Our Work


Screenshot of SFAI website Home page


Live Site
Client Since
October 2019

Founded in 1871, San Francisco Art Institute is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious schools of higher education in contemporary art.

SFAI provides its students with a rigorous education in the fine arts and preparation for a life in the arts through an immersive studio environment, an integrated liberal arts curriculum, and critical engagement with the world.

Screenshot of SFAI website (im)material blog
Services Provided

One of the first tasks we took on, which at the outset seemed to be a very straightforward, was installing the Hop Edit This add-on. In true web development style, however, that led us to discover that the site had some caching issues. Delving into those proved rather complex, and we went down a rabbit hole of site improvements and optimizations. Sounds like a drag? Not really! Making a site work faster and better for clients is kinda our “thing.”

And the fun didn’t stop there! We’ve really gotten to sink our teeth into some interesting tasks for SFAI. Some of our major endeavors were:

  • Spam prevention! SFAI was having a lot of fun sifting through spam form submissions. We tackled this in several ways: IP blocking of spam bots; GSuite email content filtering; upgrading Freeform (the add-on handling form submissions); and we also added Google reCaptcha to several website forms.
  • In 2016, SFAI set up the (im)material blog on Tumblr. Time passed, Tumblr changed, and in 2019 we migrated the blog content out of Tumblr and into the SFAI content management system, ExpressionEngine. (im)material now lives on the SFAI website, complete with categories and…
  • ...a custom search interface! On (im)material pages of the SFAI website, visitors can choose to search the whole site, or just the blog.
  • SFAI also needed to give campus users of the website the ability to edit and update their own pages of the site. Hop Studios installed Publisher, an ExpressionEngine add-on, and customized it to create a workflow process for updating, reviewing, approving, and publishing content on the site. We also set up the member groups necessary to make sure users and reviewers have the right permissions to add/edit and publish content.
  • We aim to upgrade! We updated SFAI’s content management system, ExpressionEngine, to the latest version, tracking down and resolving field and add-on compatibility issues as we did so.
  • Finally, we noticed that although the site had a favicon, it wasn’t set up to be called properly, and lacked many of the sizes needed for bookmarking on phones and other devices. A few updates and SFAI is sitting pretty.

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