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The marketing blog is one of the essential ways that Lambda School builds awareness, engages with its ever-growing student body, and disseminates thought leadership around how-to and best practices in software development. Previously, the organization’s entire blog was hosted on Medium. As such, it was the Medium domain earning most of the organic website traffic for content authored by Lambda staff for the software development crowd. To address this limitation, the team moved the entire blog over to ButterCMS in just two days. Now, the organization enjoys a low-effort, developer friendly blog that makes it easy for Lambda content writers to publish valuable content with no developer involvement at all.
Before moving to ButterCMS, the Lambda School Blog was hosted on Medium.com. As Lambda School continued to expand, it needed to host the blog on LambdaSchool.com to strengthen its brand, build market awareness, and drive traffic to its website. Because the organization’s website is a custom web app, few content management systems (CMS), if any, could be integrated without requiring customizations and professional services, as well as the intervention of a Lambda School engineer to write and publish blog posts. As the team evaluated solutions, they found that large CMS systems like WordPress were far too heavy-handed. “It’s tough to integrate [Wordpress] into an existing site,” says Bob Lauer, Director of Engineering at Lambda School. “We’d probably have to do a subdomain, or use fancy redirects, something we didn’t have the time or desire to do.”
In making the move to a new blog engine, Lauer and his team had to address three primary concerns:
- Direct integration with the existing website meaning no subdomain, redirects, or over-engineering
- Ease of implementation to support a lean, fast-paced team with a lot of competing priorities
- Low-effort authoring interface to make it easy for authors of all skill levels to author content, preview the look and feel, and publish content, all in a very intuitive way
Fortunately, the search for a new CMS did not last long. “One of our junior engineers was actually tasked with doing the research,” continues Lauer. “Neither he nor I knew what a ‘headless CMS’ was. But by the end of it, he had researched, selected, and helped move us over to Butter.”
Moving the Lambda School blog to Butter required maybe two days of work. “Butter was by far the easiest to get set up. The integration was super straightforward, development was a breeze, and porting over our existing blog posts was no problem. The documentation was really good.”
The Lambda School team was able to get the blog up and running fast. Within a short time, they were able to create accounts and onboard their content authors, who found the process of writing and publishing blog posts highly intuitive. For Lauer’s already busy team, this was essential.
I don’t know if there was any hand-holding at all. We had set it up so that authors could preview their post on our staging website before it went live. It was very simple for them to see exactly what the post would look like in production. There was not this big production of explaining things to people. Which is exactly what we wanted.
Bob Lauer | Director of Engineering
Lambda School went from publishing just a few blog posts here and there on Medium, with limited engagement, to a more frequent blog cadence. Butter makes it easy to post, which has led to more content and improved organic traffic as a result.
The marketing team now has the agility to post when they need to, about what they need to, without help from the engineering team. With more blog content, the team can better support social media efforts and email marketing campaigns to keep the Lambda School audience informed, engaged, and up to date.
“What I appreciate the most,” concludes Lauer, “is that we set it up and then we were done with it and we haven’t had to do anything with it since. No matter what direction we go with our website overall, we’re going to keep the blog running on Butter because we’ve been so happy with it that’s there just no reason to change a thing.”