Fiskars Garden sites

Fiskars is a leading global supplier of consumer products for the home, garden and outdoors. Fiskars products are renowned for their functionality and cutting-edge design, and the Group has a strong portfolio of trusted international brands including Fiskars, Iittala, Gerber, Silva, and Buster.

Exove has played a central role in designing and implementing the new Fiskars global consumer sites onto an Open Source platform. The service was built on eZ Publish, an open source CMS platform that offers versatile content management capabilities, good usability for content editors, and flexible development tools for developers. The developed system spans 30 countries and geographical areas across the globe. The goal was to create an integrated environment to contain all Fiskars consumer product categories ranging from crafting to gardening. In the past different product lines had dedicated websites causing cost overhead and content fragmentation.

The concept, layouts and Flash elements were created by the Fiskars' internal marketing team. Exove handled the technical execution from template design to system customization to deployment. eZ Publish was integrated to external systems such as the ZipBurst store locator and SureSource eCommerce system. Automatic prefilling of customer service forms with product data and customer image uploads enhance the web as a channel for customer service.

As the project schedule was tight, site development and content entry was done in parallel. To further accelerate the content entry process Exove also migrated about 750 product items from the legacy IBM WebSphere platform automatically, freeing up Fiskars' resources for other tasks.

The project had a few focal areas to ensure best of breed user experience, content promotion, and product findability: system flexibility, rich media support, search, and search engine optimisation.

Flexibility
By default Content Management Systems often limit the end users to do a limited set of tasks. In Fiskars' case the company had a technically capable in-house team that wished they could create custom content into the system. Exove implemented the system in a way that allows the customer to embed custom content such as campaign pages independently without the need for Exove's intervention.

In addition to custom pages the system allows content elements in the right column to be managed through the eZ Publish interface. This allows Fiskars' to independently create unique sets of content for a certain section. For example, the right column can hold promotional banners, external JavaScript widgets and rich text content.

During the specification phase some features – such as web store and store finder – were identified to be available only on some sites. Exove implemented them as site features that can be disabled or enabled. This keeps template development structured and allows Fiskars to roll out features to selected country sites only.

Rich media support and content delivery
In addition to text and image content the platform also supports the publishing of video online. Fiskars had an archive of existing video content ranging from individual product promotion videos to series of videos – such as Fiskars TV. Video objects are placed in the media library and linked to dedicated video pages. Links to video objects in rich text content areas open the videos in a modal window.

Section landing pages on the site hold a Flash element that can also be managed using the default eZ Publish administration elements. The main Flash element is integrated to eZ Publish using a custom XML format specified by the Fiskars' internal team. The banner can hold images or embedded Flash animations.

To ensure content distribution with minimal overhead Exove installed and configured the Varnish reverse proxy to serve all static content such as video, images, stylesheets and JavaScript.

Search
Designing an information architecture for hundreds of products is a challenge. In addition to navigating to the individual products using the navigation it is essential to provide the visitors with a robust search function. eZ Publish has an integrated search extension (eZ Find) based on the popular Open Source search engine Solr.

By using eZ Find Exove was able to provide Fiskars with site wide search functionality with minimal effort. Using Solr the search functionality yields relevant results in milliseconds. Additionally, eZ Find enables content editors to elevate selected content elements when a certain keyword is used in the search – thus allowing internal advertisements and content promotions.

The search index spans all content stored in eZ Publish, including metadata such as content author and keywords.

Search engine optimisation
To ensure optimal search engine visibility the templates were designed to allow crawlers unrestricted access to all content. Using the progressive enhancement ideology every content item is available even to clients without advanced features such as JavaScript or Adobe Flash. In addition to technical features, project focused on writing proper page titles, descriptions, metadata, and payed extra attention to cross linking and other factors contributing to improving search engine rank.

Automated sitemap generation guarantees that search engines index the available content as soon as possible. The sitemaps protocol is supported by most of the popular search engines such as Bing, Google and Yahoo. Duplicate indexing is of content prevented by using the canonical meta-tag.

Please visit the country sites for garden tools found at www.fiskars.com, under country selector.

Etsimme PHP-kehittäjää / We are looking for a PHP developer

Päivitys 1.10.2010: Haku on päättynyt. // Update Oct 1, 2010: The position has been closed.

Haemme PHP-kehittäjää vastaamaan asiakkaidemme kasvaviin tarpeisiin. Mikäli tunnet kielen, ympäristön ja webin hyvin, tutustu tarkemmin ilmoitukseemme ja lähetä vapaamuotoinen hakemus ja ansioluettelo osoitteeseen jobs@exove.fi.

We are looking for a PHP developer to help us to satisfy the growing needs of our customers. If you are familiar with the language, environment, and web, please check out the position description, and send us a free form application and your CV to jobs@exove.com.