Foley Hoag, LLP

Excelling in the time-honored practices of the legal profession and seizing on new digital ways to improve performance and service to clients.

NorthPoint Digital’s team migrated 8 WordPress blogs into a single multisite install for Foley Hoag LLP. As part of this migration, NorthPoint Digital analyzed plugins and themes, reduced all the redundant plugins and code, and cleaned up the code. NorthPoint Digital also created a theme customizer on the admin side so that one theme could be used for 8 different sites (each with a different look and feel), and which can be configured through the admin interface. The theme customizer allows Foley Hoag to spin up a new site without any development time.

Challenge

Foley Hoag is a law firm that represents public and private clients in a wide range of disputes and transactions worldwide. Foley Hoag has 8 WordPress blogs with similar features and look, but users have to log into the system to view each blog separately. Further, the maintenance of all the blogs was getting to be cumbersome.

As part of the migration, Foley Hoag wanted to add Analytics as well as enhance the SEO for the site. Foley Hoag additionally wanted to add a preview of each article post on the homepage instead of displaying every piece of content. In addition to these new functionalities, Foley Hoag wanted the ability to spin up new WordPress blogs without depending on a development team each and every time.

They turned to NorthPoint Digital to help them streamline the process and configure a better way to manage and spin up new blog sites.

Solution 

NorthPoint Digital’s team started with an evaluation of the common features and design components for each blog, so that the redundant code could be eliminated. Upon completing the evaluation, NorthPoint Digital’s team shortlisted 9 commonly used plugins from more than 30 plugins that were originally part of the infrastructure.

NorthPoint Digital’s team evaluated the feature set and design for the blogs. After analyzing 8 themes, NorthPoint Digital’s team defined the areas which would need to be updated in order to apply the design variations. The team further created a theme customizer such that a site administrator could spin up the site without any development time involved.

Based on the requirements provided by the Foley Hoag team, NorthPoint Digital recommended partner, WP Engine, a leading managed hosting platform for websites and apps built with WordPress, to provide them managed hosting services – including 24/7 technical support, server security, and an automated backup system.

NorthPoint Digital’s team handled the data migration using the standard WordPress Export/Import process. However, some of the static asset links including images and videos that were added using non-standard WordPress workflows had “orphaned” links. In order to remediate, the team copied over the static assets from the old system that were not ported over by WordPress Export/Import and created a redirect rule to map the directory structure.

Given that each blog has a different domain, NorthPoint Digital used WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugins to map the domains for each site. For the feature requests, NorthPoint Digital’s team displayed the excerpt of the blog post instead of the entire article. However, the default excerpt logic for WordPress strips out HTML tags and images - which Foley Hoag did not want. NorthPoint Digital’s team created a custom rule to remediate this, implemented Google Analytics, and updated social implementation to addThis (as addThis was being used in the main site, so that Foley Hoag can keep track of the metrics in one place).

Results 

Foley Hoag’s blogs were migrated with minimal impact or disruption to users/administrators’ daily workflows. Blog users now have a centralized place where they can access all the blogs and site administrators can reduce the redundant work of upgrading core or plugins. WP Engine handles backup and security updates instead of manual process from the client’s team.