- Client: Pivotal
- Type: Development
- Project Timeline: November 2013 – September 2016
The Pivotal blog featured over 800 blog posts and had traffic of nearly 15,000 unique visitors per day. In 2016, Pivotal moved all editorial content to Uberflip or home baked blog platforms.
About the Client
Pivotal Software, Inc. is a software and services company
This was a long-term engagement – complete technical management of the blog for Pivotal. Highlights include the following.
The blog used a custom theme that had several issues. In addition, there were significant maintenance issues and some minor technical problems. We completed several test, pinpointed the problem areas and cleaned everything up. Some functions which were inappropriately added to the theme were removed and added to custom built plugins. After clean up, performance improved.
Migration to New Host
Initially, the blog was hosted on a managed Rackspace account with the rest of the website. A third party CDN service was added mostly for performance in locations around the world (Pivotal is a global business).
While Rackspace is a fantastic host, this set up created several issues. Performance lagged and CDN issues meant that content was propagated unevenly to geographic locations. Changes might be made at the home corporate office in San Francisco that were unable to be seen by the editorial team in Atlanta. The IT team at Pivotal was very talented but they were not experienced with setting up optimized environments for WordPress.
In April of 2014, we migrated the blog from Rackspace to WPEngine. We also eliminated the CDN service as WPEngine’s global performance is quite good. With this change performance improved even further and slow downs due to hosting and CDN issues were almost completely eliminated.
Automating the Editorial Process
Pivotal has multiple technical divisions and each division has it’s own editorial team for producing content. Initially, all that content went through a single person for editorial review. By using the EditFlow plugin, some additional custom development and a minor revamp in architecture, we were able to streamline the editorial process.
First, we created a custom taxonomy (channel) for each technical division within Pivotal. Each division had it’s own editorial lead and we were able to provide admin privileges to each lead for their respective channel. Division leads had near complete control over their channel but had to route front page articles to the blog editorial manager. This gave individual teams some autonomy but kept unreviewed content off the critical home page of the blog. Overall productivity increased.
Implementation of New Site Design
In 2015, Pivotal hired Digital Telepathy (currently merged with ServiceNow) to do a complete redesign of their website. We worked with Digital Telepathy and the marketing and development teams at Pivotal to implement the new design on the blog.
As a large, influential technology leader, consistent and cohesive brand identity is important to Pivotal. To keep things on brand, I was tasked with creating featured images for every blog post. A small sample is shown at the top of the page.
- Regular site maintenance and support
- New feature development