Bioinformatics and their SDI division combine to form the leading research and advisory firm serving the life science, analytical instrument and diagnostic industries. Their expertise includes assessing the size and attractiveness of markets, optimizing product configurations and pricing, validating corporate acquisitions, measuring customers’ brand loyalty, and evaluating brand strength and positioning. They have a multi-disciplinary team comprised of industry veterans, market research experts, consultants, and survey statisticians.
Their primary objective was to digitize the researchers, experts and consultants’ experience and develop a platform allowing user friendly access to the existing information and new article submissions, which are then used to create commercial life science research reports.
Secondly they wanted a solution by which they can offer a convenient tool to purchase life science research reports already published, and about to publish. BioInformatics also want to create a corporate subscription-based model for access to their paid newsletter.
Lastly, BioInformatics has multiple websites (IBO, IMVInfo, SDI) where their users are engaging and participating for the various functions mentioned above. We needed to provide an integrated solution so that users and administrators are able to manage all these functions from a single dashboard.
What We Did
In order to meet these objectives, our team built a customized platform using multiple WordPress websites and integrated them using a multisite. We worked closely with BioInformatics to collect the requirements and decided to rewrite many parts of older website, applied newer, performant solutions, and redefined the user experience. Following are some of the salient points of our solution.
Network of researchers, experts and consultants
BioInformatics publishes thousand of journals by multiple researchers, experts, and consultants. Searching articles and journals are one of the main challenges. We used elasticsearch integrated with WordPress posts to perform linguistic searches against large articles. This helped us provide rapid search compared to default database based searching as well as ranking by relevance.
Fully responsive web design
Responsive Web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform, and orientation. To solve these challenges quickly, we used a pre-built theme that had responsive pre-built components and we rewrote most parts of the existing website using these new components.
BioInformatics needed a user friendly way to generate paid newsletters. We provided an automated solution for the authors to collect the articles from the website, assign the articles to an issue and generate a sophisticated PDF by customizing the IssueM plugin. For completeness we also displayed the past issues and allowed the users to search articles in the past issues.
BioInformatics want to create a sophisticated corporate subscription-based model for all corporate members. Since WordPress has no such functionality and all users are at the same level, we designed a complete plugin for managing organizations and their permissions that would allow varying degrees of permissions to corporate members on the Bioinformatics website.
Since many of the BioInformatics platform features are paid, they wanted to offer corporate customers a very convenient way of paying for the entire organization. We understood this problem and used WooCommerce digital wallet plugin and integrated it with our custom designed Organization plugin so that each organization has its own wallet that can be used by its members.
Deployment and Peformance
Since the multisite is a large load, our team used Amazon EC2 with autoscaling to ensure the high availability. We also did the performance optimization of all the websites in the network to ensure fast page loads.
WordPress Multisite and SSO
BioInformatics has multisite (IBO, IMVInfo, SDI) and if we maintained separate codebases and backends for each website, we would need to keep upgrading the UI and reusable components at multiple places. So we used WordPress Multisite to create and manage multiple websites in an integrated manner. One challenge in this case was to implement SSO since all the websites had different top level domains.
Integration with CRM
Infusionsoft is a small business CRM tool. BioInformatics was already using InfusionSoft, so we integrated the Bioinformatics platform in such a manner that all users data on BioInformatics website is kept in two way sync with their Infusionsoft. We used a third party plugin as a middleware and created a cron service to run the sync continuously.
Technology and Tools
- WordPress Multisite
- WordPress Plugins – IssueM, Leaky Paywall
- Paypal Payment Gateway
- Infusionsoft CRM
- AWS EC2