Building a CMS & front-end for 88 individual sites
When Segway scooted into our lives in search of a solution which would allow them to take their US web design and optimize it for an EMEA audience, well we just couldn’t say no. The Segway team was in need of a multilingual web design and CMS which could accommodate the traffic and content requirements of not just one continent, but three. Let us tell you how we took on this Segway challenge, just sit back and enjoy the ride!
Whilst Segway provided us with an existing web design, we needed to create a more user-friendly interface and give it the spruce up it needed for its new cross-continental audience. This led us to introduce dynamic scrolling, fixed fonts to enhance readability and the element we’re most proud of, the drop-down menu overlay.
After defining our KPIs for the web design, we got to work optimising everything that was needed...and more. The existing US web design was content-heavy and featured a lot of sliders with call-to-action buttons which often kept you in the dark on where they were leading you. The new design cuts through the noise, providing a sleek new user experience.
A Streamlined CMS
All For One & One For All
Segway was in need of a CMS which could allow one person to manage all of their individual sites from one location. It had to be fast and it had to be flexible. Two things their old system of choice, Kentico, wasn’t quite ready for. Leading us to deploy our trusty CMS partner in crime, Craft.
Whilst certain website content, like company information, would remain the same across all 88 sites. There was other information which had to be adapted to certain country websites, like scooter specs, and so we needed a foolproof translation strategy. Craft enables you to sync up specific fields for translation whilst leaving others untouched. Providing the all-in-one content management solution Segway was looking for.
The Content Delivery Network (CDN)
We knew that this project was going to be a big one. We’re talking 22 different languages across 88 individual sites to serve 3 diverse continents.
Using Cloudfront, a superfast CDN service, we were able to distribute Segway's website assets to servers all over the world - 250, to be exact. By doing this, we brought the content closer to Segway's web visitors reducing load time and delivering a superfast web experience, no matter where they are. Also allowing us to load balance web traffic across the many servers in the network. So, whether you’re in Bucharest or Belgium, web visitors will experience the same speed, quality and performance from the Segway site.
The Stress Test
Time To Pile on the Pressure
In order for us to see if our server solution had worked, we had to add a little bit of pressure. A lot of pressure, actually! We used Siege, a stress test program, which allowed us to identify how much traffic each site could really handle. The program floods each site with fake traffic and transactions, highlighting any bottlenecks in the application which we could tweak and improve.
This meant that when it came to launch, we could rest assured that our web design and CMS was truly optimal. Ready to really take on the EMEA!
With a multi-language website of this scale, you’ve got to have a smart content strategy that keeps the key user in mind. It’s important to take a step back and consider how the content on each site will interact with one another. What will be the same on every site? What will differ? Can any content be synchronized to make it easier for the content manager?
Next, don’t just dive into using your regular CMS platform. Take some time to find the right one. Find a CMS platform that has a multi-language capability by default, not through extensions or plug-ins. This means the platform has probably put more thought into its core-design, making life a bit easier for your developers.
Finally, with a website which serves such a large region, consider how you can speed up content delivery for web visitors and bring the content as close to them as possible. Remember: sharing’s caring.
Collaboration At Every Stage
We worked closely with Segway throughout the entire project. With such a large project and working within the design boundaries provided to us by Segway, it was important that we offered open and honest communication.
This meant that we could deliver the solution the brand was looking for and Segway site visitors needed. The results were a sleek, high-performing, super-fast website and a CMS with the capabilities to seamlessly manage content across all 88 sites. Success!