Bet Hannon Business Websites

Case Study: How a Full-Service WordPress Agency Uses GravityView

An Interview with Bet Hannon of Bet Hannon Business Websites

Case Study: How a Full-Service WordPress Agency Uses GravityView

Are you a web agency or freelancer? Then you’ll definitely want to check out this case study! 😎🔥

Today, we’re super excited to talk to Bet Hannon, who runs a full-service WordPress agency. Bet uses GravityView for a number of her customers, especially nonprofits. In particular, we’ll look at two websites that use GravityView for different functions: Messy Church USA and Hearts on Fire.

You can follow Bet on Twitter at @bethannon.

Can you tell us about your business? What services do you offer? And who are your typical customers?

We are an agency that offers a full spectrum of WordPress services, including design and development, managed hosting, content management, and consulting. When we first started out 10 years ago, the majority of our clients were nonprofits since some of my background was nonprofit management.

Today, about half of our continuing clients are nonprofits, but the majority of our newer clients are small or medium-size businesses, including some startups. All of our clients that use GravityView are nonprofits.

When we first started out 10 years ago, the majority of our clients were nonprofits since some of my background was nonprofit management. Today, about half of our continuing clients are nonprofits, but the majority of our newer clients are small or medium-size businesses, including some startups.

What initially led you to search for GravityView? In other words, what problem did you need to solve?

We had a client who wanted to display a directory of their members, and because of the complexity of the information they wanted to both gather and display, we knew we wanted to use Gravity Forms. We needed a way to display those Gravity Forms entries.

“GravityView was clearly the best option for displaying Gravity Forms entries, especially when we needed to start sorting and filtering them.”

Why did you choose Gravity Forms and GravityView in particular?

We’ve used Gravity Forms since near the beginning of our business as a solution for a variety of our client needs, including event registration – even some complex registrations. GravityView was clearly the best option for displaying Gravity Forms entries, especially when we needed to start sorting and filtering them.

What projects do you use GravityView for? What have you built for your clients using GravityView?

We have built a couple of member directories with GravityView. These are tied to online membership systems for IRL membership organizations. We use WooCommerce, WooCommerce Memberships, WooCommerce Subscriptions, Gravity Forms for WooCommerce, and GravityView. All of the WooCommerce things handle recurring payments and membership accounts.

We love that GravityView makes it possible for individual members to edit their entry for the directory form/membership info.

GravityView lets us filter for the subscriber user role, meaning that new members are immediately displayed in the directory after paying their dues, and when someone’s membership lapses or they cancel, they are immediately no longer displayed in the directory. We love that GravityView makes it possible for individual members to edit their entry for the directory form/membership info.

Bet has used GravityView for a number of projects. Let’s take a look at two of them.

Hearts on Fire

Hearts on Fire

Hearts on Fire is a United Methodist organization that connects and supports spiritual directors and retreat leaders via events, newsletters, and a membership program.

The site uses the GravityView Listing view for a public directory for members of the organization.

Hearts on Fire Directory

Each member also has a single entry page, which contains their biography, email, phone number, and other information. Members can easily log in and modify their own information.

Hearts on Fire - Single Entry

Messy Church

Messy Church

Messy Church USA is a religious organization operating across a wide range of Christian denominations and traditions. Founded in the United Kingdom, the website covers all locations of the organization in the U.S.

For this website, Bet used GravityView’s Map view to create a directory of churches, missions, and other locations of the Messy Church in the United States.

Messy Church Map

Each location is displayed on a map and includes the time and date of events, contact information, and other details. Organizers can log in and modify their information, too.

Messy Church Single Entry

Have you been surprised or delighted by a particular feature in GravityView? In other words, were you able to do something with the software that you initially didn’t know about?

When we first purchased GravityView for the directory display project, I didn’t know that we would be able to let users edit the entries that they had created.

(Want to let your users edit their entries? Check out our guide.)

A ton of thanks to Bet for helping us with this case study! If you’re interested in hiring her firm, you can visit their website to get in touch.

Floaty, our mascot.

Ready to build something awesome with GravityView?

GravityView is perfect to web agencies, freelancers, and other developers just like you. You can build virtually anything, from employee feedback boards to film location directories, and everything in between.

Read more about the plugin’s features or take a look at our library of powerful add-ons and extensions.

Case Study: Building a film location database for the Nevada State Film Office

WayLay Design - Team

We talked with Wayne and Selina at WayLay Design, a Las Vegas-based graphic and web design business about how they are using GravityView.

For their most recent project, they used Gravity Forms and GravityView to build a database of film locations for the State of Nevada’s Film Office. The application allows business and property owners to submit and manage film-friendly locations in Nevada and then lets location scouts, location managers, production companies, and other filmmakers to easily browse through the submitted listings. It’s really slick 🔥💯🔥

Check out the Nevada Film Office GravityView application Continue reading

Case Study: How Farm and Market Trail Applies GravityView for Easier Website Management

Let’s say you want to build a website. It’s simple enough — you put a few pages of code together, find a place to host them, and voila, you have a website! For even easier website management, you may just decided to use a WordPress installation and have a fully functioning site up in a few minutes.

But, let’s throw a wrench into the works. Let’s say that you want the site to be interactive, you want people to be able to post, browse, find listings, and talk with one another. Sadly, you lack the technical expertise to pull this off, so you’re seemingly up the creek without a paddle. There’s no technical knowledge, but it’s a problem that appears to require deep technical skills.

You could hire a team of engineers, designers, quality assurance testers, and market researchers to figure out what the website should look like, how it should function, and what features you’re going to be able to support. But, this would cost thousands upon thousands of dollars and result in a product that may work, but which will require constant maintenance. Not only does this just kick the can down the road, it makes the can quite expensive to kick. For many companies, especially small businesses, this approach is cost prohibitive.

What are you to do?

Featured Customer: Farm and Market Trail

Well, this is the exact question that was facing the team behind Farm and Market Trail as they prepared to launch their new website. They needed an interactive site, without the overhead of actually building the site.

The Goal

The team was trying to figure out a way for people to post listings for small businesses that focus on farm-fresh goods, a way to manage those listings, and a way for people to find those listings.

In their words:

“Our goal at Farm and Market Trail is to create a comprehensive directory of small businesses like yours that offer: Fresh Produce, Fresh Baked Goods, Fresh Eggs, Flowers, Livestock Sales and Services, Meat & Poultry, Wine & Spirits, and Crafts”

In simpler terms, they were looking to build a directory of locations that provide farm-fresh foods. It’s not the most glamorous of problems, but it does solve a need: help people identify nearby locations that offer food they’d like to buy, preferably produced locally.

Key Functionality

To accomplish this, the team had three main pieces of functionality they needed to build. They all needed to work out of the box and the website would be incomplete if any one of the three pieces was missing.

Make It Easy to Accept User Submissions

First and foremost, a site for a community of small business owners and storekeepers to come together and post their listings needs a way for those people to, well, post their listings. If that doesn’t happen, there’s no way to populate a database, there’s no discovery of locations to be made, and there’s no data to manage.

Using Gravity Forms, the Farm and Market Trail team didn’t have to work for very long on this problem. They were able to quickly install the Gravity Forms plugin and create a form for people to submit their listings. Not only is it a simple answer for them, but because the plugin is built from the ground up to work with WordPress, there were no configuration issues.

Ideally, though, the information from Gravity Forms was immediately accessible to them using a separate plugin: GravityView. Using this combination they were able to take data and have it immediately usable for whatever display purposes they had in mind.

Improve the Workflow of Managing Listings

Once the data was uploaded, they were able to transform it and manage the inputted listings however they wanted. GravityView was able to provide them with the ability to transform and manipulate the data, create a clear workflow for turning that raw data into easily comprehended listings, and then publicize the submissions that were appropriate.

This is a big help, since as with all community-generated content, there is the chance that a nefarious person could come along and upload unrelated postings. However, because they were able to manage the data as a seamless part of their process, they resolved the issue before it ever came up.

Find All Listings Using a Simple Map

Listings are all fine and good in plain text, but the Farm and Market Trail team was aware that if you’re trying to help people find a shop, then you had better go out of your way to make it easy to figure out where it is. This is why we invented maps and cartography, after all.

Using the GravityView Maps extension, the Farm and Market Trail team have been able to immediately display the right information to people on a map, making it easier for them to find the stores they’re looking for.

The Proof Is In the Pudding

Despite all of the technical features that the team at Farm and Market Trail were able to take advantage of, the real value can only be found in whether or not they’d do it again. Fortunately, we don’t need to assume how they felt about the service provided.

Here’s what they say:

“I started working with the GravityView plugin a few months ago. In that time, I have been able to build a map based website that, short of spending a small fortune on coding, would not have been possible. For a web developer, the combination of Gravity Forms & GravityView is very empowering. And the support I have received from the GravityView team is quite simply outstanding. Thanks guys! To use the modern vernacular – you rock!”

Final Thoughts

Farm and Market Trail is a very specific website, but they aren’t the only ones who can get value from great forms. If you have a website that accepts form submissions of any kind, there’s a good chance you need to check out the combination of Gravity Forms and GravityView.