When complexity meets organization: 1.000 websites for Gezinsbond
The Flemish Family Association, locally known as Gezinsbond, strives to make all of society in Flanders a family- and child-friendly place. Its services include family support (e.g. babysitting), the organization of family-friendly activities, and discount programs for shopping, energy bills and public transport. The association has over 900 local subsidiaries, mostly run by volunteers.
Gezinsbond was in need of a distributed content management platform, as the organization was facing both technical as organizational challenges with managing their online presence. Over the years, their digital entities had evolved into a mix of different tech used by both the central team and by over 100 local entities. This was making it extremely hard to maintain a corporate style or push central content to the local sites, not to mention the technical maintenance nightmare.
as always, digital transformation does not only revolve around technology. We decided to set in motion a strategic track, which engaged a wide set of stakeholders - including local web and content managers. Buy-in from all teams is crucial for the long-term success of digital projects. Our Dropsolid digital strategists inspire, train and engage different stakeholders, resulting in a well defined solution, that is supported by the entire organization.
The outcome? Gezinsbond now has full ownership of their entire multisite environment. They no longer depend on any SaaS provider or dedicated agency for support. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is kept low as a result of the choice for open source Drupal technology, allowing for a full payback of the initial investment outlay over five years.
The platform answers all the needs for a large organization:
- Local teams have the freedom over their content management fo revery subsite,
- Centralized security updates are automatically deployed on all local sites,
- Corporate brand and content updates (e.g. press releases) are centrally published and pushed to all websites without any involvement of local teams,
- New sites can easily be deployed by the central team,
- Gezinsbond has the freedom to focus on further brand unification and professionalisation of their core business.
Currently, more than 350 websites are already live on the new platform.
Under the bonnet:
- The API-first Contenta CMS - a free Drupal content distribution - is used to manage all content from a single location, decoupled from website design and layout.
This enables Gezinsbond to quickly add new sites or other channels to consume the content. It also makes it possible to maintain all website content with a very small team, and it decreases the risk for website issues when non-technical people do content editing.
- Content from internal databases (such as members, advantages and activities) is securely retrieved through API and SOAP connections.
Data exchanges are greatly simplified through the Dropsolid Platform.
- The main website and all local websites are treated only as two different sites in the Dropsolid platform. Local websites are automatically filled with content based on a taxonomy mapping of domain names.
This is a huge timesaver for platform updates or deployment of security patches.