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Agency Success Story

Solocal

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Their Success With Duda

Solocal, one of the largest digital solutions providers in France, transitioned from in-house website builders to a partnership with Duda to streamline operations and ensure ongoing innovation for its customers.

  • Faster site creation & management at scale
  • Thousands of legacy sites migrated in months
  • Re-focused internal resources on core competencies

The Opportunity

"In 2018, Solocal launched Solocal 2020, its three-year strategic plan," said Eric Van Godtsenhoven, CTO of SoMS & Sites at Solocal, one of the largest digital solutions providers in France. "Part of this plan was the simplification of Solocal's offers and platforms. So we decided to focus on our core business offerings and leverage state-of-the-art platforms to deliver the best product and services to our customers," he continued.

For Solocal, this presented a challenge in the area of online presence management. Until this point, the company had relied on two in-house website building platforms engineered and maintained by its team to provide customers with landing pages and small business sites. Since these platforms required a vast amount of time and resources to keep up with the latest industry trends, innovations, security measures and compliance standards, they were prime candidates to be deprecated and replaced with a single third-party platform provided by a trusted partner.

The French company listed three main criteria for the new platform that would power it's website building into the future.

  • A state of the art platform that is recognized as a market leader around the world
  • A solution tailored for delivering thousands of websites at scale
  • Powerful and innovative features that make small businesses more successful online

Furthermore, any platform that was to replace Sololcal's homegrown site builders would need to be capable of migrating thousands of websites off of its legacy counterparts.

After a thorough search of the market, Solocal determined that Duda was the best candidate to provide a reliable and forward-looking online presence solution to their customers.

"Duda's web design platform was the only one we evaluated that met and exceeded all of our expectations," said Van Godtsenhoven. "

Why Duda

For most web agencies and digital solutions providers, one of the most important factors in choosing whether or not to embed a website builder into its service offering is ease of use for its design team and customers. And for Solocal, this was no different.

"The WYSIWYG website builder is so smooth and intuitive we knew all of our customers would feel comfortable working with it," said Van Godtsenhoven. "Our in-house team also found it much faster to build websites than ever before with Duda's beautifully pre-designed templates and site sections, a fantastic text editor, fluid image sliders and many other features.The custom widget builder was particularly useful as it enabled us to easily create the exact kind of features and functionality our customers desire directly inside Duda."

As proof of Duda's user-friendliness, Van Godtsenhoven noted that once the Duda platform was in place, training the Solocal team to build and manage websites using its wide range of tools was completed inside a week. "It was very easy and surprisingly quick for our team to become proficient with Duda's platform and features," he said.

Though comfort with the website builder was key, Duda provided other important benefits to Solocal as well. Chief among them was the platform's robust Connected Data feature that allowed the digital solutions giant to prepopulate website templates with structured customer data such as names, addresses and phone numbers, as well as more complex items like images and information for individual site widgets. With thousands of current website customers and more added all the time, the team at Solocal realized this feature was a game-changer in the way it managed its customers' online presence.

Migrating Thousands of Sites

Once Solocal chose Duda as it's platform, it was time to turn attention to a thorny problem - the need to migrate thousands of websites off of its two in-house systems and onto the Duda platform.

This presented a unique challenge and opportunity for Duda. Certain updates and improvements needed to be made to both the platform's API and Connected Data feature to handle the complex migration of websites at scale, including an APIs to create URL redirects and add metadata such as title, description, and no-index tags from existing legacy sites.

After making these updates, the Duda team created a plugin that seamlessly migrated Solocal's legacy sites to the Duda platform in just 1-2 minutes, with each site only requiring a brief post-migration spot-check to ensure quality.

The Results

Thanks to its integration with Duda, Solocal now has the trusted online presence management partner it required to re-tool its business operation around its core competencies and consolidate its product suite.

"We are thrilled with how Duda has performed and supported Solocal through the migration and beyond," said Van Godtsenhoven.

"We have achieved every one of the goals we set in our three-year plan. The quality of our product is better, our team is able to create and manage websites in a much more scalable way, and we're confident that Duda will keep us well-positioned as an industry leader well into the future," he continued. "We really couldn't ask for a better partner to help us manage our customers online presence."


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