Bank of the Sierra: New Website, Deeper Community Connections

Bank of the Sierra’s new website is a rock-solid foundation for growth.

Since its founding in 1977 in California’s Central Valley, Bank of the Sierra has grown to become the largest independent bank in the region, with over $3 billion in assets, 500 employees, and 35 full-service branches.

The bank needed a website that could support its continued growth while showcasing its deep community roots. Specifically, the bank’s leadership team asked for a secure and scalable platform, continuous compliance with accessibility standards, and a streamlined design with imagery that reflects the region’s natural splendor.

Lightstream delivered a powerful, user-focused, and visually engaging website redesign that has met or exceeded the client’s business goals across the board – including a nearly twofold increase in user engagement.

Strength and Control

Prior to the transition to WordPress, Bank of the Sierra’s previous website used a proprietary content management system (CMS) with limited features, safeguards, and user controls.

The Lightstream team built a fully customized and hardened open-source website with clean code, SEO optimization, leading-edge plugins, and an extra layer of data security to minimize the risk of data loss and downtime.

This new platform is also future-proofed for easy content updates and security upgrades. We provided hands-on training to the client so they can make edits and build pages with our drag-and-drop modules.

Prioritizing Website Accessibility

Bank of the Sierra wanted to ensure its website would be accessible to the largest possible audience.

Lightstream adheres to the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and we help our clients maintain compliance with free semiannual scans and reporting. This meant that Bank of the Sierra was able to eliminate the cost and hassle of a separate web accessibility vendor.

Clear, logically organized content is the first step to universal usability, and audiovisual text alternatives are vital for users with reading difficulties.

A Website Designed for Ease of Use (and Stunning Views)

With a mission to “make every community we’re part of better,” Bank of the Sierra’s website provides an effortless user-focused experience while highlighting the people and places that make the region special.

We simplified the customer journey with intuitive, mobile-friendly navigation and comparison modules. We also showcased unique brand attributes like the bank’s efforts to help restore California’s forests and its dedicated agribusiness lending team.

Striking photography and infographics inform and inspire, while subtle but consistent brand cues reinforce a sense of place.

Improved Engagement = Meaningful Results

These stats spell success for our client, both in terms of attracting prospects and deepening relationships with existing account holders.

Matt Hessler, Bank of the Sierra’s Director of Marketing, says, “My account executives at Lightstream helped make our website redesign a smooth and painless process. As a 12-year client of Lightstream, I proudly endorse the organization for its attention to detail, quality of work, industry knowledge, and speed of delivery.”

Let’s Make Your Next Website Your Best Website

Other web developers might have one or two banking clients. At Lightstream, your industry is our focus. Since 2008, we’ve helped scores of financial institutions to boost brand awareness, deepen relationships, and reach their business goals. We’re committed to delivering better results at lower costs – with dependable guidance at every step.

Ready to start a conversation? Click here to tell us a little about your financial institution’s needs and goals.