Umbraco for the Student Loans Company

The Student Loans Company is a non-profit, government owned organisation set up in 1989 to provide loans and grants to students attending university and college in the UK

Piggy bank and study books

The Student Loans Company required a .NET based content management system. Chess Digital advised the client to use Umbraco CMS which is based on the Microsoft .NET platform.

Their core function is to provide financial support to students across the UK, currently catering for 1.3 million student customers. 

Products

  • Umbraco CMS
  • Microsoft Visual Studio

Key Challenges

The aim was the configuration of a secure Umbraco installation with multiple sub sites hosted within one Umbraco solution. The Student Loans Company required an easy to use search facility on the site and news to be easily published by different departments. They also required responsive CSS to allow the website to fully function on any device. 

Solution

Chess Digital implemented a secure backend for the Student Loans Company using SSL certificates. They required the Umbraco back office login to only be available to members of staff so Chess locked it down using a specific IP address and an SSL certificate.

Chess Digital created master pages that could be used within the sites that would give the whole solution a consistent look and feel. The search functionality was customized to allow each sub-site to search its own content and not other sites within the Umbraco solution.

The Umbraco Content Management System (CMS) was used to create the site. Chess Digital also added some custom controls to take care of certain rendering issue for images and embedded video. The CMS has about 15 users spread across multiple departments who update and maintain content on a daily basis.

Chess Digital's solution provided:

  • Cross browser compatible site
  • Responsive site to work on multiple screen sizes, including mobile and tablets
  • Secure back office
  • Customised sub-site search

Currently the Student Loans Company has a hosting and development support contract in place. We also provided them with a development and staging environment. The staging site is a direct copy of the live "http://www.slc.co.uk" site and the development site is just a skeleton site for the internal staff to try out their solution inside Umbraco. We provide them FTP access to the sites so they can maintain the solutions themselves.