How Junior Achievement Manages 120 Websites with dotCMS

Thanks to dotCMS’s NoCode approach, Junior Achievement achieved the flexibility to create multiple websites without having to worry about the code-based heavy-uplifting.

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How The Nation’s Largest Organization Dedicated to Educating Young People Improved Its Digital Presence

Founded 100 years ago, Junior Achievement is now one of the world’s largest youth-serving NGOs that provides education related to work readiness, financial literacy, and future career planning. Today, over 470,000 volunteers serve more than 10 million students globally. With such a far-reaching brand, Junior Achievement realized it needed to better tailor its digital presence to specific cultural behaviors and languages worldwide. It’s tech stack, however, wasn’t up to the task.

The Need For Microsite Organization

As Junior Achievement moved into the digital era, the organization needed an easier way to manage hundreds of localized area websites. Under the old system, each office nation-wide was largely independent in building its own local website. This led to inconsistent overall branding for Junior Achievement and enormous effort in training local staff to manage their own sites.

Junior Achievement needed a centralized system for managing sites with region-specific content while enabling marketing teams to reduce inconsistencies of the organization’s overall brand and to avoid duplicated efforts. Junior Achievement believed this would be the key to optimizing its online presence for SEO and improving its SERP in the long run.

In particular, Junior Achievement was looking for a platform that provided:

  • Workflows for consistent branding across microsites
  • Reuse of content for streamlined site launches and reduced workloads
  • Data privacy and SEO compliance tools out of the box

dotCMS Enables The Education Organization to Achieve More Itself

After feeling out the CMS market, Junior Achievement turned to dotCMS for a powerful multi-tenant solution. Along with the ability to host multiple sites within a single interface, the object-based content repository that dotCMS leverages has made it much easier to reuse content across sites. The key advantage of object-based content for Junior Achievement is that the content types they’ve implemented closely match terminology that the organization and end-users have understood for decades such as events, programs, and campaigns. This alignment with the organization’s business structure wouldn’t have been possible with other page-based CMS solutions. 

As a result, Junior Achievement is confident that dotCMS is saving the organization not only money but even more importantly — time. The organization can now launch a new site within hours instead of weeks, and its employees require much less training because of the platform’s intuitive interface.

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Junior Achievement is now able to get a site spun up 20x faster than their old system, now just a matter of hours instead of weeks.

Before I would shell out a website and it would take probably two weeks worth of training,” said Robert Berndt, Webmaster & Senior Web Developer at Junior Achievement.

Now his team can get area administrators up and running in a matter of minutes on the phone. The rich authoring environment makes it straightforward for content creators to meet SEO and 508 compliance requirements without months of training.

We’ve really made a huge leap in the amount of time that we are saving in getting content out on our website.”

Junior Achievement is now able to get a site spun up 20x faster than their old system, now just a matter of hours instead of weeks.

With the streamlined workflow in-place, Junior Achievement hopes to have 200-250 microsites online by the end of 2019. In fact, the initial success of the first 20 area sites sparked demand from other offices to be moved over to dotCMS quickly as well. The organization never could have achieved the same scale using their old system, which lacked the efficiency for multi-tenant management that dotCMS provides. With digital experiences across hundreds of websites a reality, Junior Achievement is now poised to adapt to future trends in the IoT-era.

Flexible Multi-Tenancy

For Junior Achievement, they knew having a single domain to serve 120 office locations would not bode well with their SEO rankings. It was imperative to have a separate domain or subdomain for each office site so that they can easily be found on search engines in different regions. dotCMS provided the “flexibility” to achieve that through its multi-site management tool.

“Top-Notch” Tech Support

When managing multiple websites in Junior Achievement’s case, it is reassuring to know that your platform is fully supported by a dedicated team of engineers that strive to meet your needs in the most efficient and effective manner. Watch to get a first-hand perspective of dotCMS’ “fantastic” tech support.

An Investment in the Future

The team at Junior Achieve didn’t just want a platform that could just seamlessly deliver their experiences across 120 sites. They wanted a platform that could readily adapt to the ever-changing demands of the IoT-era. On observing dotCMS’ future plans of further incorporating AI technology in content management, Junior Achievement made the right decision in partnering up with dotCMS.