COVID-19 Portal

Started: March 2020

Status: Live

When COVID-19 became big news I was working at a local chamber of commerce. We wanted a way to spotlight businesses that were open, and showcase important resources for the community.

I began work on a dedicated portal that would act as the hub of our COVID-19 response.

Requirements

Before beginning, I laid out the basic requirements that had to be met for this portal. 1. The portal needed to be user-friendly, this is obvious, but a large portion of the audience are seniors. 2. Needed to have a CMS for all employees to be able to sign in and update. 3. Needed flexibility as I planned to offer the portal to other chambers.

Work

I used Laravel Jigsaw with Tailwind CSS. This allowed me to quickly iterate, while also leveraging the static site benefits and free hosting with Netlify.

For the user-friendly requirement, I ended up using Tailwind UI. This helped drastically in keeping my time dedicated to getting the portal live, not fighting with CSS.

For the CMS, I leveraged Netlify CMS. Mainly because the site was going to be hosted on Netlify. I really struggled on getting all the "widgets" installed correctly and spent some time while "live" fixing those issues. This was the first time I had used Netlify CMS, and besides those hiccups it worked great and I know the staff really enjoyed using it.

For the flexibility, a lot of the parameters I could actually move into the config.php file in Jigsaw. This works great for allowing other organizations to quickly change to their branding without needing to know HTML or spending all day trying to find that 1 hidden reference. For the brand colours, Tailwind helped out here. In the main.scss I included this:

:root {
  --color-brand: #b3d236; /* Update the #b3d236 to your brand's primary hex */
}

Then in the Tailwind Config I just extended the colours.

In the end, there were only 2 places new organizations had to update; in the config.php and the main.scss.

Interesting

With the help of Tailwind UI and Laravel Jigsaw I was able to get the site up and running within a day. By the next day it was live and traffic was being directed to the site.

Leveraging tools like them are a fantastic way to get an MVP up and then iterate. Over the next week I added blogging support, banner announcements, and flexible categories.

Status

The COVID-19 Portal for the first chamber is still live (as of May 18th), and organizations that wish to have their own portal can contact me and use the GitHub repo as a template.