Part of CCI France International, the purpose of the French American Chamber of Commerce of New England (FACCNE) is to be a trustworthy partner to French companies desiring to expand their business through the American territory. The Knowledge of the Chamber combined to its network ease this complicated process and smooth the relationships. By creating strong links between companies and talents, the Chamber is a recognized player in the New-England business landscape. Being in the center of the ecosystem led the business model to be driven by the revenue coming from the event management and the sponsors, which are critical.

Knowing that a Chamber of Commerce most valuable asset is the member database, control and manage it should be the core strategy. That’s why the Chamber board unanimously voted migration of the whole system to new modern and agile standards. That’s where I come, to help them in this challenging task.


A new branding includes redoing the entire website to reflect the whole new strategy. Shaping this platform as a connector between collaborators, companies, members, partners, and sponsors, is critical to enhance relationships and grow the business.

Running on Typo3, the website needed to be revamped. Any change related to the web design (UX/UI) wasn’t possible without outsourcing it, which is very expensive and time-consuming, adding the pain to create new pages. The FACCNE board has finally voted the migration to WordPress, a well-known CMS all over the world representing 60,3% of the CMS market share in March 2019.

Step 1: New WordPress installation on a new Hosting service
Step 2: Template and Framework selection (SwiftIdeas)
Step 3: Training to improve FACCNE collaborators’ skills
Step 4: Internal and External securing (DNS and SSL)
Step 5: Backup system implementation (files and databases)
Step 6: Content migration and improvements (UX/UI)
Step 7: New CRM and Event Manager integration (PressPoint)
Step 8: Manage member databases imports


Providing an entirely new experience, the framework is the best solution to customize a new website design. Working by columns, row, and blocks, it allows creating dynamics structures and attractive web design in few clicks. By choosing which block should appear on a specific device, it’s now possible to build a fully responsive website without the intervention of an external agency. Smart, but not WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), it necessitates a learning curve of a few days.

The next step has been to handle the securitization preventing the website from spams and DDOS attacks. It was also an excellent opportunity to secure the entire payment funnel by migrating HTTP to HTTPS and implementing an SSL certificate, which is a good idea to improve the SEO while reassuring visitors as well.

To be improved, WordPress relies on plugins adding some functionalities to the system. After an extensive benchmark, and according to the FACCNE budget, we decided to select PointPress as a new CRM and Event Manager. Implementing these new tools occurred a critical issue related to the allocated memory. Acting as a bottleneck, the hosting system provided by IONOS (formerly 1and1), struggled to offer enough bandwidth to import the entire database from a “.csv” document. Working with the IONOS service teams, we were able to fix the issue. Thanks to the user directory feature, we were now able to provide a complete experience to share to current members the value of a Chamber of Commerce, it’s member database. Unique to PressPoint, the content restriction system allowed us to include registered-only areas, by controlling access level to the content.

Regarding the internalization of website management and the vulnerability to server crashes, dodgy updates or hacks, it was immensely important to implement a way to create backups regularly and save any change done by the team. Relying on the automated backup system of Updraft, the FACCNE is now able to backup, restore and clone easily.

The website rebranding has been a tremendous opportunity to refresh the members’ user experience, to show that the FACCNE never settle and is always acting as a moving forward player on the market, continuing to improve the trust between the Chamber and its partners or sponsors.