To ensure the future of energy is sustainable, everyone will need to play their part. EnergieSchweiz aims to mobilise individuals, companies and public authorities to do exactly this. www.energieschweiz.ch is a key instrument of the national energy programme under the aegis of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy. It is also one of the first websites in the federal administration to opt for headless architecture.
The various components interact seamlessly: Contentful works as a central content hub, GatsbyJS generates static HTML pages based on React and GitLab and Kubernetes enables automated deployment processes. This innovative overarching architecture is bursting with energy: It allows for lean processes, flexible use of content and impressively short load times.
Our experts were in charge of the technical concept and architecture, frontend and backend implementation, SEO concept, content modelling, content generation and migration.
- 5 months from kick-off to go-live
- 1 non-virtual meeting – the kick-off
- 95,6% Core Web Vitals performance
- 47 Miro whiteboards generated
Content Model as a Centrepiece
The extendable, structured content model is at the heart of the content hub. It defines content elements, their structure and dependencies in detail. To make sure all requirements are reflected, it was developed with all content managers at EnergieSchweiz in several workshops while taking into account the design specifications. The content model balances the centralised structure and management and individual design freedoms. This ensures the high quality and consistency of content – regardless of format and channel. At the start of the content migration, the content model was validated and expanded.
Headless and Fast as Lightning
The headless architecture decouples the CMS as a content system from the frontend as display medium. This puts the focus on the content, its relations and efficient management. The website, which is generated statically based on GatsbyJS, also impresses visitors: The pages are displayed at lightning speed. Even with a 3G connection, content is available within seconds. Only images take a little longer to load. If there is a spike in visitor numbers, the setup with modern web technologies and distributed infrastructure diverts load to additional systems and is relatively easy to scale vertically.
The Right Information at Your Fingertips
EnergieSchweiz wants to direct users to the right information swiftly, without long and involved searching. An effective search function is key here. The search uses the SaaS solution Algolia. When the content or source code of the website changes, the search index is also updated as part of the frontend build pipeline. A Gatsby plugin configured for this purpose generates the necessary data and transfers the edited content to Algolia. Search results from the website are loaded, transformed and displayed directly from Algolia in the user’s browser.
Reduced and Concentrated Content
As part of the content migration, existing content underwent a general revision. The motto for the relaunch – “reduced, concentrated and simplified” – served as a guideline for the revision. With added value for users in mind, we deleted redundant content, rephrased complicated texts and improved the reading flow with structural elements. In line with the new UX architecture, we created a more intuitive arrangement of content and added specific calls to action. We employed UX writing techniques to help users better understand technical information. To further improve the user experience, we worked on the consistency of texts. All content editors followed the new content guidelines in their writing.
Hand in Hand
energieschweiz.ch is the result of a collaboration between experts from EnergieSchweiz, Ginetta, Noord, Silberrücken and Begasoft. The level of commitment and energy in the project team was impressive. In the Scrum-based teamwork, especially towards the end of the project, it paid off that we had made time for interpersonal interaction and exchange during the kick-off and throughout the course of the project. On average, the check-ins for the meetings took 30 minutes. The result is a strong team, working side by side towards a joint goal.
With the right content to success. Content is king!
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For the relaunch of energieschweiz.ch, the editorial team invested a lot of energy into reworking the content. A content strategy, new formats and a content management system with headless architecture were a breath of fresh air for the web editing team.
A headless content management system alone is not yet a website. A Kubernetes cluster cannot deploy anything on its own. It is only when architecture, code, tools, processes and people are allowed to interact that the adjustments made to the content in the CMS trigger an update in the statically generated website.