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How we created an SEO-friendly web app for a Swiss university in a flash?

Summary:

  • Client

    EPFL

    Country

    Switzerland

  • Project scope and technology

    Ruby on Rails Development

    Industry

    Education

  • Team Composition

    1 Ruby on Rails Developer, 1 Project Manager

    Work duration

    4 weeks

EPFL Extension school offers online programs and courses teaching the latest tools and techniques in sought-after digital fields, such as data and machine learning, code and web development, security, privacy, and trust. The EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) is Europe's most cosmopolitan technical university. It has students from 120 countries, so it employs not only Swiss but also the international staff. The school focuses on three missions: teaching, research, and innovation.

Challenge:

This was our third project for the EPFL (for the previous one check our AMLD case study)

We knew each other pretty well at this point, so a certain level of mutual trust and understanding was established at this point. That helped us to jump into the project.

This time, The client came with a clear business problem: to increase the visibility of academic courses at his extension school. EPFL is one of the best technical universities in Europe and the knowledge offered in the courses is really high quality, but the problem was to reach 'customers'.

Our task was to implement the web app in accordance with the best SEO practices so that it does not have to be further optimized in this aspect.

Process:

The project was extremely fast and super-agile. We spent 2 weeks on design implementation and 2 weeks on active admin integration.

The technology chosen was Ruby on Rails. We made this choice because of the speed of implementation and the fact that other customer systems are also based on this technology. The decision for active admin library was dictated by the convenience of managing the content and users of the portal.

For the project, we choose a perfect developer, who is both a skilled coder and an SEO expert.

Thanks to that, everything from start to finish, would be created and programmed according to the best SEO practices from the first line of code dropped.

The client came to us with a ready-made design, so we were able to take care of the implementation immediately. This does not mean, however, that during our work we did not propose our solutions to make the website even more functional.

We added a newsletter management mechanism, role-based authorization, optimized meta tags for better SEO, newsletter signup was handled by a background worker. We have also added extra functionality: SEO-optimized images in articles and sitemap for SEO.

There was also cached dynamic translation, cached content, and content dynamically provided. This was to improve the speed and convenience of using the site.

The last and final step was the implementation of active admin configuration and tests.

Outcome:

The website was created very quickly - in just 4 weeks - and in the expected time. It allowed the Client to reach people who want to broaden their skills and the website itself, thanks to SEO solutions, is well indexed by search engines like Google.

Thanks to such a rapid implementation, the Client was able to start getting customers interested in the courses at an express pace.

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