Ifyouski.com is one of the original UK dot com companies having launched during the boom in the late 90’s. During the peak of ski season they have an excess of 20,000 unique site visits per day and rely heavily on their website for the bulk of skiing holiday enquiries.
They had a custom CMS based on classic asp, which proved difficult to maintain and manage. Developing on the platform was both time consuming and complex. Ifyouski needed an easier way to manage their thousands of pages of content and new efficient ways to manage their inventory & holiday information. At the same time SEO, usability factors & a re-design had to be considered.
The major objectives were to update the technology and enable the development team to spend less time on patching problems and focus more on developing cutting edge functionality. SEO capabilities were crucial as well as easy tools and interfaces for site editors to manage the site.
Sitefinity was an excellent fit for ifyouski because it covered the core functionality required, and it allowed the Zimweb team to create highly customized functionality.
The intuitive page management made dealing with a large amount of content easier, the ability to use a drag & drop interface when editing pages & the visual nature of the CMS made it a great choice.
The generic content & news module were pieces that ifyouski could make use of “out the box” but the real power of Sitefinity was realized in the custom modules that needed to be built specifically for this project. These included:
- Advertising module which displays targeted ads depending on the URL. These are served up in different parts of the page template. In addition they give the editors the tools to manage them. These included leaderboards, banners, buttons, skyscrapers & MPU ads.
- Availability & pricing module which controls pricing across the site & gives the ifyouski team the ability to use intuitive tools to manage this information.
- Resorts module which controls all aspects of the rich source of resort information that ifyouski use on the site.
- Snow Overview control displays the various snow statistics for resorts which come through on a feed.
- Best deals control allowing ifyouski editors to display best deals based on a number of criteria. They have the ability to display the information in different layouts & formats.
- Customized search form giving editors the ability to control what fields users can search on.
- Mega drop down navigation. Because of the large amount of content on the site, an easy way of drilling down into content pages was required.
- Subscribe & unsubscribe controls to interface with ifyouski’s existing newsletter tool.
- Promotions tool to show custom promotions on the site & reporting on each of these.
The results of using Sitefinity from both client and development teams perspectives have been very positive.
The use of out of the box functionality was immediately useful to the client. Previewing pages, versioning of content, working with the file manager and caching were areas which were particularly beneficial.
Below are listed some brief highlights which in our view have made using Sitefinity an obvious choice:
- Faster development time leveraging off Zimweb’s experience with Sitefinity & Telerik controls. The project took a core of three developers seven months to develop. There is new functionality being added on a regular basis including plans for fully online bookable ski packages.
- Search engine optimization improvements gave the site editors control over URL structure & the meta tags which has resulted in a site which implements SEO best practices, and positive organic search improvements. Early indications are that ifyouski.com has improved its Google ranking for key search terms.
- The website performance has vastly improved. Since launch the site performance has increased by over 35%.
- Average user time on the site has increased by 42% since re-launch.
- Site traffic has been consistent with the same period last year. Considering the age, shear number of pages, change in URL structure and the fact that the site was completely re-developed, we consider this a massive achievement.
- Keyword driven traffic from search engines has increased by 2%. Considering that the new site has been live less than two months, we expect this figure to increase over the coming months
The development team is pleased with the choice of Sitefinity as a CMS. Not only has it been easy to work with and customize, but the support has been outstanding.