These are the improvements we've made to the Spartan Spark platform in Q1. The focus this quarter was on reducing sophisticated spam attacks and moving the platform to the new http2 required by the search engines to improve SEO.
We streamlined the lead forms to have a standard enforcement practice for stopping the spam. We still have one more major upgrade coming for the mail system, now that the subsystems use it.
The focus on monitoring has provided visibility across websites, improving our "self-healing" process, reducing the number of errors on the platform to about 25% of what we had in Q4-2018. Read the entire update to see all the geeky details.
Initially, the search engines in late 2018 started alerting end users of insecure websites, which forced us to fast track our planned upgrade to http2. In March 2019, the browsers started to hide the www, and as part of our upgrade, we took that into account. And we've upgraded our clients to the industry's most current recommended best practices.
Google now requires that all website have https for security, and we went a step further and configured http2, which brings a next-generation speed bonus.
All clients upgraded from HTTP to H2, with HTTPS fallback. The SEMRush score went from 66%-92%. SEMRush is one of the tools that we're using to track our SEO scores. We're no longer using Moz because we've maxed out their score, and it was no longer providing meaningful direction. We've switched to using a number of more specialized tools that evaluate SEO scores more critically.
Continued improvements in blog and social post scheduling have greatly improved real-time logging and monitoring. We can see all the errors from all the servers in real time. Because of that process, it's allowed us to see which errors are happening most often across all the website and allowed us to better target the most frequently occurring bugs. Because of the visibility, we are fixing the problems that are impacting our users the most. The other part is the last step before we're going to be able to generate reports from the logs for the customer: for how many leads, for how many visitors, etc. We added wiki page title to improve SEO, and added the type so that we can track which kind of content piece is being published (to help bring visibility to the type of content formula being used)
Across the board, there has been a renewed focus on allowing greater customization to the layout of the websites. Much of this has focused around allowing Fluid or Standard jumbotron images site-wide to create responsive websites that provide a better user experience.
Key technology upgrades for Angular JS (the client side technology we use) and Node (the server technology we use), and streamlining of all API calls taking longer than 1.5 seconds.
Major update to using AWS ELB/ALB for all customers; upgrading all customers to H2 with HTTPS fallback, reverse proxying for speedy delivery, and the ability to turn on/off global edge caching. We have also worked to tighten up our mail delivery system to greatly reduce spam, currently iteration 8.
This year, there was a significant amount of sophisticated spam from western Europe. We are on our 8th iteration of attempts to block the spam without blocking real user access. We've added logging for security, also to react faster to spam and hacking, using the information between all websites on the Spartan Spark platform.
A large number of new snipplets have been added to allow greater configuration and fully support Fluid and Standard jumbotrons, along with a long list of bugs being cleaned up. This allows for more customization of the layout of websites, which can be configured by the client/end user.
Major work has been done on the mailing system, with the 6.14 version focused on improving and automating customer interaction on email sign-ups, landing pages, and newsletters. Q1 we also had a successful integration with Hubspot to deliver leads generated from multiple Spartan Spark websites and social media campaigns.
Onboarding new customers is easier with the ability to copy projects. Key everyday features have also been added as well as default time estimates. A number of new workflows have been added to support using sprints. This provides more visibility on what can be accomplished by the team during our 1-week sprints and for future planning of projects. We're also enforcing that a Use Case (from our learning library) be attached to each ticket, which has improved process documentation and reduced bottlenecks from information being stored in team members' minds instead of in easily accessible documentation.
Testing has been moved to its own package to allow it to iterate independently. Ensures that with all the improvements and changes to the code, the previous code continues to work.
“After being frustrated with other service providers. Spartan Spark got our website up and linked to a payment system over just a weekend.” -Patricia Marin - Calgary Family Services