Case Study


The Professional Employees Association (PEA) is BC’s union for professionals. PEA formed in 1974 to represent licensed professionals employed in the BC Public Service, and since then they’ve grown to represent 12 different chapters across the province. Over the past 50 years, PEA has been wildly successful in fighting for workers’ rights, securing better pay, improving working conditions, and organizing strikes for BC’s professionals. 

For the past 6 years, Caorda has been working with PEA and helping them bolster their digital presence. We’ve maintained their website over the years and managed a busy update schedule. We’ve also managed Google Ads campaigns and made constant search engine optimization improvements to the site in order to help PEA reach its target audience and get found on Google. 

After many years with their Drupal site, PEA decided that it was time for a design refresh and that they’d take the opportunity to move their site over to WordPress as part of the project. Drupal was tricky to update, not particularly user-friendly, and PEA needed developer support for any more complicated changes they wanted to make.


The Challenges

PEA’s main challenge was to refresh their website to make things easier to navigate, edit, and update on the back end while still keeping the functionality their members relied on. PEA’s existing site was built with Drupal, which can be problematic due to the complexity and development knowledge you must have in order to make changes on the site. The learning curve can be steep. The open-source nature, huge community of users, and strong security functionalities make Drupal a great option from a development perspective, but results in a more difficult editing experience for end users.

Aside from easier managing and editing content, PEA was also looking for a refreshed design. While sticking with the same classic PEA colours and feel, they wanted an injection of modern flair and sophistication. The site went through a bit of a reorganization to streamline the navigation while keeping things intuitive and easy to find for members.

On top of the website refresh, PEA needed to keep the important members’ only section of their website so their users could still log in and update their profile information as well as see confidential information related to their chapter. This section of the site needed to be simple and easy to use for members and also easy for PEA to update. As their membership is constantly changing, they import an up to date list from their member management platform each week. In addition, they will be moving to a new membership management platform with an API, so the member management functionality needed to be flexible to accommodate this change when they’re ready to proceed.


The Solution

The biggest change for PEA was moving their website away from Drupal and onto WordPress to make the back end of the site more accessible and easier to use for their team. The new site allows them to easily make changes and additions while managing their membership, events, and everything else behind the scenes. The transition also opened an opportunity to rethink the navigation, so we re-organized pages to help users move throughout the website.

While our development team was working on the WordPress transition, our web design team got to work on a refreshed design for the site. We stayed true to PEA’s roots by maintaining similar colours and fonts, just adding a modern touch to freshen things up. PEA’s classic purple look persists throughout the site now, with hints of the green branding. With the deep purple more prevalent now, the refreshed white design of the navigation and footer really pop.

The next phase of the solution was setting WordPress up to keep the functionality they had in Drupal while making administration easier for the PEA team. On the membership side, our developers kept the important profile area where members can update their contact info and put a system in place that helps PEA admin monitor any changes. We also built a tool to keep the membership list updated via imports while we wait to transition over to the API of their new tool, which will have updates happening automatically. Permissions were set up in WordPress to ensure that confidential documents are kept in the members’ only area, while others are available to everyone.

PEA is thrilled with their refreshed website, and particularly excited about the possibilities brought on by a website back-end that’s easy to use, navigate, and update. Check out PEA’s new website right here.

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