Complexity & Challenge In Website Development? Bring It On.
Here's a recent scenario Rhythm was faced with. Jacuzzi® Hot Tubs and Sundance® Spas came to us for multi-domain, multi-region, multi-language websites. The sites needed to be easily editable and would need numerous content editors for many different dealer locations. On top of that, the sites would need to be capable of handling millions of visitors per month and allow for scalability over the next few years. Not an easy task to say the least, but Rhythm is always up for a challenge - especially when it means the end solution will provide a better user experience and help both brands achieve their goals.
This scenario is actually not all that uncommon and thanks to Rhythm's strategy team, designers and experienced Umbraco developers, we were not only able to deliver upon the client's requirements, but were able to provide direction on UX, functionality, and features that would create the ultimate user experience.
How It Was Done
With Umbraco's ability to serve multiple domains per install, numerous different websites can be combined into one single database. Thanks to Umbraco's customizable URL routing capabilities, we were able to create region-specific and language-specific URLs for each page (e.g., "/en-us/hot-tubs" for the English United States version and "/fr-ca/hot-tubs" for the French Canada version). Polyglot - an Umbraco plugin - made page translations a breeze.
Using Ditto and Archetype, Rhythm was able to create simple widget-based pages so that content editors (in this case, Jacuzzi and Sundance marketing team members) could make changes easily and in real time while dealer sections of the sites were protected so that dealers were unable to edit, lessening the chance of brand inconsistency.
A high level of security was maintained by connecting Umbraco with Cloudflare - a web application firewall.
Thanks to the investment we made building Formulate for another website project, we were able reuse it and extend the form builder to Jacuzzi and Sundance content editors to build dozens of contact forms with no additional developer time. To ensure some of the more tricky aspects were not missed, we built in a dashboard displayed right in Formulate with guidance on how to accomplish common tasks like adding analytics information to a form. We even modified Formulate to work with Angular (aka, Angular 2), the main framework used on the websites. Some of the forms that were created in Formulate include a general contact form, a brochure request form, a form to contact a specific dealer, a newsletter sign up form, a multi-step campaign form, and a form to send SMS messages with dealership details, among others. Because everything in Formulate is editable, all of these forms were designed to be created in any language.
Thanks to the use of auto-invalidating caches and single page app functionality in Angular, navigating from page to page takes less than 200 milliseconds and only about 70 milliseconds of that is spent on server-side processing. That means that with a relatively affordable single-core CPU server, this architecture could support a hypothetical maximum of 37 million website visits a month. If you scale the server up to an 8-core CPU, that would support about 300 million website visits a month – more than we're likely to need for a long time.
Optimal performance was ensured by disabling unnecessary dashboards and by making use of an Umbraco plugin - User Group Permissions - that allows edits to permissions in bulk rather that on a per-user basis.
What Was Gained?
- Cut server response and page-download times in half.
- Reduced bounce rates by 20%.
- Increased engagement with product content more than 40%.
- Provided the internal marketing team with the ability to easily A/B test content and layout.
- Eliminated issues with form submission workflow logic that was causing duplicate entries and loss of leads on a daily basis.
- Gained visibility into the prospect journey and lead attribution (improves analytics capabilities).
- Created efficiencies (e.g., shared infrastructure) that will cut future development costs by 70% when the client need to migrate other sites over or adds additional product line categories onto the existing structure.
Have a complicated website project and looking for an agency you can trust to get it done right? Look to Rhythm. Reach out to us today.