New Close the Gap website by Design is Dead bridges the digital divide

Author: Jeroen Huys

Close the Gap and digital agency Design is Dead conclude the fifth year of their partnership on a high note. They launched the new website Close-the-gap.org, boosting the social enterprise as a reliable partner in bridging the digital divide between rich and emerging countries. The collaboration became a beautiful people- and-technology story, with two complementing teams that believe in a scalable social movement with partners and believers, and in ‘Digital for Development’.

Bright and inviting

On the fresh new responsive platform Close-the-gap.org you discover everything about the organization and its team, their activities and partners. The website has many functionalities and makes every action tangible, from revitalizing company computers to contributions in kind, from adopting a project to participating in e-recycling initiatives. The coherent structure, carefully selected images, clear copy, and balanced design and use of color make the experience positive and pleasant.

Three Belgian companies out of four see economic benefits in taking on social responsibility. Close The Gap invites you to make this happen in your business, by donating company IT material for reuse and supporting their initiatives. Join in, visit the website, or send an email to info@close-the-gap.org.


The social impact organization and Design is Dead closely worked together on this project, from concept, design and architecture to selecting technologies and developing the site. Just as Close the Gap gives people tools to take their fate in their own hands, Design is Dead proposed technologies that truly empower the team. Open-source Java CMS Bloomreach Developer allows for a lot of flexibility and fast updates.

In addition to consultation, guidance and training videos, the experts quickly solved practical questions in a collegial way. A fine example of ‘agile’ as a real and efficient way of working together, beyond the buzzword.

We proudly present the new Close the Gap website based on Hippo CMS

Olivier Vanden Eynde, Founder & CEO of Close the Gap International: “If I have to describe our collaboration with Design is Dead and the final result of our new website in one word, I will undoubtedly go for ‘Fantastic’! What this team has accomplished is really incredible. We were 100% on the same wavelength, and their creativity and dynamic approach have ensured that Close the Gap now has a pearl of a new website. I want to thank them for their months-long and tireless efforts! “

Julie de Bergeyck, Impact, Engagement & Communications Director at Close the Gap, adds: “I was honoured to work with Design is Dead and to benefit from their talent and expertise, at the same level as large companies with the necessary budgets. I would like to congratulate my colleague Liselotte Thijs, who has made an excellent contribution to this project, from start to finish. This is a perfect example of a collaboration that boosts our organization in our mission to reduce the digital divide and create positive social impact in Africa and elsewhere. “

A bit more for the tech crowd

Close The Gap’s new website is built on open-source Java CMS HippoCMS (soon to be branded Bloomreach Developer Edition). Hippo’s open and modular architecture lends itself well for agile development and integration with other standards. The team used Docker to create a complete environment for the application to run, including code, a standardized runtime, system tools and libraries we used. The results are highly portable containers that can be deployed anywhere and are easy to integrate with other DevOps technologies.

One of them is Kubernetes, an orchestration tool for deploying and managing containerized applications. It provides tools to build and deploy reliable, scalable distributed applications. The Kubernetes cluster runs on AWS Managed infrastructure.


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