Arizona PBS

Managed an extensive redesign/relaunch of, migrating the site from a home-brewed CMS on a unnormalized MySQL database to a modern, responsive digital property on the WordPress CMS.

Arizona PBS was in need of an update to for its rich broadcast and digital content (check out this Wayback Machine snapshot of the old site), and they brought me in to lead back-end development, migrate the content from a legacy database, and implement the new responsive design.

We settled on WordPress for a CMS, with a custom theme. My role included:

  • Content migration from legacy, unnormalized database to WordPress, using a series of custom PHP scripts and the WordPress API
  • Creation of a variety of custom post types for different kinds of content, along with a variety of custom templates for different kinds of pages
  • Integration of a responsive version of PBS’ video player into posts
  • Development of custom WordPress plugins for:
    • Ordering posts on pages
    • Managing page relationships and placement on custom subnavigation menu
    • Managing specialized tag set called “filters” for grouping content across different post types
  • Technical and editorial training for staff
  • Integration of (and staff training on) third-party ad services:
    • Broadstreet Ads (for display advertising)
    • Google DFP (for video advertising)
  • Cloud-publishing of >100 pages of detailed documentation, including illustrative images, covering site management (including editorial guidance) and use of the custom plugins

All in all, a large and very gratifying project. Check out the finished product at:

Client testimonial:

Arizona PBS recently launched a totally redesigned website thanks to the leadership and guidance of Charles Gray. We couldn’t be happier with the results. We now have an attractive, modern and responsive website that has created a new revenue channel and improved workflows at our station. Charles went above and beyond the scope of work, providing important and informative training sessions for our staff on content management and search engine optimization. Even after post-launch, Charles has been very helpful. It was a great pleasure to work with him.
– Mary Mazur, General Manager, Arizona PBS

Tools used:

  • WordPress
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • JavaScript/jQuery
  • Bootstrap
  • AJAX
  • JSON