As anyone that works in website production and digital marketing knows, the content management experience can make or break your relationship with your website. It is the difference between eagerly looking forward to creating a new campaign landing page or lamenting that writing a blog post is the most dreaded item on your to-do list.
A number of consumer-focused products (looking at you, Squarespace) in the market make it easy for individuals managing smaller websites to drag, drop, and rearrange content in a matter of seconds. In stark contrast, enterprise-scale CMS platforms rightly focus on content governance, scalability, and security - often compromising flexibility for the content editors. Historically, this has certainly been the case when it comes to Drupal websites, which is why we at FFW are very excited about a solution from our partners at Acquia: Site Studio.
Over the past couple months, a number of my colleagues on FFW’s solutions architecture team have taken a deep dive into Site Studio and completed Acquia’s Site Studio certification program. I wanted to share some of the key takeaways from that process with you, to help you decide if Acquia Site Studio is the right solution for your organization.
An Introduction to Acquia Site Studio
Acquia Site Studio (formerly known as Acquia Cohesion) is specifically built to improve the content editing experience on Drupal websites. Site Studio accomplishes this by providing web teams with the tools to create reusable templates, components, styles, menus, and settings. This reusable library of assets empowers web producers and site builders to create pages and edit content with an impressive amount of flexibility, while providing the right level of governance to ensure brand consistency.
What Problems Does Site Studio Solve?
While there’s a long list of benefits to using Site Studio, three key benefits rise to the top of the list:
- It provides a more intuitive and easy-to-use page building experience for landing pages compared to existing Drupal solutions, such as Drupal Paragraphs.
- It reduces hours required for front-end site development by providing low-code site building tools, which translate to faster time-to-market.
- Provides portability for styles and components so that an entire design system can be easily shared across multiple sites.
Taken all of this into account, the “killer app” for Site Studio is for companies and organizations with a large web presence that spans a multitude of individual websites. The re-usability that Site Studio provides makes it a true game changer for that use case.
Roadmap to Success with Site Studio
As with any technology being used at an enterprise scale, a solid strategy and roadmap is key to long term success with Site Studio. One of the things that’s great about Site Studio is that the product is thoughtfully built in such a way that it encourages organizations to adopt specific best practices for scaling a web presence.
For example, Site Studio enforces good atomic design principles at all levels of the site building architecture. This ensures that there is consistency across the library of assets and components that web teams use as they build new pages on their sites. Additionally, it provides some nice guard rails for front-end developers, ensuring that standards for visual styles, browser-width breakpoints, and more are followed throughout an entire team.
While it is powerful for Site Studio to include these features out of the box, a potential pitfall that we see for organizations is to quickly rush to building without first focusing on their content strategy. Particularly for organizations that are looking to utilize Site Studio as an engine to create new pages and even new sites, it is important to work time into your roadmap or defining a design system and component library. This will also serve to guide the technical implementation of your Site Studio instance, and by doing the development work up front you will enable your team for long-term success.
Want to learn more about Acquia Site Studio?
If you are interested in adopting Acquia Site Studio at your organization, FFW can help. We are proud to be the agency with the most Acquia-certified staff, including 20 Drupal Grand Masters and 4 Site Studio certified experts. We have extensive experience providing consulting, optimization, implementation, and long-term support of Acquia products and would love to put that experience to work with you.