Brought to you by the 1&1 Blog Infrastructure
This year, the spring brought more than just fresh air and sunny days; it brought exciting changes in the 1&1 Blog Infrastructure and in the online presence of the company.
We’ve started at the end of March with a redesign of the blog for the German market. For this, first we started with a totally new theme, developed by an external agency named First Square, and deployed on a new multi-site WordPress environment.
While it might look trivial, it wasn’t a walk in the park. One of the first tasks was getting in touch and setting up a common ground to work on with First Square. On an everyday basis, we might take for granted all the terminologies and small processes we have in place, but when talking with somebody from outside the company, suddenly clear communication becomes a key factor that will make or break the project. No JIRA to share tasks and bugs, no SVN for a common code repository, no “I’ll just drop by your desk and see what’s wrong”, its back to the basics of emails and telephones. However, I am happy to say we worked great and I now have a new appreciation for how much easier things are when sharing a common methodology.
Having the blog theme set up and ready, we handled the next big task of the project: the content migration. For the German blog, this meant migrating more than 1500 articles from the old blog system as well as around 450 articles from the Online Success Center platform. The end result was a blog that is a great source of information for the company, with topics ranging from company and product information to tips and tricks for the online success of the companies that use 1&1 products. The same thing had to happen for the US blog, that was launched with new content as well as articles migrated from the US Online Success Center.
A great deal of support came from the PR departments that was very involved at all stages of the project, from setting up the requirements with the Romanian team and FirstSquare to updating the content in order to better tailor the articles for the visitors.
If you wish to see a detailed description of ‘Before and After’ for the 1&1 Blogs you may have a look here.
The blogs were not the only PR site updated as we’re launching Newsrooms in each country. If the blogs aim information to the customers, the Newsroom will have press releases provided in a fresh design. Here, again we’ve went in and imported hundreds of press releases from the venerable Press Tool, but this one was a little bit trickier since we moved content between totally unrelated systems. The great online WordPress community provided us with tools that allowed us to do this in an easy and painless manner so, with a little bit of tinkering, everything worked smoothly.
The newsrooms for Germany and U.S.A. are already live (why don’t you drop by and see for yourself the fresh new design provided by First Square) and we’re preparing the releases for the rest of the countries in the following weeks.
The last piece of the plan will be launching the Company Page, a site that will display all the relevant information about 1&1 in one great looking site. However, this will come at a later moment, so keep an eye out for the official announcement.
With all this sites (24 to be more precise) going live, it’s worth mentioning the software update to WordPress Multisite. This will give us a unified, easy to work with platform for all WordPress based sites that 1&1 has or will need to launch in the future. Creating a new site becomes a problem of just clicking a few buttons, configuring a theme and connecting the domains to the system. Without this, launching so many sites in such a short time would have been truly impossible.
The 1&1 Company Blogs, aimed for customers are available in:
The 1&1 Newsrooms are aimed to be a platform for the company press releases: