Jim Piller | February 28, 2022
In the summer of 2016, the Cavaliers were in the midst of a historic playoff run, the Indians were heading to the World Series, the Browns were searching for a quarterback and McDonald Hopkins was struggling with updates to its website. The Cleveland-based law firm's old content management system (CMS) was sluggish and cumbersome, which created a poor digital experience for the firm’s prospects and customers and stunted the company’s SEO efforts.
As long-time partners of McDonald Hopkins, Falls & Co. sat down with the organization’s digital marketing team and key stakeholders to discuss making the move to a new platform. One that would be faster, provide a better content editing experience and demonstrate greater flexibility, allowing for future site growth.
Based on McDonald Hopkins’ needs, as well as consideration of how the company’s digital strategy might evolve, Falls & Co. recommended the Kentico 12 Content Management Platform. Kentico’s CMS offered the flexibility for web developers to build different templates while content creators could leverage Kentico’s Page Builder feature to implement varied layouts on the same page.
Part of what necessitated the CMS shift was McDonald Hopkins’ need to allow singular data to populate multiple elements of the site. For example, the firm’s list of attorney biographies appears on both the Team page and the Expertise page. Rather than duplicate that data on each page, McDonald Hopkins wanted its content creators to have the ability to select the data – names and bios, in this case – within the CMS in real time and then have it appear on the page and section they were building.
Kentico’s agility allowed the Falls & Co. web development team to make this happen. Falls’ Kentico developers built a custom control that would give users the ability to select multiple items from a drop-down menu and then apply a custom sort to the list. They then made sure the custom control could be used with other information, such as practice focus and education information, so users could select their informational needs and have them appear on the page.
Falls & Co.’s Kentico Certified Developers worked tirelessly to build McDonald Hopkins a fast and flexible Kentico website that will grow along with the law firm. The team found that incorporating Kentico features, such as custom page types, widgets and caching, was simple and straightforward.
Using modern programming principles allowed the McDonald Hopkins marketing team to “level up” their content editing experience. They can now build landing pages for email marketing campaigns, show upcoming and past events, expand Insights, the company’s blog, and expand the topics covered in the Expertise section.
The single, biggest achievement was the increase in site speed. Falls & Co. was able to take the old site, which averaged a page load speed of between 4 and 5 seconds per page (sometimes longer), to a page load speed of 2 seconds or less. The development team applied caching throughout the site, as well as moved the site’s hosting platform from a cloud-hosted virtual machine to Microsoft Azure to achieve the goal. The flexibility of Azure allows for scaling site resources as needed without a spike in hosting costs.
Now visitors to McDonald Hopkins’ website will find a sleek, responsive site and a better user experience.
If you’re curious if it’s time to update your web presence, reach out to Falls & Co. We’re happy to help you make the best decision.
Backlinks: Where SEO Strategy & PR Meet
How to Tell if Your Baby is Ugly: Why Market Research is Important
How to Make an Interesting, Effective Marketing Video
Jim Piller, a 23-year IT field veteran, has done it all, from computer trainer and network administrator to database administrator. He has spent the last 11 years as an application/website developer. Our VP of Technology has spent the majority of his development career working with Kentico and Sitecore content management systems, and holds development certifications for both Kentico.