Customized Executive Training, Workshops, Consulting & Keynotes

For more than 20 years, Nierenberg Consulting Group has worked with medium sized non-profit organizations to Fortune 500 companies, training their sales teams and executives on improving success and nurturing client relationships.  Her old marketing site was built with Big Medium, a deprecated CMS built by Josh Clark, and she had a blog on Typepad.  After 10 years of development and content creation, it was time for a new platform.

The primary goals of the new site were to promote Ms. Nierenberg's speaking engagements and book sales, as well as migrate her blog off Typepad.  We knew Drupal would provide the flexibility to consolidate her properties and provide an easy to use interface to maintain her content.  Drupal Commerce would serve to sell speaking engagements and personalized training as well as audio books.  

The biggest challenge was managing the migration.  Typepad is based on Movable Type, and there was no native Drupal migration available.  However, we discovered a WordPress plugin that provides Movable Type imports and Drupal does have support for WordPress migrations. So we first imported the blog into WordPress, then migrated from WordPress to Drupal.  Pretty clever!

The final site was much cleaner, better organized, supported all the features that had been bolted onto Big Medium in an integrated manner, and allowed Ms. Nierenberg to manage her considerable content from a single interface. 

The Brief - Nierenberg Group

The Brief

After maintaining their primary Website for several years, it had become a sprawling place where ideas were explored, fostered, and ocassionally, abandoned.  Originally built with a combination of technologies and frameworks, including a CMS ( Big Medium ), shopping cart ( VirtualCart ), and even some flat HTML pages, it was eventually stitched together with a custom PHP framework.

Our first priority was to refocus the site, determine what content and features we would retain and what would be dropped.  We knew we needed a powerful, flexible framework that would support the broad feature set and allow for organized expansion, and be well supported for many years.  

Nierenberg Group

The Design

After careful audience analysis and applying mobile-first principles, we created several design proofs that focused on readability, eventually we got to a very clean, uncluttered design.  We skipped the typical home page slider in favor of restrained animations that enhanced the user experience, such as slightly fading sidebars when they aren't actively used, CSS based tool-tips and other minimal touches.

All fonts and icons were chosen to enhance the text copy, and a lot of attention was paid to the shopping experience to make it as seamless and easy to execute as possible.


The Development

We chose Drupal as our framework because we knew that as the site naturally grew in scope over the next several years, we would be able to meet the customer's needs with minimal additional modules.  

Key modules include:

  • Drupal Commerce ( shopping cart )
  • MediaFront ( video / audio )
  • SSC Site Settings ( contact settings, including social media )

While there were other modules that are often used for Drupal sites, such as View, Panels, and Webform, it was an early objective to keep the module list short.  

This is one of the first production sites that uses our custom SSC Site Settings module, which includes a CTools plugin for easily adding setting for address, phone number and social media in Panels.  The module is currently hosted on Bitbucket for any site to use:  

The Deployment

The Deployment

Since we did all of the development work on a DigitalOcean droplet, and with the fantastic performance we experienced, it was decided to keep the production site on DO as well.  With just the basic Drupal caching and asset aggregation, we see impressive page load times, especially on repeat requests.  

The Result

A clean, finely tuned e-commerce site that is inviting and shows a lot of personality.  We are really happy with how well this site shows.  It takes advantage of all the space a large screen provides, while providing small screens an excellent experience.