One of the biggest advantages of OpenWater is your ability to customize the front-facing website to brand it and make it your own. It goes to show how powerful an impact a public website tool can have on creating a great user experience. OpenWater as we are comes in three different themes; the Default, the “Look-and-Feel” – most commonly adopted by our customers – and the Premium theme.
The Default Theme
The default theme is the basis of everything that we build on in OpenWater. The way it comes out-of-the-box makes it a perfect environment for our clients and customers to run their awards, grants, scholarships, and other program-based needs. It’s a secure platform that is hosted on the OpenWater system in the form of a public website, and you have the ability to establish a bit of branding using the banner.
Beyond that, we have the look and feel feature. What we do for this is we replicate parts and elements of your existing website and replicate it onto the OpenWater system. It gives you, our client, something that is on-brand yet doesn’t break the bank.
The Premium Theme
A step above the rest is our off-the-shelf Premium theme. When what our client needs is integrate all of what they do onto the OpenWater system (basically their website into an application platform), we recommend the premium platform. Many of our clients who choose to use the Premium theme use it to take their brands to the next level using various customized widgets that can’t be found on the current default theme. These are custom features that we’ve built to match brands who have a more extensive set of needs in order to replicate their existing website, but still can be easily controlled within the OpenWater system.
The premium theme is a pre-built package of code that allows for the more polished look on the front end. Usually the development centers around a work doc that we use for assets, sizing, and specification so that we can best assist you in getting you where you need to be.
“Look-and-Feel” Theme Example: Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theater (EMACT)
With EMACT, working on their look-and-feel meant that we needed to replicate features like their header and their navigation style to make as much use of their own existing web layout. By replicating the look-and-feel of their own website, we’re able to reduce the disconnect that entrants and applicants who may visit EMAC’s OpenWater Public Website would feel, in comparison to if they were being directed to a website that was just bare-bones.
We’d be replicating features of their traditional site but with pages that matter to the OpenWater system, so all that entrants need to focus on is entering the information they need for the program. Easy!
The look and feel is pretty much like the default theme, but the biggest difference is that it looks like what it’s supposed to take after, establishing a specific brand. If you want this, it’s just a matter of reaching out to your support rep. We’ll task it off to our development team right away.
Premium Theme Example: The Cleanie Awards
One of our clients who were shopping for themes within OpenWater brought to our attention that because they didn’t really have an established website, it made sense to invest in a Premium theme that integrated their brand into OpenWater. Take a look at what our Development team built along with their specifications.
This is the Honorees page used by one of our clients to feature their winners.
The FAQ section that appears in an accordion-style pop-up. Again, a widget.
The timeline, the judging section – are all widgets. Many admins work hard to create an all-star panel of judges – why not show them off?
The Benefits of Choosing a Premium Theme
Yearly hourly consulting costs go down with a premium theme because we’re making modifications inside a widget which is much quicker and cost-effective if certain features are going to be used on a regular basis. Just a reminder that these custom-built widgets can be re-used with no limits in multiple ways. If there’s a widget you’d like to use here, please reach out to support staff. We will get you squared right away.
This Blog post has been adapted from a webinar delivered by one of our support team members. Findlay, under the title “Look & Feel with OpenWater”. The link to the Webinar can be found here.