Sitefinity powers the Progress website and its product-specific microsites including DataDirect. What you see on the site comes from the minds of around two dozen people. The words, the images, the flow and usability are all dreamt up by a team of product marketers, product managers, UX designers, graphic designers and developers. But it is the backend platform of Sitefinity that allows us to work our magic.
I know what you’re thinking: “Hey, Joelle, you’re a DataDirect product marketer. Why are you telling me about Sitefinity?” It’s because I think of myself as a bit of a Sitefinity expert these days. If you haven’t been on the DataDirect website lately, take a look. We refreshed the entire site with a new look and a new journey.
Welcome to the new DataDirect. This has always been us, but we weren’t always doing the best job of letting you know that. And you, dear reader, are the person we care about most.
A few months back a group of us sat down to discuss who visits our site. We know our visitors come from a variety of backgrounds. Some work with us as independent software vendors (ISVs) and some use DataDirect within their own enterprise. We also realized that some people visiting our site were showing up for the very first time with little knowledge of Progress or DataDirect, while others were arriving with vast knowledge and looking to go deeper. How do you make a website meet the needs of all of these users all at once?
The answer is that it’s not easy. We understand that some visitors start on our front page while others jump right in from their Google search. It was our job to design and then build for both of these visitor journeys.
Our front page offers what children of the 1980s and '90s would call a “choose your own adventure.” Looking for custom ODBC or JDBC drivers? Click the button on the far left. Interested in learning more about how DataDirect works with BI and analytics tools? Click the button on the far right. The best part about this adventure is that there is no wrong choice—there’s always the navigation bar at the top to help you move around the site.
Visitors coming into the site from an organic web search may find themselves on one of our driver interface pages. For example, if you search for a Salesforce JDBC driver, you’re likely going to get this page in your top search results.
Anyone who searches for something that specific likely knows exactly what they need, so we realized this might be our only opportunity to convince a visitor we could help them out. Our interface pages offer information on what the data connector can do, which data sources it can be used with, features and benefits, technical specifications and other resources. A new visitor can easily get to our free trial download, and a current customer has a quick link to reach DataDirect support.
None of this would have been possible without the capabilities of Sitefinity. Our backend web team built out more than 250 pages as a part of the new design and journey. But everyday users like me are the people responsible for making one-off changes to the site. Sitefinity keeps our content categorized and easily accessible, all while being easy to learn for new users. If I need to change a headline or switch out a webinar for a whitepaper, it’s as easy as the click of a button. Press publish and my changes are live.
We are lucky, of course, to have the makers of Sitefinity working alongside us here at Progress, but it’s not as common as it should be for companies to use their own products. Fortunately, Progress makes every effort to use what we build, which informs us on how to evolve our products for our customers. As a Sitefinity user, I give the product 5 out of 5 stars, would recommend and use again. The DataDirect website is all the better for it.
Joelle Andrews is a Product Marketing Manager focused on Progress Customer Care. Joelle’s past experience includes two years with the DataDirect team and a decade of experience in other product marketing, marketing automation, and sales roles. Outside of work, Joelle loves hiking, getting lost in a book, rescuing cats, and traveling the world.
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