Crain Communications Inc is an American multi-industry publishing conglomerate based in Detroit, Michigan with 13 non-USA subsidiaries. The company publishes about 30 business, trade and consumer publications and websites including Advertising Age, Autoweek and Modern Healthcare.
Crain wanted to deliver a unified, scalable and highly configurable digital platform that allowed its business teams to quickly and effectively tell the stories that its customers value. Additionally, it wanted to bring down the overall cost of operations across brands and significantly reduce dependence on the engineering team for website changes. The company decided to accomplish this by developing standard components and scalable features.
Different brands in the Crain family were operating on different web platforms, meaning that rolling out a new digital initiative across all brands would demand a lot of coordination and time. And these disparate technologies introduced operational inefficiencies; with no central governance in place, all websites were working independently of each other, sites weren’t managed efficiently and storage costs were rising.
Working with Srijan, the teams leveraged Acquia Lightning to enable component-based development as well as a Lightning sub-profile on a multi-site architecture for all the brand sites. Srijan standardized the components as the development progressed, bringing better governance and giving Crain a tighter grip on the architecture, and ensuring a documented process approach towards components.
With a plan to empower the brand teams so that the majority of the site pages and features could be set up by them, without needing any development support, Srijan used Pattern Lab to codify the design guidelines for the components, which has now become the central style guide for the client’s website design components.
By the end of the project, Crain and Srijan developed and deployed 17 high-traffic media brand websites within 18 months. Additionally:
- Migrated 1 million+ entities spread over 8 legacy CMSs, 600+ GB of multimedia to the new platform
- All brands share best practices across analytics, SEO (meta tags, etc.), performance (Drupal Cache, Varnish, Cloudflare), media management, etc.