Helping Consumers and Financial Advisors Connect

Custom Development Case Study: NAPFA​

Custom Content Management System Helps Connect Consumers with Financial Advisors​

With over 3,000 members, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) is the country’s leading professional association of fee-only financial advisors. Over the last 30 years, NAPFA has invested in technology to help their members manage and monitor their investments, but it became apparent that its existing web technologies were holding the organization back.

CQL has been partnered with NAPFA for over 20 years, so we were excited to help create their new digital experience. Working with internal leadership and the NAPFA board, we helped document key user needs and pain points, and created a roadmap for delivering a new, custom-built website management platform.

While there were many objectives, the overarching goals were to help their organization work smarter with a content-first Content Management System (CMS) and improve the customer pathways to finding an advisor.




Custom CMS

The Ask

NAPFA approached us to help understand and rethink their entire web experience. Their members and customers were struggling with a difficult front-end user experience, while an outdated content management system offered limited control to the NAPFA team.

THE Answer

We laid out a digital roadmap centered around a vision of creating a unified platform that gave consumers the ability to connect with financial advisors like never before. We built a custom website management platform to serve as a foundation for managing all content and serve as a tool to both the curious consumer  and the passionate financial advisor.


The new site brought together content and functionality from two different platforms, creating a single mobile-friendly user experience while merging two analytics sets into a single place. The new platform has greatly reduced the time needed to launch and manage new content.

Creating a Custom Search Tool for local Financial Advisors

NAPFA’s Find an Advisor tool was redesigned to improve the way consumers can connect with the right NAPFA-certified personal financial advisor. Consumers can browse how they want with location-based results, an interactive map, and a list of the nearest member firms. Advisors and firms have dedicated profiles with clear contact information and content created to help consumers find the right fit for their needs.

NAPFA mobile website
Map locations of financial advisors
NAPFA investor search services
NAPFA advisors meeting
Financial advisors

Making Content Management Enjoyable with Content-First Editing

An effective customer experience is only as good as the content provider’s ability to manage and produce content. At least, that is the approach we took when we heard the number of pain points around limitations with content production. We redesigned the content editing experience to enable NAPFA to easily produce thoughtful, branded content without the burden of learning to code.

NAPFA website screenshot

Intuitively Manage Multiple Types of Content

When consolidating disconnected admin experiences, we ensured all content types were accounted for and designed to be managed according to NAPFA content authors’ individual requirements. NAPFA’s new, custom-built CMS is able to manage not only page content, navigation, and media, but also conferences and events, global sidebars, call-to-actions, member quizzes, career opportunities, reports, and user accounts.

NAPFA Redesign Features
NAPFA Redesign Features

Evolving the Platform Alongside the Business

Like many projects we take on, we utilized a phase-based approach. For NAPFA, phase one meant reimagining the Find an Advisor experience, making content editing easy, removing outdated technology, and crafting a custom platform to allow the brand to grow and connect with users at a deeper level. We are actively working with NAPFA to see their vision through as we continue iterating, enhancing, and strategically planning out the future of the NAPFA digital experience.

NAPFA marketing plan