Our Work


Screenshot of Noozhawk website home page


Live Site
Client Since
May 2013

Noozhawk is an independent and local news organization delivering essential news and community information in and around Santa Barbara, CA.

Visitors to this fine website get the latest from professional journalists, and can also contribute news, events, and listings.

Screenshot of Noozhawk website Noozhawk Asks section page
Services Provided

It was time. Noozhawk had been running on ExpressionEngine version 1.x for a long time, and the new version 2.x beckoned.

We peeled away several layers of dead or outmoded v 1.x add-ons, set up a test site and ran a practice upgrade.  It didn’t go smoothly. Templates used PHP code that needed redoing. Certain small custom plugins needed to be re-written. Fields needed to be converted from old-style nGen file fields to new styles.  And Matrix fields needed special care.

In the midst of all this, the server was creaking under growing traffic load, so we handled a server migration in the midst of this as well.

Finally, the bugs were resolved, the upgrade path was paved, and late at night during the site’s quietest time, we re-ran the upgrade… Success! Rejoicing!

The staff was trained on the new system, and already the site is faster for the administrators, more reliable for site visitors, and benefiting from the addition of some new add-ons that are EE 2.x only. Though the process was rough at first, the final result is beautiful, and the operation was a complete success.


Because of Noozhawk's explosive growth, we knew we needed a web development partner that could provide stability as well as the ability to anticipate challenges before they emerged. We interviewed Hop Studios and were impressed. Then we interviewed Hop Studios clients and were sold.

Travis Smith and his team are budget-minded, efficient, easy-going and reliable. They specialize in our ExpressionEngine CMS, and they're enabling us to finally use it to its maximum potential. We increasingly have the control and confidence we need for Noozhawk to become the dominant daily news source in our marketplace.

William M. Macfadyen, Noozhawk founder and publisher
Santa Barbara, California

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