Nebraka Public Payrolls

We worked with the Flatwater Free Press this winter to rebuild Nebraska Public Payrolls — a web app of salary information and pay details for Nebraska public-sector employees.

It’s a big project — thousands of employee records across state and local organizations — and they needed a searchable, fast-loading site that was easy for the staff to update regularly with new pay data.

The previous salaries database was a React app hosted at Vercel. Fine enough, but the Flatwater folks don’t have a developer on staff, and the learning curve for managing updates was too steep.

Flatwater already uses WordPress for daily publishing, so rebuilding the salaries app in WordPress was a natural choice. But could WP handle such a huge database without grinding to a halt with hundreds of readers on the site? Turns out, yes it can.

For the backend, we built a super lightweight block theme to keep the load times to a minimum, and used the Timber framework to extend WordPress’ template system without getting bogged down in PHP (highly recommended). There’s a custom post type and taxonomies to handle the employee data, and we added a handful of custom blocks to make page design a breeze inside the block editor.

And maybe our favorite part: Adding new data to the app is as simple as dropping in a CSV file. The Flatwater staff spends little time jumping technical hurdles and can get back to doing what they do best: covering Nebraska.

Nebraska Public Payrolls »

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