The new website is built on the Concrete5, an open source content management system featuring in-context editing. The previous version used an older (4x) version of MovableType.
Prior to MovableType there was no CMS – every page was prepared in a combination of DreamWeaver and BBedit. The switch to MovableType, our first true CMS system, was a welcome one and we enjoyed that site for many years.
One of the great things about that version of MovableType was the speed – it generated static html pages that were blazing fast. This was a real plus.
But, when it came time for a site redesign, one that would be responsive, friends at Strider SEM encouraged us to check out Concrete5. After a thorough evaluation it seemed like the best solution for what we had in mind, and the transition began.
It was a long process. We decided to not even attempt any kind of import, so we were trying to recreate the old FloristWare website in a new, and unfamiliar, CMS while also trying to make some major improvements.
One issue, at least initially, was speed. Compared to the static pages generated by the old MT site, the new site took a little longer to go. This wasn't just the platform, a lot of it can be attributed to the new site also using much richer media – full backstretch images, etc. There is just more content moving over the wire before even getting to the platform.
The speed wasn't unbearable, but when you are used to something lightning fast it's hard to be patient. Adjusting the caching settings in Concrete5 helped a lot, and building a cache primer/preloader in FileMaker helped even more. Speed was starting to get very good.
We then added both CloudFlare and MaxCDN. With all of this in place the site is very, very fast. Even the very large, rich and complex home page loads in just over a second from almost anywhere in the English speaking world. It also gets scores of over 90% on both ySlow and PageSpeed. After initial concerns about speed we're not getting performance better than anything we had hoped for.
The structure of the website is quite a bit different, but the goal is the same: To get florists that are already using the FloristWare POS system the support, training materials and more that will help make them more successful, and to inform potential clients about the benefits of FloristWare.
The support section of the new site gives flower shops looking for help immediate access to all of our different support channels including live chat, telephone support, our support ticket system, our library of support documents and training videos, and more. It's all about getting a florist that needs help into the support channel that is the best fit for them and their situation as quickly as possible.
Potential clients are a different situation entirely. We want them to speak with out sales department, and hope that they will, but we also understand that they probably want to do some research on their own first. We don't want them to feel they have to risk getting into a high-pressure phone call, so the new site aims to provide as much information as possible to a flower shop that is looking for a new POS system.
For example – the case studies section looks at actual flower shops that use the FloristWare POS system and shares their experiences. The FloristWare testimonials section is similar (in that it shares real-world feedback from retail florists) but in smaller chunks.
Another section looks at our commitment to the floral industry. FloristWare has always belonged to many industry associations and sponsored events and educational content and shows and conventions for florists.
Another section focusses on features. FloristWare has the features real florists need to be more efficient and profitable, and this section highlights some of the best.