Henry George Foundation

The Henry George Foundation, founded in 1929, is dedicated to promoting the principles of their namesake, Henry George, helping spread his teachings about economic freedom and social justice. They share news in their magazine Land & Liberty and hold talks and study programmes.

The Brief

The foundation first came to Channel Digital in 2007 and the Henry George Foundation website was built on a Joomla platform. With advances in technology, the Joomla website needed an update and during the project scope stage, we identified that a Wordpress Multisite could make sense for Henry George Foundation as they had multiple areas to their foundation, including several stand alone websites run by their members.  

A WordPress multisite gives a number of benefits, including all sites managed in one place and sharing the same plugins and installation. Security settings are shared, maintenance and updates are streamlined and the cost savings can be considerable. Additional sites can also be added easily in the future. You can read more about the advantages of WordPress Multisite Installations here.

This recommended approach was agreed by the Board of HGF.

The Process

The website migrations

One Joomla website and two WordPress sites and were moved to the new WordPress multisite installation:

The biggest migration was for the Henry George Foundation main site, going from Joomla to WordPress with over 1000+ downloadable documents/PDFs which are served on an Amazon S3 offsite web storage. It was essential to correctly maintain all the links to these documents and additionally setting up redirects for any new pages in WordPress, the main changes being the different url structure from Joomla site - e.g. urls with .html extension resolve to urls on new site without the .html extension.

The other two site migrations were from their existing WordPress installations to the WordPress multisite environment, a simpler process than the Henry George Foundation main one. During this migration we set up replacement themes, and cleaned out any unwanted/unnecessary plugins to ensure the sites were lightning fast and not bogged down with unwanted code.

Visual Improvements

The overall look of the sites was kept the same, but with visual improvements in particular related to the responsive/mobile layout of the sites. Each site was built with a template framework incorporating an intuitive page builder, allowing for easy page/post updates for the HGF admin team. Due to the features provided by the template framework, there was also no need to include extensions for features such as sliders, galleries, videos etc as these are all incorporated by the framework. This reduces the number of plugins on the website as a whole and helps keep the website fast.


Maintaining the same functionality as the Joomla website with WordPress versions of the same software, such as document management and email marketing systems, or equivalent - and sometimes much improved - alternatives.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 is a cost-effective solution for online storage and distribution of the hundreds of gigabytes of files in the document library, which includes the entire Land & Liberty magazine archive going back to 1894! Keeping all of these files on the website itself would take up server space, bandwidth, and processing power that would contribute to slowing the site down. A key part of this integration is allowing free access to files for the general public, but preventing abuse of downloads. As with the website, the security of the S3 instance is critical, which is where our skills and experience with cloud technologies comes to the fore.

Feedback from the Henry George Foundation

"Channel Digital offer simple advice, and an efficient service. They always have time to deal with emergencies and the confusion most of us experience in our encounters with the digital world!  Our recent decision to upgrade to the Wordpress multisite platform for all our related websites was no exception."  Andrew Purves, Henry George Foundation

Key Features

  • Document library
  • Email newsletters
  • Donation integration (pushing it a bit, PayPal button!)
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) integration
  • Content management
  • Videos
  • Twitter feed
  • Contact forms

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