Why We Moved Our Brilliance Site to Episerver

Are you considering a new platform for your eCommerce site?  Maybe your old platform doesn’t have the capacity to grow and leverage your site the way you’d like. But, switching platforms can be a time consuming one, and you may wonder if it is worth it.  

At Brilliance, we recently moved our site to Episerver, and we are thrilled with the results!  We have helped many of our clients with their sites on Episerver, and it was time to use it for our own! 

Previously, Brilliance had a content site and an eCommerce site, built on two different platforms (DNN Software and AspDotNetStorefront). There were things we wanted to do that were difficult with that arrangement.  Having an enterprise platform like Episerver has greater capabilities and flexibility, allowing us to do more in the areas of site support, marketing, and administration.  

I spoke to several members of our team about the experience as well as the outcome, and here are some of the things we’ve been able to take advantage of already. 

Easier Site Maintenance 

It is now easier for team members to maintain and make edits to the site.  Previously, we were limited by specific “modules” that we had purchased and the functionality of the platform.  Within Episerver we have the freedom to create the experience we want. 

We changed our blogs into a “Resources” area, which enabled us to leverage our articles as evergreen content and to highlight resources that weren’t really a blog (like our B2B Platform Comparison Toolkit and our email series on How to Boost Your B2B eCommerce Revenue)

We redesigned our work page so it highlights the results we have helped our customers to achieve. We used to have logos and linked to the sites we had created for people, but it didn’t really tell the story of what we did. Our new work page can be easily updated and expanded, without the need for a developer. 

“I’m often asked to set up a blog posts or news articles on our website on behalf of one of my co-workers. Since I do not have a background in web development, it is imperative that we have a content management system (CMS) that is designed with the non-technical person in mind.” - Angela Steinkamp, Office Manager  

“Creating and editing content is quick and easy. Whether it is adding a new image or article, Epi’s backend is intuitive and very fast. If I have to tweak content, I can easily do it three times faster than on DNN.” - Joe Winters, Project Manager  

Figure 1- An example of how easy it is to edit content in Episerver

Personalization of Resources 

With Episerver, we now direct visitors to appropriate resources depending on their role or needs, with different content for CEOs, Marketing people, and IT people. We have over 200 articles on our site tailored around helping manufacturers and distributors use eCommerce to grow their revenue.  

It used to be that people weren’t finding a lot of the content we have.  They would only see the content that was published most recently.  By converting our blog into resources that are not date specific and are recommended based on their job title and the needs of our visitor, we now offer a knowledge base of information that is tailored to them.  

Our goal is to get visitors’ questions answered and draw them in deeper:  

  • Filtering: They are able to filter the resources that are appropriate 
  • Related Content: We automatically show “related content/articles” that could be of interest to that visitor, which can be dynamic or we can choose specific articles we want to show. 
  • Display Order: In our resources section, we are able to prioritize content based on what we want to highlight and what we have seen that people are interested in - not just based on when it was written. 

This has already been powerful, but there are even greater capabilities for personalizing content in Episerver. 

Figure 2 – Users are able to personalize their experience by telling us about who they are and what they are looking for.

Improved Mobile Experience 

Our past system used pre-programmed modules that gave us functionality quickly, but didn’t have the mobile experience we wanted.  It was hard for us to change without significant labor effort. 

In Figure 3 and 4 below, you will see how the top banner on our old site had text that was unreadable on a mobile device.  This is because we were using a module to rotate a banner on the homepage that required an image to place our text in a certain location over a picture.  Now with Episerver (in Figure 4), we are able to store the text separately from the image and still control the layout so that it appears the way we want it on the desktop as well as on mobile and is easy to read on a mobile device.

Figure 3 – Old Site Home Page on Mobile.  Difficult to read the top banner.

 

Figure 4 – New Site Home Page on Mobile.  Easier to read and to use. 

Similarly, as you will see in Figures 5, 6, and 7, mobile users were provided a better experience on our Episerver Technology page on our new site.  This page was setup with tabs on Desktop (seen in Figure 5).  On our old site (Figure 6), the tabs were difficult to interpret and to navigate for mobile users.  On our new site (Figure 7), the tabs were changed to an accordion which is tapped to open and close.  It is easier to read and to navigate for mobile users. 

Figure 5 – The Episerver technology page viewed on a desktop uses a tabbed interface

 

Figure 6 – The tabs were difficult to understand on our old site

 

Figure 7 – On our new site, the tabs are changed to an accordion for mobile users, while still displaying tabs for desktop users

This is because in Epi, we can organize the content with a structure that enables it to be easy for editors to work with as well as easy for us to display to visitors in the way that works best for their device.

Figure 8 – Each tab is entered separately in Epi, enabling the display to be optimized for the device 

We now have total flexibility and freedom to implement the mobile user experience the way we want. 

“I’m excited to be working on a well-architected solution that will make upgrades much easier. I like the control we have as developers to implement any solution on top of the stable Epi framework, but still incorporate improvements as they’re made to the platform.” – Drew Douglas, Developer 

Improved SEO 

Since we went live on Episerver, we have seen our organic traffic steadily growing. This matches what our customers have seen as well.  As of this writing, it is 2 months after our site re-platform on Episerver and our organic traffic is already up by 98%. 

In addition, we have just installed and are starting to use a tool that assists our editors in optimizing pages for search engines called Site Attention that has a pre-built add-on for Episerver.  We are excited to see our traffic continue to improve over time. 

Figure 9 – Site Attention provides a helpful interface to make it easier for site editors to optimize pages for strong organic search results.

A Platform We Love. You Might, Too? 

Our developers have thanked me for moving to Episerver.  It is easier for them to work in and they enjoy it more. It offers them the ability to achieve what they are trying to do in a more straightforward way.  

Is your company using Episerver or considering it? We’d love to help!  Schedule your free consultation today

Lori McDonald

President & CEO

About

Lori McDonald

Lori graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer-Electrical Engineering and leads Brilliance Business Solutions with over 20 years of computer engineering and software development experience.  She is an Episerver EMVP, a Microsoft Certified Professional and a regular contributor on Practical eCommerce. Her status as a recognized industry expert has resulted in regular speaking engagements at business conferences.

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