Striking Alchemy

Nick Kosanovich says that the name of his website design and development agency, Striking Alchemy, says a lot about the firm's approach and principles: Striking refers to visually striking, while alchemy refers to transforming something common into something special.

"Our approach is to create visually striking websites that attract people's attention and engage them," said Kosanovich, who runs Striking Alchemy from Pittsburgh, Pa. "We do that through engaging imagery and text that aligns with what the client want to do — is it a call to action, to generate a lead, to sell a product?"

Since 2011, LightCMS has been a core technology platform for Striking Alchemy to deliver results to small business, non-profits and community organizations from Pennsylvania to the Carolinas, California and Washington. Design flexibility and robust functionality built into LightCMS have made the platform ideal for Striking Alchemy to delight clients and grow its business.

"We try to combine a visually striking website with a rock-solid platform, and for us that platform has really become LightCMS," Kosanovich said.

"Once you understand the LightCMS platform, you can really do some pretty creative and impressive things."

One good example is the LightCMS website that Striking Alchemy built for the Hoh River Trust, a nonprofit committed to preserving rainforest river lands on Washington's Olympic Peninsula. The website (www.hohrivertrust.org) combines images of stunning natural beauty with concise text to communicate the organization's mission, engage supporters and solicit contributions.

While refreshing the outdated Hoh River Trust website, Striking Alchemy also made sure that the site was readily accessible to users and visitors over dial-up connections in the remote Olympic Peninsula region by using light, compressed images. "LightCMS was able to deliver a very fast site that portrays the natural beauty of the area and the trust's mission of preservation and enhancement," Kosanovich said.

'A Fantastic Tool'

It's a success that Striking Alchemy has repeated many times since adopting LightCMS. Founding the agency in 2009 shortly after graduating from Gannon University with a marketing degree, Kosanovich initially worked with WordPress, Weebly and Joomla, with mixed results.

"Nothing really filled the gap for what we were looking for in a CMS," Kosanovich said. "I was up to speed on best practices and what you should have in a CMS, so I set the evaluation bar very high. LightCMS had a great combination of a powerful enough system that could handle design and deliver functionality without being cumbersome and bogging us down."

Another beauty of LightCMS, Kosanovich said, is that clients don't get bogged down, either. LightCMS ease of use makes it simple for clients to manage their own site updates in content, images, blog posts and more, while responsive design ensures that sites render well on smartphones, tablets and other devices.

"LightCMS has been a fantastic tool that our clients have found exceptionally easy to use and maintain on their end," Kosanovich said. "Making text changes is very easy and clients really like that there's a framework in place to edit the site."

Flexibility to Grow an Agency

With the LightCMS Developer Program introduced in 2014, Striking Alchemy is now able to offer clients unlimited pages, a huge advantage over other platforms that charge by page minimums, according to Kosanovich. The flexibility to customize pricing models helps Striking Alchemy offer attractive deals and build long-term relationships with clients that also engage the agency for ongoing marketing programs.

Kosanovich appreciates that LightCMS has steadily rolled out new features and functionality since NetSuite acquired the company in 2013, and takes advantage of an extensive community forum and LightCMS support if needed. NetSuite was acquired by Oracle on January 1, 2017.

"The program is really better suited to agencies and designers than in the past, and the support from LightCMS has been awesome," Kosanovich said. "Any time we've needed support it's been extremely fast, useful, friendly and helpful."

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