The African Centre for Cities

The Company


The African Centre for Cities is an interdisciplinary research and teaching programme focussed on quality scholarship regarding the dynamics of unsustainable urbanization processes in Africa, with an eye on identifying systemic responses.

The Challenge


The ACC needed us to design their new WordPress website. They also needed a search functionality for their articles and they needed their site to be mobile friendly. Lastly, the site needed to manage countless different types of content such as audio and video content (from their lectures and seminar series), publications (the ACC conducts and publishes a lot of research), presentations (slideshows) and events.

The Solution


We created their WordPress site and did the designs. Thereafter we made it mobile friendly with WPTouch (a mobile plugin for WordPress that automatically enables a simple and elegant mobile theme for mobile visitors of your WordPress website.). We moved a lot of their content from the old site to the new site. From first hand experience, Elethu Pambo (one of our Front-End Developers), said that WordPress will prove to be a much simpler, yet far superior content management system.

We developed their CityScapes (a printed magazine) website before the ACC site. A picture on the left hand side shows a page on the ACC website with links to their CityScapes site.

The search functionality was accomplished through FacetWP and Pods. Pods is a framework that allows you to create for example a portfolio, a real estate site, a business directory or more without using any code at all. The search functionality searches all the data that is setup with Pods. On the left hand side you will see a picture of the results I get when I search “Africa”, for instance. And then the next picture shows what happens when you refine the search by ticking a box or two in the panel on the right-hand side of the page. Talk about an amazing user interface!

On the content side of things, when it comes to audio and video content, publications, presentations and events we did quite a bit of work for them. We introduced the ACC to iono.fm (a service much like soundCloud, only it’s a South African development) . We set them up with their own online “radio” channel where they could upload their audio content as podcasts on the site. Furthermore iono.fm enables them to embed the audio podcasts into their site’s posts.

We also set them up with a slideshare account, which they can use to share their slideshows online. This will also allow them to embed their presentation content on their site.

Video content from their youtube channel can be embedded into their posts in the same fashion. This is done by simply pasting the url in the custom fields we set up for them in each post. This made the inclusion and management of all this content a breeze.

Any new video, audio, publication or slideshow content is added to the site like an ordinary post (on the dashboard – Posts > Add New). But it is displayed in the interesting, appealing, user-friendly way that you see through the use of the custom taxonomies that we developed for them.

Lastly, the events calendar functionality was accomplished by integrating the Tribe Events Calendar into their website.

The ACC received a brand new website design and a better content management system for their website. They have an awesome search functionality and can now show off all their different kinds of content.

The Results


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