Accelerating Website Creation for Community Sites
Velir established a flexible platform for a multifamily real estate development company to create branded websites for their 60+ luxury apartment communities. We met the needs of their unique communities with Acquia Site Studio by crafting a standard information architecture (IA) and defining key pages and Acquia Site Studio components that could be paired with custom ones to add community-specific functionality. Once all website components were defined, we worked closely with the client to develop three unique web templates that allow for design variations as needed. The result was a fast system that allowed the client to launch over 50 community websites in three to six months.
The client engaged Velir to create a scalable approach to building and managing the individual websites for their growing portfolio of communities. With over 60 communities serving various audiences, the centralized marketing team needed a flexible design system and platform that allowed for expedited, streamlined site creation. The platform and design system had to meet the digital needs of unique communities and a highly distributed team of regional marketing managers.
To accomplish this, Velir set out to design and implement a multisite, self-service platform that unified all the client's community websites.
The client’s key business challenges were:
- Equipping their marketing team with a flexible design system
- Enabling their marketers with a self-service model to create websites
- Reducing reliance on outside agencies and accelerating website time to market from months to days and weeks
- Providing IT the ability to centrally manage and secure dozens of websites previously spread across multiple platforms
Velir started this project by conducting a thorough analysis of the client’s existing web properties. Working closely with client stakeholders, we established a standard information architecture (IA) and developed wireframes to define key pages and a set of flexible components for community websites. From there, our designers and developers began collaboratively prototyping to determine the best out-of-the-box Acquia Site Studio components that could be paired with custom ones to add community-specific functionality to the new site experience. Once all website components were defined, we worked closely with the client to develop three unique web templates that allow for design variations as new community websites are launched.
Three distinctly designed themes
In addition to template development, Velir worked with the client to create a theme framework for the branded site experiences. We fully immersed ourselves with the existing branding and stylistic approaches used by major communities and markets. Based on our review, and insights from a landscape analysis, we recommended three distinct design approaches to be designed into themes. These three themes were based on property type, it's market, and style—allowing for the customization of key property brand elements to deliver new and unique community websites on the fly. Learn more about Velir’s design process to create these themes.
Our approach to address the client’s key challenges and business requirements included:
- Unifying all community sites under a single hosting and management platform with Acquia Site Factory
- Providing content marketers modern, user-friendly web authoring tools with Acquia Site Studio
- Creating centralized storage of community media assets using Acquia Digital Asset Management (DAM)
- Establishing an IA framework to standardize the organization, structure, and wayfinding across all sites
- Defining and designing a flexible design system that allows unique community branding with controlled design and component variation
- Enabling community websites to be quickly created and modified with Site Studio’s preconfigured Themes and Helper Templates
- Six property websites launched in eight weeks
- Consistent user experiences optimized for conversion that promote unique community-specific branding and stylistic elements
- An increasingly fast system that has the client on track to launch over 50 websites in three to six months