Originally published in the January 2021 edition of Ruralite Magazine for Ohop Mutual Light Company

Ohop Mutual Light Co. has a new website.

Ohop Mutual customers now have an easier way of doing business when accessing www.Ohop.coop to pay a bill or see the latest utility updates.

The revised and user-friendly design is easy on the eyes and easy to navigate.

“It was time for a refresh,” says Ohop Mutual General Manager Ken Klotz.

To update and improve the site, Ohop officials coordinated with Pioneer Utility Resources—the company that produces Ruralite—and a web services branch called PowerfulWeb.com. Charlie Stanley, Powerful Web Solutions manager at Pioneer Utility Resources, assisted Ohop with its website updates. PowerfulWeb.com has supported website and design efforts on more than 100 consumer-owned utilities and related organizations during the last decade.

Many Additional Functions

Last spring, Ohop Mutual became one of the latest to collaborate with PowerfulWeb.com. “In addition to the specific needs of Ohop officials, we suggest website changes and updates based on research, design specifications and historical data that totally removes all guess work,” Charlie says. One of the major changes was inclusion of the behind-the-scenes Americans with Disabilities Actcompliant improvements. The ADA was signed into law in 1990 to accommodate specific needs, including accessing information online. “Unless you need this service, you won’t even know it’s available,” Charlie says.

The addition of a search function is another feature of the Ohop site that makes life easier for those looking for information.

“The Ohop site now offers a search area, which is designed similar to what you find on Google and other sites,” Charlie says. “When customers are searching for a topic, the results are displayed in a similar format that people already recognize.”

Charlie says the website design is based on user profiles. He says about half of website visitors use smartphones, tablets or other non-PC devices.

As a result, the website has responsive design features, detecting the type of device used to access the site and adjusting to provide the appropriate platform.

Charlie Stanley in Portland, Oregon
Charlie Stanley, Powerful Web Solutions manager at Pioneer Utility Resources, helped Ohop develop its web updates.

Foreign Language Options

For those whose first language is not English, the Google Translate function in the lower right corner of the website will be of interest. Google Translate offers Ohop website information translated into more than 50 languages.

A great deal of research went into this area as well. Google reports its translation feature—which is currently used by a number of large companies and organizations—is 97% accurate.

“With artificial intelligence doing the translation, 97% is a very good percentage,” Charlie says.

Charlie says Google research shows most of those doing the website translation for small business owners who speak other than English in the home are the business owners’ children.

“Kids 11 or 12 years old are the average age of family members doing the translation, and their accuracy rate is somewhere in the 70% to 80% ratio,” says Charlie. “Using the Google translation function like the Ohop site uses takes a lot of pressure off of these kids, while offering a clearer picture of what’s being translated.”

As a litmus test, Minh Trang Nguyen reviewed the Ohop website translated page in Vietnamese. A few minutes later, she said she completely understood the translated information on the page.

Have a Look

The new Ohop website is designed in an easy-touse format called WordPress, which makes content management easier.

“Making immediate changes to the site is now a simple process,” Ken says. “Not only is the new website more attractive and simple to use, we also include lots of general information and feature stories for customers to enjoy, including Ohop Ruralite magazine feature stories.”

If you not yet visited the site, Ken encourages you to start the new year on a positive note and check out the updated www.ohop.coop.

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