The client’s COVID-19 research website was built using SiteCore, a heavy-duty CMS that is intended for large enterprise websites. Unfortunately, SiteCore had many drawbacks that were affecting the ongoing maintenance of the website:
- SiteCore licenses are very expensive, and developers who know the technology are expensive and hard to find
- Updating content was very slow with SiteCore, which can require over 10 steps for every content change. During the COVID-19 pandemic where articles were being constantly revised and updated, this led to errors in content and out-of-date content.
“The credibility of our research websites is critical,” said the client’s Manager of Technical Program Management. “If readers see errors and inconsistencies, they could lose trust in our site as a source of factual information. Keeping content updated on the old website was not sustainable.”
As we note in Kontent.ai vs. SiteCore is a No-Brainer, there is a better way! A modern CMS like Kontent.ai offers fast, intuitive content editing while still providing the same power on the back-end as traditional enterprise CMS.
It was no surprise then that the client reached out to Kontent.ai and ultimately reached Thinklogic, the experts in modern large-scale CMS development. Thinklogic was asked to migrate the COVID-19 website from SiteCore to Kontent.ai, making improvements to the website usability along the way.
A major job under time pressure. Thinklogic assigned a project manager, 2 front-end developers and 1 back-end developer to migrate the solution from SiteCore to Kontent.ai in just 10 weeks. To achieve this, Thinklogic worked directly in the client’s environment as if they were an in-house team, checking in daily with the client’s Manager of Technology Program Management.
Automated migration of content. The Thinklogic team discovered right away that the website had a lot of content, over 5,000 content pieces and counting. Given the time constraints, migrating that content could not be done manually, so instead the team wrote scripts to automatically extract content from the old site and insert into the new.
Automate everything. Updating content in the old website was a lengthy, manual, error-prone process. For example, every time an article was updated, you had to manually scroll to the bottom of the page and update the references section with rigorous citations - easy to forget and have your citations get out-of-date.
For a site whose entire credibility depends on the quality and precision of its articles - updates on the latest COVID-19 variants, vaccines, and treatment options - any errors in citations were not sustainable. Thinklogic saw an immediate opportunity to automate all of these steps using Kontent.ai. The new CMS was structured so that every time you update anything about the content - the citations, section headers, menus, pop-ups, article formatting, etc. are automatically updated accordingly.
Modular design. Kontent.ai allowed Thinklogic to create a small number of rich, flexible content models on which to build the entire new website. This structured modular approach lent itself particularly well to the scientific nature of the articles on the website, allowing anyone maintaining the site to easily drag-and-drop to add, remove and reorder sections of an article or article template, and preview any changes to the article in real time as you edit. The team also implemented a number of exceptions into its modular design so that articles that did not follow a specific template could still be managed just as easily, and were not constrained by a pre-set design.
Intuitive search. Given the sheer volume of articles on the website, a natural, intuitive search function was critical. Thinklogic significantly improved the usability of the search function by building a custom search index and integrating with Azure Cognitive Search.
Single-sign on. The client offers their subscribers many authoritative research websites including the COVID-19 website. It was therefore a critical usability step to integrate with their single sign-on framework, allowing subscribers to easily access the website without having to login all over again with a separate set of credentials.
The new COVID-19 website built on Kontent.ai CMS went into production shortly after the build was complete. The client had immediate positive feedback about the intuitiveness of the CMS and maintaining the content. The team can focus on the content itself, and no longer needs to worry about updating all the other related aspects like citations, menu items, pop-ups and formatting - which are handled automatically.
“The website is much less error-prone now thanks to the modular design and automation built by Thinklogic into the new CMS. This saves our team time and money, but most of all it lets us maintain trust with the public related to the COVID-19 research updates we publish.”
The project was such a success that this high-profile client asked Thinklogic to develop 3 more large-scale websites. In today’s world of transient workers and outsourced agencies - when you see a truly expert agency that delivers on their promise - you know a good thing when you see it!
Custom Enterprise Headless CMS Implementations with Thinklogic’s Digital Acceleration Response Team (D.A.R.T.)
If your organization’s unique strengths need technical solutions that don’t come out-of-the-box, consider a digital acceleration partner like Thinklogic.
Thinklogic’s Digital Acceleration and Response Team (DART) specializes in advising CTOs and CMOs on their digital roadmaps, rapid prototyping to bring a business case to life, and conducting large-scale implementations, without distracting internal development teams.
Thinklogic is an expert in web development, including a variety of modern CMS, headless CMS, and even custom-built CMS as in this case study. Located in Los Angeles, California with years of experience in enterprise verticals like manufacturing, commerce, and banking, Thinklogic is your trusted partner for end-to-end digital transformation programs.
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