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Implementing a new design, Sitecore update and server environment helped to provide an outstanding user experience, optimize performance and showcase the beauty featured by Parks Canada.
Parks Canada came to Bayleaf with multiple goals. The first was to bring the site up to the Government of Canada’s current look and feel standards by leveraging the WET 4 framework. The second was to re-implement their content management system by updating Sitecore and building out new web control modules. Parks also needed more flexibility for content authors and to improve their Sitecore integration with other Parks Canada applications. Finally, they wanted to substantially improve the performance and reliability of their website.
Parks Canada had a shopping list of needs, requiring a trusted implementation partner who was familiar with Sitecore and could bring the site up-to-snuff in regards to the latest in website and mobile usability and the Government of Canada’s mandated WET 4 framework. Bayleaf’s deep experience with Sitecore got us in the door, but it was our recommendations and work to improve the site search and performance that put us ahead of the pack.
When the directive to update their design and site framework to new Government standards coincided with the need to update an existing Sitecore implementation from 6.5 to 8.2 – Parks in partnership with Bayleaf, took the opportunity to revise the site’s information architecture and to update page templates and web controls. The new slideshow control, feature tiles and multi-media lists implemented by Bayleaf gave the site improved capabilities and user experience.
The flexible templates and web controls gave content authors more flexibility and made them less dependent on developers as they could now build out their own pages and self-manage content.
Bayleaf also understood that it was imperative for Parks to serve up an image rich experience to showcase Canada. The site however had a limited bandwidth for content delivery. Bayleaf’s solution was to implement the Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) a third-party system to reduce load times and increase responsiveness. With an Azure integration, static content, such as images and downloads are moved to servers closer to users, increasing speed and providing an enhanced viewing experience. Bayleaf also worked with Parks to configure servers behind a load balancer to provided added redundancy which improved performance by dividing users across multiple servers.
The other upgrade Bayleaf added to the main site, subsidiary sites and apps was to implement Solr to improve search results and performance. Bayleaf continues to work with Parks Canada to provide ongoing support and integrate solutions.
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