the difference in HTML structure from themes, we had to kick it old school with manual entry.

As we know, enhancing websites, and iterating on new trends is never over. During our weekly meetings with Samaritan House, we continued to put together a task list for items we would want to tackle at a later date. Now that we are in 2024 we are planning what this year looks like and where each of these items fit within Samaritan House San Mateo’s web plan. We look forward to another great year of working on their website.