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September 11 Memorial & Museum

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Blink Reaction Builds New Functionality for 911Memorial.org

Blink Reaction's staff applied their enterprise Drupal development skills to rebuild and relaunch 911Memorial.org, which supports the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and honors the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center. Blink built a new website with expanded functionality anchored on the open source, Drupal content management system (CMS). Drupal is the first choice to create an online presence that best leverages social networks, such as Facebook, and combines that with rich media publishing for compelling usability, robust software development, and high performance.

The original 911Memorial.org site was combined with a separate online store, WordPress blog, and online donations. These were all transitioned by Blink into a single, integrated site that features a quick site-wide search and a single view of member information and site activity. Blink created an easy-to-use administrative control panel for updating web content and to manage donations, memberships, and merchandise orders.

Blink recreated the existing Donation Management pages, making adjustments for usability and added donation options. The 9/11 Memorial now has several donation options including the purchase of a cobblestone to be placed at the memorial. Donor transactions are handled securely through SSL, then exported to the fundraising application The Raiser’s Edge. Import/export functionality within this application allows the website to synchronize online and offline donation information daily. Blink also restructured donor data for better management, including flexible report creation.

Other improvements included:

  • Installing Solr for faceted search.
  • Integrating Janrain Engage and Janrain Federate to allow OAuth and OpenID login.
  • Using a custom-coded module to transfer blog content from WordPress to Drupal.
  • Users can sign up for newsletters and announcement’s using Constant Contact Integration.
  • Creation of a custom API for mobile integration, allowing a mobile app for visitors to find their cobblestones at the memorial plaza.
  • Optimizing SEO with Blink-configured URLs and Meta Tags
  • Implementing Google Analytics for web traffic analysis

The online store, 911Memorial Museum Shop uses the Ubercart e-commerce engine for Drupal, featuring one-page checkout, SSL security support for orders on both front-end and back-end, shopping cart with tax and shipment pricing, and checkout with account using the address book. Real-time credit card processing is enabled. The checkout process includes a shipping table and tax rate rules based on delivery state.

Moving to the Drupal Content Management System (CMS) allows the 911-administrative team to save huge amounts of time in configuring page layouts. The team can select blocks, images, media players, etc., per page, without the need for additional programming. Previously, they had to customize each page in HTML.

Rapid response time is a key factor in usability, visitor satisfaction, and bounce rate for any site that Blink architects. Blink tailored the 911 website for performance optimization and to address the traffic impact on the site. As a Drupal site grows, more visitors and more page views are served, putting more load on the server and creating bottlenecks. Blink Reaction is fortunate to have experience running a top 50 Drupal site, in terms of traffic, so when it was announced that Osama Bin Ladin was dead, the website experienced a huge traffic spike. The site easily handled the load because of Blink’s exceptional performance tuning best practices combined with alliance partner Acquia’s hosting capabilities.

About The National September 11 Memorial & Museum

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is the not-for-profit corporation created to oversee the design, raise the funds, and program and operate the Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center site. The Memorial & Museum will be located on eight of the 16 acres of the site.

The Memorial will remember and honor the nearly 3,000 people who died in the horrific attacks of February 26, 1993, and September 11, 2001. The design, created by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, consists of two pools formed in the footprints of the original Twin Towers and a plaza of trees.

The Museum will display monumental artifacts linked to the events of September 11, while presenting intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning and recovery that are central to telling the story of the 2001 attacks and the aftermath. It will communicate key messages that embrace both the specificity and the universal implications of the events of 9/11; document the impact of those events on individual lives, as well as on local, national, and international communities; and explore the continuing significance of these events for our global community.

For more information and to make a donation, visit the 9/11 Memorial’s Web site: