Site of the Year 2008-North America Finalists

Learn about Sitecore's Site of the Year finalists - websites that we recognize as best in industry web solutions leveraging Sitecore technology.

Screenshot of Beliefnet website - site of the year 2008 finalist

Best Media Site: Beliefnet

Implementation Partner: Digitaria

Beliefnet, a recipient of the National Magazine Award for General Excellence Online, is the largest multi-faith online community for spirituality and inspiration.  Its mission is to help people find and walk a spiritual path that instills comfort, hope, clarity, strength and happiness for people who are exploring their own faith or curious about others.  Whether traditional, new age, holistic or alternative, Beliefnet is the definitive source of spiritual information presented without defined editorial point-of-view, and is the leading authority for major news organizations in the US. It covers an exhaustive range of topics and is continually enhanced by its users. Resources include blogs and social networking tools, feature articles and videos, quizzes, devotionals, photo galleries and interviews with noted politicians, celebrities and spiritual leaders.  Beliefnet has more than 12 Million newsletter subscribers and averages between 2.5 and 3 million unique visitors per month. A subsidiary of Fox Digital Media and Fox Entertainment Group, Beliefnet is not affiliated with any spiritual organization or movement, and has partnerships with The Wall Street Journal, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Fox Faith.

Working with Sitecore partner, Digitaria, they overhauled the front and back-ends of the Beliefnet site to provide improved accessibility for both the Beliefnet staff and the end-user. The installation of the Sitecore CMS simplifies management of content and streamlines the process for the content administrators. New publication guidelines and specifications are automatically enforced through the CMS. The sophisticated tagging system built into the new design gives Beliefnet the ability to constantly rotate content -- which prevents important information from being buried into obscurity by the sheer volume of articles and media on the site. The new site has experienced an increase in site traffic, increased ad sales, and a huge time savings for the Beliefnet editorial staff.

Screenshot of Brookings website - site of the year  2008 finalist

Best Non-Profit Site: The Brookings Institution

Implementation Partner: Velir Studios

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Founded in 1916, Brookings is widely considered the oldest and most influential think tank in the world. Their mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations that advance three broad goals: strengthen American democracy; foster the economic and social welfare, security and opportunity of all Americans and secure a more open, safe, prosperous and cooperative international system.

Brookings and their design and strategy partner, Threespot Media, selected Velir to engineer and build the Brookings site.   The project featured a complex mix of specifications: large content migration requirements; sophisticated taxonomy; site personalization; RSS, video, and audio; third-party application integration for robust site search with the Google Search Appliance; and email newsletters integrating Lyris Listmanager. But one of the biggest challenges was serving up related content. Velir had to make the system intelligent enough to sort through 10,000+ articles, take a snapshot of each one, rank them, and present the most relevant articles to the user. This process had to be architected to be a near-instant calculation.  Using Sitecore, Brookings has reached their goals, building an easy-to-use and maintain site that provides intuitive access to tens of thousands of articles, all made possible by Sitecore's flexibility and deep support for meta-data and complex taxonomy.

Screenshot of CHCF website - site of the year  2008 finalist

Best Healthcare Site: California Healthcare Foundation

Implementation Partner: Velir Studios

The California HealthCare Foundation is an independent philanthropy committed to improving the way health care is delivered and financed in California. By promoting innovations in care and broader access to information, its goal is to ensure that all Californians can get the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.

Working with Sitecore integration partner Velir Studios, the California HealthCare Foundation created, a Web site that enables healthcare consumers to choose the best hospital for their needs based on a variety of data -- from mortality rates to patient satisfaction. Visitors to the site can search the hospital database by location (county, city, or zip code), hospital name, or medical condition. Results are presented in a comparative display or as a single hospital profile -- enabling users to customize and compare data that informs their crucial healthcare decisions.

Screenshot of Edmonton Police website - site of the year  2008 finalist

Best Government Site: Edmonton Police Service

Implementation Partner: Faction Four

The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) is currently better trained, better educated and more diverse than at any other time in history. Their technological capabilities allow officers and support staff to be better equipped and intelligence-led when problem solving and dealing with day-to-day responsibilities. The goals of their site are to provide public access and information in a timely and direct manner, reduce victimization and increase public confidence in the Edmonton Police Service.
Working with Sitecore partner Faction Four, the EPS is using Sitecore to keep the website up-to-date with things like emergency alerts – used for weather emergencies such as dangerous snow storms or tornados, disaster situations such as an emergency at one of the local oil refineries or in coordination with the province’s Amber Alert program. The Crime Files area of the site supplies information on open and unresolved cases. It allows the EPS to remind the public of the need for information in order to solve the cases, and it also highlights cases where leads have been identified or where the trail has gone cold. The EPS intranet will allow content to be delivered to mobile workstations in patrol cars.

Screenshot of First Pioneer website - site of the year  2008 finalist

Best Financial Site: First Pioneer Farm Credit

Implementation Partner: Verndale

First Pioneer Farm Credit is Northeast agriculture's #1 financial services cooperative, with more than 90 years of lending to people involved in the business of agriculture, including farmers, nursery and greenhouse operators, forest products businesses, fishermen, lobstermen, part-time growers, agribusinesses and country home owners. With 9,000 customers throughout New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey, First Pioneer Farm Credit offers a full range of credit and financial services.

First Pioneer wanted to better communicate with their current clients through an improved site -- including knowledge exchange, community engagement, and secure file sharing initiatives. Working with Sitecore partner, Verndale, they chose Sitecore as their platform – to unify First Pioneer's brands and provide a better way to manage content. Sitecore also supports's weekly polls, news feed, secure sign in, and additional technology features specifically developed for First Pioneer current clients and members.

Screenshot of Genzyme website - site of the year  2008 finalist

Best Bio-technology Site: Genzyme

Implementation Partner: ISITE Design

Genzyme is a global biotechnology company with approximately $4 billion in sales, 10,000 employees, and approximately 100 websites. Working with Sitecore partner ISITE Design, Genzyme made the strategic decision in 2008 to shift its global web CMS platform to Sitecore. The Sitecore CMS was deployed by ISITE Design on to allow business users to easily update web content as well as share a common architecture across Genzyme website. In 2009 the number of websites will expand to include multilingual and country level product and disease websites. ISITE Design led an extensive CMS research, requirements gathering and prototype phase in early 2008, which culminated in Genzyme’s choice of Sitecore CMS.

Screenshot of Hartz website - site of the year  2008 finalist

Best Web 2.0 Site: Hartz

Implementation Partner: IconNicholson is the home of the Hartz Brand. The purpose of this site is to provide a comprehensive, authoritative and useful resource to “pet parents,” covering the full breadth and depth of Hartz’s unique expertise.

Simultaneously, the site strives to represent the Hartz brand in a way that positions The Hartz Mountain Corporation (HMC) as a trusted voice in pet care in a world of growing noise and confusion. HMC is a leader in the pet care products industry. With an 80 year heritage and as the leading source of innovative, high-quality products, Hartz brand products are a mainstay of the American pet care experience. has a similar purpose – providing one-stop flea, tick and pest information to pet parents who want the best for their dogs and cats, as well as providing tools and advice for diagnosing their pet control needs. The site also establishes the Hartz UltraGuard brand as the premier brand in pet pest control.

Working with Sitecore partner, IconNicholson, Hartz redesigned their sites to create a deeper, more meaningful relationship with their consumers.  The site has a strong user-generated content aspect, with consumers adding their own content in the Tips and Tricks section.  They are now able to syndicate content across many sites for distinct brands, campaigns, with little additional effort and no content maintenance effort. This empowers this smaller company to efficiently and effectively utilize its resources and market on the level of some of the industry’s largest companies. Using Sitecore allowed IconNicholson to provide a smart, extendable marketing platform for Hartz’s future needs.

Screenshot of Lexis Nexis website - site of the year  2008 finalist

Best Legal Site: LexisNexis

Implementation Partner: The Revere Group

LexisNexis® is a leading global provider of content-enabled workflow solutions designed specifically for professionals in the legal, risk management, corporate, government, law enforcement, accounting and academic markets. LexisNexis originally pioneered online information with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. A member of Reed Elsevier [NYSE: ENL; NYSE: RUK] (, LexisNexis serves customers in more than 100 countries with 18,000 employees worldwide.

 Working with Sitecore partner, The Revere Group, LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell is using Sitecore to allow law firm clients to manage their own websites. Each site is pre-populated with data from LexisNexis’s comprehensive lawyer database, and firms can manage the site's content and choose from multiple designs with variations for color and font. The sites support five languages, including French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and German.

Screenshot of McCormics website - site of the year  2008 finalist

Best Consumer Goods Site: McCormick & Company

Implementation Partner: Studiocom

With an extensive network of researchers, trend experts, chefs, home economists, food technologists, and sensory analysts, McCormick & Company, Inc. keeps its finger on the pulse of flavor. McCormick was founded in 1889 in Baltimore, Maryland, and today it is a global leader in the sale of spices, herbs and seasonings. McCormick sources high quality ingredients from far-reaching destinations to bring a world of flavors to consumers.

Screenshot of Vail Resorts website - site of the year  2008 finalist

Best Entertainment/Sports Site: Vail Resorts

Vail Resorts, Inc. is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resort properties at the Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone mountain resorts in Colorado, the Heavenly Ski Resort in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The Vail Resorts consumer web site,, attracts skiers and snowboarders from around the world.  Working with digital marketing company, iCrossing, Vail Resorts chose Sitecore’s CMS due to its ability to provide Vail Resorts marketers a platform to quickly and dynamically promote snow events, offers and packages, and other types of promotions critical to driving revenue.  Additional considerations were its world class user interface, technical architecture flexibility, price point, and ability to fit within Vail Resort’s technical ecosystem. 


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Hudson Health Plan | Read Case Study >

Our intranet has improved efficiencies in our internal communications, improved the quality of the employee experience, and gone a long way to support an improved morale among employees.

- Ted Herman, Hudson Health Plan