Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

By Inorbital Inc, Canada
Site of the Year 2021
Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario uses its website as an essential communication tool to engage the media and the public on the critical issues surrounding public education in Ontario and to keep members up to date. By redesigning the website in Kentico, the association achieved remarkable results that increased user engagement and improved security.

increase in pages per session

Simplicity, structure and security

ETFO is a professional and protective organization that represents around 83,000 members. It has been working for over 20 years to protect the right of all Ontarians to public education and decent work as well as to promote equity and social justice.

Its obsolete SharePoint Site was not only difficult to manage, but the search functionality wasn’t working well, and the organization was drowning in a number of microsites. User experience was suffering, too.

ETFO knew they didn’t just need a new website, but a total digital transformation. They reached to Inorbital, web design company and Kentico Gold Partner, with these key goals:  

  • Bolster engagement, expand their audience and increase political action
  • Give the website an updated look with a fresh and accessible design
  • Improve navigation through a simplified site layout and logical information flow
  • Enhance website search features and ensure intuitive functionality
  • Future-proof the site with a robust platform that was flexible enough to allow updating of all visual aspects
  • Make the site mobile ready with seamless content sharing to social media platforms
  • Ensure smooth user experience of the member portal and microsites with single sign on


The old website had over 28,000 pages and member content was mixed in with the public site, making the navigation difficult to use. Therefore, one of the key challenges was to re-organize and strategize the site’s information architecture.  

Editors previously found it difficult to manage content, so Inorbital had to take an admin-first approach to developing reusable widgets for content editing. The team also had to rethink the search functionality, so that users would no longer have to wade through pages of irrelevant search results to find what they needed.

Due to the sensitive nature of the thousands of documents housed on the member portal, ETFO required a variety of security checks and role permissions.

In the end, Kentico proved to be the best digital experience platform to achieve these goals.

ETFO website Media releases


ETFO was particularly keen on Kentico for:  

  • .NET core functionality
  • Seamless integration with Microsoft Dynamics
  • High performance with Microsoft Azure
  • Security
  • Flexibility and scalability

Inorbital placed extra emphasis on developing the information architecture. They worked closely with ETFO to craft a comprehensive content inventory that separated the public vs. non-public content. These content types then stood at the base of the information architecture and decisions made during the UX research.   

The new website required a combination of dynamic and manual content management and an easy-to-use system of designing custom page layouts, for which Kentico Page Builder and custom widgets were used. The widgets often included interfaces that could dynamically pull in content, as well as override options for maximum flexibility.  

Research had revealed that most visits to the website were one-off Google searches. So, in order to keep users on the website, the team built a custom smart search with intuitive advanced filters and tagging.

ETFO website search and filtering

Roles application helps to determine editor privilege levels for the Secure portal as well as what different members could see. For example, some roles enable users to upload files to a gated repository on the ETFO Secure site without them having to log in to the backend of the system.

The ETFO member portal has a bi-directional connection with Dynamics and Kentico user accounts and roles are synchronized with contacts and roles stored in the CRM. Once logged into the member portal, users can manage their contact information. Updates are automatically applied to their contact record in Dynamics.

As for the new look and feel of the site, the brand colors were updated to be AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) compliant, and their logo was modernized with fresh colors that reflect the diverse nature of the union. 



The new ETFO.ca website features a refreshed brand, much-improved design, and total overhaul of the information architecture. Its intuitive and reliable search functionality with advanced filtering and enhanced navigation make for a much better user experience.  

Content editors can now build new pages with ease using drag and drop widgets and are able to update content quickly and easily. The robust roles and permissions settings meet ETFO’s exacting security requirements, and the single sign on for the newly envisioned Secure portal makes for a seamless user experience for both members and the public. 

Karen Brown
Karen Brown
Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario

“Built in Kentico, the renewed ETFO.ca promotes the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario’s work in support of high-quality public education in the province of Ontario. The design, clear navigation, and effective searches allow users to find the information they need quickly and efficiently.”

Site of the Year 2021

For its exceptional quality, the new Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario website won the Education category of the Kentico Site of the Year 2021 award.

increase in average session duration
decrease in bounce rate
increase in sessions per user
Inorbital Inc

Inorbital Inc


  • Kentico Gold Partner
  • Quality expert
  • Hosting partner


  • AI and ML
  • Cloud
  • Content Strategy
  • Digital Commerce
  • Digital Marketing
  • Integration and Customization
  • Intranet/Extranet
  • Personalization
  • Locations
  • Canada flag
  • USA flag

Projects by partner

Cookie consent

We use necessary cookies to run our website and improve your experience while browsing to provide you with relevant information in your searches on our and other websites. The additional cookies are only used with your consent. With your consent, we may also transmit certain personal data to marketing platforms for targeted marketing purposes.


We're sorry, but your browser is currently not supported. Try using our website in other browsers like the new Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox.
Should you have any query or want to report any issue, feel free to send us an email to support@kentico.com.