Cushy CMS to WordPress CMS Conversion

Dumas Bay retreat center screenshot

Client: Dumas Bay Centre

Scope of Work
Accessibility Improvements
Copyediting and content migration
Front-End web development
Performance optimization
Security hardening
Search engine optimization
Visual redesign

Team: Cipalla Communications, Scott Marlow, Joan van den Berg

Dumas Bay Centre is a unique event & retreat venue owned by the City of Federal Way.

Before the website redesign, center staff were limited to editing existing website content using Cushy CMS, a WYSIWYG HTML editing tool. To add new content, city IT staff needed to upload files to the web host.

The website was migrated to a new host and WordPress was configured to allow full rich-content editing. The new mobile-friendly site features a more modern look, with image galleries, oEmbed video support, site search, SSL protection, and feedback and rental inquiry forms. All implemented with accessibility in mind.

Performance Metrics

PerformanceWordPress SiteBenchmark
Google Mobile Speed:68
Google Desktop Speed81
Pingdom87faster than 87% of tested sites
WebPageTest Speed Index1,017median = ~4,493
top 10% = <1,388
YSlow81average score = 70
Web Page Size526 KbIn 2017, average page size = ~2.4 Mb
median page size = ~1.9 Mb
Web Server Requests27< 40 – 60 recommended


Affiliate WordPress Website

Seattle CARES Mentoring website screenshot

Client: Seattle CARES Mentoring Movement

Scope of Work
Custom Photography
Front-End web development
Performance optimization
Security hardening
Search engine optimization
Visual design

Team: Cipalla Communications, van den Berg Design, Rebecca Sullivan Photography, Scott Marlow

Seattle CARES Mentoring Movement, one of 58 city affiliates, provides school-based mentoring programs for black youth, under a King County Best Starts for Kids grant. The organization needed to quickly re-launch a mobile-friendly website in preparation for a January gala, attended by Major Jenny Durkan and other city of Seattle stakeholders. The new site also had to coordinate with National CARES existing brand identity.

The new nonprofit website, powered by WordPress, was refined over several months. Features include: an event calendar, online mentor forms, rich custom photography & videography, social media & sharing integration, and SSL protection.

Performance Metrics

PerformanceWordPress SiteBenchmark
Google Mobile Speed:78
Google Desktop Speed88
Pingdom77faster than 64% of tested sites
WebPageTest Speed Index1,147median = ~4,493
top 10% = <1,388
YSlow76average score = 70
Web Page Size884 KbIn 2017, average page size = ~2.4 Mb
median page size = ~1.9 Mb
Web Server Requests58< 40 – 60 recommended

Contemporary WordPress Websites for Composer

Contemporary WordPress website for composer

Team: Cipalla Communications, van den Berg Design, Scott Marlow

Glenna Burmer, M.D., Ph.D., is a physician and scientist – as well as a composer, musician, concert producer and author. A molecular pathologist, she is a founder of LifeSpan BioSciences, a Seattle healthcare company that is a world leader in the antibody industry.

As president of Burmer Music, LLC, she produces world-premiere concerts that showcase contemporary and melodic orchestral music, incorporating original collaborations of talented composers, musicians and solo artists. With new music written for each concert, Burmer Music has won acclaim from both concert-going audiences and music critics.

To help promote the performances and event announcements, and support Glenna’s professional ambitions – we developed 2 custom, co-branded WordPress sites simultaneously. Bold colors and rich, custom photography highlight the dynamic events and services that Glenna orchestrates.

Glenna Burmer contemporary WordPress website

Performance Metrics

PerformanceWordPress SiteBenchmark
Google Mobile Speed:91
Google Desktop Speed100
Pingdom95(faster than 94% of tested websites)
WebPageTest Speed Index1,372median = ~4,493
top 10% = <1,388
YSlow84average score = 70
Web Page Size604 KbIn 2017, average page size = ~2.4 Mb
median page size = ~1.9 Mb
Web Server Requests26< 40 – 60 recommended

The site is spectacular! Congratulations on a great job!
Glenna Burmer, founder, Burmer Music

Websites Within Reach

Screenshot Dumas Bay Centre
Project Management: Cipalla Communications
Graphic/Logo Design: van den Berg Design
Photography: Chris Huss Photography
CSS/XHTML Web Development: Scott Marlow

My second website for the City of Federal Way: a redesign for Dumas Bay Centre, a retreat center owned and operated by the City. The new site features rotating images of the event venue, panoramic views of the meeting rooms, downloadable catering menus, and an open source Content Management System.

Dumas Bay Centre, a former convent, is an affordable event venue for all types of groups — from business meetings and craft gatherings to memorials and weddings. The event center overlooks Dumas Bay from a 12-acre natural setting with a waterfront gazebo and historic garden. Three meeting rooms can accommodate up to 98 event attendees. And up to 90 guests can overnight in 67 guest rooms.

Our team created a full marketing plan including a new website, brand identity and marketing materials. The work included a comprehensive advertising plan with ads in Bravo,, the Federal Way Mirror, and other publications.

It All Happens Here

screenshot Federal Way Community Center

CSS/XHTML Web Development: Scott Marlow
Copywriting: Rita Cipalla, Scott Marlow
Graphic Design: Joan Van den Berg

My latest project for the City of Federal Way: a new site for its premier recreation facility, hosted at a new URL:, the Community Center’s tagline.

The Rent section features a virtual-360 degree slideshow of the banquet facilities. Since the site launch, Susan Leddon, rental coordinator, reported that rental inquiries from the website increased from zero to 4-5 per week. Staff can update the site through an open source Content Management System.

The new site complements all new marketing collateral – including coupons, direct mail postcards, rack cards, and facility schedules – created by our team since March.

“You have consistently gone above and beyond on every aspect of this project. I know I speak for everyone when I say we appreciate you more than we can express. The website is fantastic/wonderful/cool/gorgeous/eye-popping/practical/logical, and, did I mention fantastic? I’m excited for the launch.“
Linda Elliott Farmer, Communications & Government Affairs Manager
City of Federal Way

“It’s been a fantastic experience working with such a great team. Personally, I enjoyed our “team” meetings the most. I think it’s important for you to know how easy it is to work with you on this project. I always felt like we could share our true feelings about every element along the way. Thank you all for your patience, persistence, and professionalism.”
Doug Nelson, Supervisor
Federal Way Community Center