- Maintaining legacy CMS was difficult and time-consuming
- Custom Django CMS made it hard to create new experiences without hiring high-priced developers
- Needed an enterprise-level CMS with flexible customization and workflows
- Adopted Pantheon and WordPress for powerful workflows, extensive toolset, and simplicity
- Pilot project proved concept; quickly deployed corporation-wide
- Premium themes and page builder plugins streamlined the process and allowed the team to create digital campaigns without coding required
- Pantheon enabled the digital marketing team to execute digital strategy on an enterprise-level
- Enabled the team to easily iterate, collaborate, maintain, and optimize digital campaigns
- Offloaded maintenance operations like backups, transparent updates, and plugins
- Provided proactive expert support
- Drove sales growth with tremendous website performance gains: 1400%+ growth of first-page keyword ranks, 300%+ growth in organic traffic, and 400%+ growth in form submissions.
- Extreme traffic spikes did not affect site performance, even during a major funding announcement
- Supported rapid, large-scale content creation, promotion, and tracking
Seattle-based Qumulo was founded in 2012. Its breakthrough technology enables organizations to simply manage and analyze massive data stores between on-premises data centers, hybrid cloud environments, and the public cloud.
Qumulo serves Fortune 500 companies, as well as leading medical and scientific research organizations. The company enables customers to securely store petabytes of file data in a single, highly scalable namespace. Real-time operational analytics operate at file and user levels, and a comprehensive API lets owners build automated workflows and applications.
The privately held company has grown rapidly over the last decade and recently achieved a billion-dollar equity valuation. However, its website was not keeping pace with Qumulo’s expanded reach and value. When customers, investors, journalists, and influencers visited the site, they could not find the information they needed.
Challenge: Deploy an Agile Enterprise-Level CMS
Qumulo’s digital marketing division used Wagtail, a custom Django CMS hosted on AWS. An external agency that built the site managed maintenance while the internal digital marketing team was responsible for creating page templates and optimizing conversion.
However, the CMS was heavily customized and difficult to work with. The lean internal team could not create page templates or optimize the site for SEO and conversions. Even when they looked for contractor help, few to no available developers had the skills to work with the custom Django CMS. Without the ability to quickly launch and iterate digital campaigns, the marketing team was not positioned for success.
When senior executives decided to expand Qumulo’s digital marketing strategy, the legacy CMS turned into an impassable roadblock. Kristi Whitman, Website and Optimization Manager at Qumulo, remembers that time well. “Even though I had a lot of experience with CMSs, the custom Django CMS made it very difficult and sometimes impossible to do my job. It was very limiting and created a huge bottleneck any time we wanted to do a digital campaign or make template changes.”
Whitman decided to experiment with the tools she already knew: WordPress running on the Pantheon WebOps platform. She spun up a Pantheon sandbox and quickly created a simple WordPress site that matched Qumulo’s branding. She created easily modifiable page templates optimized for sharing and conversion.
Whitman went live with Pantheon and WordPress on a Qumulo subdomain. Her team quickly launched successful digital marketing campaigns to demonstrate the platform's value.
Even though I had a lot of experience with CMSs, the custom Django CMS made it very difficult and sometimes impossible to do my job.
— Kristi Whitman, Website and Optimization Manager
Approach: Pilot Project Succeeds and Expands
Whitman was approved to migrate the corporate website to Pantheon. For expediency, the team retained the original design and copied the content.
IT got on board to make the DNS switch. After that, the marketing team could be self-sufficient and manage the site on their own using Pantheon. They launched the new site in August 2018 and followed up with a major redesign in 2020. The environment was so simple that they were able to do everything in-house.
Using Pantheon’s Dev-Test-Live deployment workflow, the marketing team expanded content creation. Pantheon also supported the WordPress environment with transparent plugin and Page Builder support.
Whitman said, “We launched digital campaigns, measured them, iterated them, and optimized them. Pantheon is the perfect platform for executing the full cycle of optimization.”
We launched digital campaigns, measured them, iterated them, and optimized them. Pantheon is the perfect platform for executing the full cycle of optimization.
— Kristi Whitman, Website and Optimization Manager
Why Pantheon: Empowered Team Runs World-Class Website
The Pantheon WebOps platform enabled Qumulo’s digital marketing team to easily develop its digital marketing strategy on an enterprise level. Whitman leveraged Pantheon’s critical capabilities to iterate, collaborate, optimize, and maintain the website — easily and quickly.
Pantheon supports iterative workflows, so it was easy for the team to make and test changes. They could quickly add new features like blog subscriptions and clickable product interfaces. Structured Agile Workflows enabled in-house marketers to collaborate efficiently, and Multidev supported the contracted feature developers, freeing them to work asynchronously.
Rob Flores, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Qumulo, said, “Pantheon’s platform and customer-centric toolset has been a great support for our WordPress website. The Multidev environment allows us to test changes to the website without any conflicts with existing code, and Localdev rapidly clones our website for rapid implementation.”
The flexible environment allowed the team to easily optimize each page for conversions. Whitman said, “The development workflow is seamless. Changes never disrupt a live site, and I never have to worry about breaking an active landing page when I make changes to the environment. That's a pretty impressive platform.”
Pantheon simplified maintenance by offloading operational tasks like tracking uptime, daily backups, and transparently supporting updates and plugins. For several years after deployment, Qumulo’s digital marketing team did all the website maintenance with basic support from Pantheon. They eventually upgraded to the Pantheon Gold Tier so they could do even more.
Whitman said, “I love Pantheon support. They are so helpful, even when problems don’t originate within Pantheon. One issue turned out to be a code conflict between two plugins. The Pantheon engineers helped me figure it out. I have peace of mind that I won’t run into any issues we can’t fix.”
I love that Pantheon works so seamlessly with the best 3rd party tools like WPML and New Relic. Since Qumulo.com is expanding into multiple languages this year, our web development tools have to play well with each other while we scale up.
— Rob Flores, Senior Digital Marketing Manager
Results: Extreme Traffic Growth and Major Conversions
Qumulo quickly realized higher web traffic and steadily improved search rankings. The team optimized pages for keywords, which ushered in improved rankings. Pantheon’s iterative workflow paved the way for the lean team to efficiently optimize conversion rates.
Pantheon also assured site performance during traffic spikes. When marketing ran an extensive, coordinated campaign to announce a major funding round, it spurred huge traffic spikes: up to 9X the normal traffic flow. Pantheon’s smooth scaling transparently managed the spike with no slowdowns or downtime.
And when the pandemic struck in early 2020, the company immediately canceled in-person events and shifted to webinars. Pantheon’s agile workflow and WordPress’s usability enabled the marketing team to support rapid, large-scale content creation and video library growth.
Qumulo’s moves were a resounding success. The company’s tracking and measurements from Marketo, Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and Pantheon displayed startling before-and-after metrics: 1400%+ growth of first-page keyword ranks, 300%+ growth in organic traffic, 400%+ growth in online forms submissions.
“Qumulo achieved a $1.2 billion valuation in 2020, and we’re growing the business even more in 2021,” said Adriana Gil Miner, Chief Marketing Officer at Qumulo. “Pantheon and WordPress support our massive growth by enabling us to create a world-class website and extremely successful digital campaigns.”
Qumulo’s experience proved that WordPress CMS is not only popular with smaller businesses but also operates flawlessly at an enterprise level. Whitman summed it up. “When you use WordPress in conjunction with Pantheon, it's everything that large organizations need to build and optimize their marketing websites. WordPress plus Pantheon equals enterprise.”
Qumulo achieved a $1.2 billion valuation in 2020, and we’re growing the business even more — Pantheon and WordPress support our massive growth by enabling us to create a world-class website and extremely successful digital campaigns.
— Adriana Gil Miner, Chief Marketing Officer
Download the full Qumulo case study here.