Case Study: Urotoday
Case Study: Urotoday
UroToday is an online information portal that provides urologists, healthcare industry professionals, and patients with detailed information about myriad urology best practices. It provides a cost efficient alternative to expensive medical journals through its large library of content. Launched in 2003, UroToday has since become the world’s leading source of content for urologists and other practitioners who are managing urological symptoms and diseases. Doctors and other individuals throughout the world use the site to access information that is either otherwise inaccessible or economically not viable. With treatments and diagnosis techniques changing constantly, the site strives to give visitors the latest information that is simply not readily available anywhere else.
UroToday’s previous content management system was based on customized open source Joomla!, which was technically limiting and lacked new media functionality needed for audience engagement.
For UroToday, the primary challenge was finding a CMS that could handle a massive amount of data. The site is far more complex than other similar content sites, holding more than 45,000 pages of detailed content that grows every month. All of the content from the site’s inception is archived and categorized to provide a massive compendium of information for urology professionals. UroToday’s editorial team posts 100 new clinical abstracts each week which are carefully selected from various publications. UroToday also offers a peer-reviewed journal that is published 16 times a year and is integrated within the site.
Its content is segmented into 24 distinct urology disease categories, with several layers of interrelatedness and tagging. Typical visitors to UroToday are very knowledgeable and perform searches for specific information about a certain disease or treatment. This level of detail requires UroToday’s search engine to be very robust and to work in tandem with the CMS to be sure all content is properly organized and findable.
For several years, UroToday’s vast library of content was offered for free to all visitors. The company desired a switch to an e-commerce model where subscribers would need to pay fees for access to content. UroToday needed a CMS partner that could transition the site to a paid model without any interruptions in its delivery of content.
Before transitioning to a new CMS, the UroToday team wanted to be sure there would not be any dead links or misdirected content. If a user from two years ago bookmarked a certain valuable article about for example “overactive bladder,” then that bookmark needed to still work when the site switched to a new CMS.
UroToday’s peer reviewed journal was added on after the company switched to Joomla!, but it was not integrated properly into the site. The CMS needed to be able to present the journal as an integrated component of the site, not as something that stuck out as a separate entity.
In order to provide more customized content for users, UroToday desired the ability to build integrated micro-sites with a different front-end than the rest of the main site. These sites needed to be fully customizable, both in terms of content presentation and graphical layout, allowing the designer to change the navigation setup for example.
The site offers the journal as well as the large database of selected content from other publications, and previously required separate logins for individual visitors to access each section. UroToday managers desired more continuity in the login process and a simpler method for visitors to access and enjoy the site.
UroToday reviewed several enterprise content management products, ultimately choosing Jentla, a flexible and secure ECM based on open source Joomla!. The previous site was built using Joomla! And was easily imported using the central control of the Jentla Manager, eliminating the need for a complex migration.
Jentla offers link management and preservation, which ensures links are preserved when moved. Any attempt to delete an article from a page that has multiple link-backs will cause Jentla to issue a warning stating the deletion will create dead links. This functionality is not only a safety measure, but also helps sites such as UroToday build SEO presence by maintaining as much keyword-rich content as possible.
The peer-reviewed journal was better integrated into UroToday through Jentla’s easy to use interface. It is now in the back-end of the site and can be quickly changed to accommodate new content or any changes to the look and feel of the section.
The ability to produce micro sites within UroToday was enabled through Jentla’s easy to use infrastructure. One such site is called “CAUTI Center”, which provides information on preventing catheter-assisted urinary tracts infections. This micro-site has a distinct look and feel from the main UroToday content, with different navigation setup and unique features. Creating such micro-sites was very cumbersome under the previous Joomla! Configuration, but can be accomplished with just a few clicks on the Jentla platform. The micro-site is video rich, and includes several educational video segments from top urology professionals.
Jentla smoothly allowed UroToday’s journal to function like a journal and the website to be a compendium. When visitors log into one of the sections of content, they are recognized by the other section, and are not required to login with another user name and password.
Jentla offers complete tutorials and support to help customers with the quickly moving CMS technology. UroToday frequently opened support request tickets with Jentla which were handled promptly and allowed UroToday to ensure uptime.
The transition from a free model to an e-commerce site was seamlessly implemented using Jentla. The UroToday team was able to make the transition without any hiccups, which could have caused paying customers to question the value of paying for UroToday’s content. Jentla allowed the site to immediately begin taking in a new revenue stream while still providing an industry-leading quantity and quality of professional urology content.
Using Jentla, UroToday has access to very flexible front-end templates, giving them the ability to manage things centrally with the click of a button. The complexity produced by the site’s myriad disease categories is handled by Jentla’s category hierarchy functionality that logically sets up content. Users can create complex displays of content with progressively narrower subject areas. The Jentla CMS is immediately scalable, providing UroToday with additional peace of mind as its content and user base continues to grow.
Switching to a Jentla-powered CMS did not cause any interruption in service or misaligned content for UroToday. “Typically when you change content management platforms, there is a hopefully temporary decline in traffic,” said Gina Carithers, President and Founder of UroToday. “Repeat visitors to a site such as ours typically don’t like changes in how information is categorized or presented, which can cause a drop in visits and page views. With Jentla, we didn’t see any slowdown in traffic or interest in the site. This was particularly surprising since the site was also launched as an e-commerce model, instead of a free content site.
UroToday management’s desire for video rich content was met by Jentla’s robust CMS. For example, UroToday produces several educational components in the CAUTI Center. Using Jentla, they are able to easily incorporate video that was on another site, a functionality they did not have previously. This video is provided as a module that allows programmers to easily pop in video content at any section of the site, allowing a lot of flexibility for the inclusion of dynamic content.
UroToday runs an alert system that sends emails to members to notify them about new content that fits their individual interest areas. This alert system was integrated into the Jentla CMS, with the database actually in the platform, instead of being outside and fed into it. This functionality was simply not possible before using Jentla. UroToday runs promotional emails off the website, and has not encountered any database pull issues.
With flexibility and ease of use, Jentla gives UroToday the right platform to manage detailed content for its discriminating audience.