Given the structure of our company, our website is inherently complex. Fellowship have been true partners, continuously working with us to simplify the site, visually engage visitors and enhance its overall use as our single most effective marketing tool.”
- Client Contact:
- Vice President of Communications
Some years ago Fellowship built websites for Freightliner and Pentalver. When Genesee & Wyoming (G&W) acquired both companies, we rebuilt and rebranded these sites, within a WordPress Multisite. Subsequently, G&W USA commissioned us to build a multisite promoting their business and their 116 short-haul railroads.
To demonstrate the scale of G&W’s operation, including route maps and detailed supporting information for each of the 116 railroads in their network.
As our most ambitious WordPress Multisite to date, this project required comprehensive scoping, design and implementation.
As well as including many of our usual website features, this site required significant data collection and formatting. Plus the ability to add content quickly and effectively across the parent website and all of its subsites.
Every railroad route, real estate premises, transload location, staff contact and tariff document needed to be created within the website’s database.
Much of this couldn’t be migrated from the existing website’s CMS, so it had to be ‘scraped’ from the live web pages, processed and saved to the new database.
We automated this huge and repetitive task with scripts and CMS tools wherever possible.
Front-end mapping and UI work
With the data in place we designed and built an interface to help users easily find what they are looking for.
We used latitude, longitude and KML data to plot locations and routes onto a Google map. We then made this fully searchable on the frontend.
To keep load times fast and billing for API usage low, we made calls to third-party APIs (provided by Google) as efficient as possible.
We built a microsite for each of G&W’s 116 railroads. Each railroad’s data can be seen individually, as well as within the context of the full G&W operation.
Each microsite is set up from global defaults, meaning new railroads can be added quickly and easily. Also, each site can also be customised as needed.
We automated operations that need to be applied to multiple sites, e.g. assigning a new user to a site. This avoids the need to repeat a laborious manual operation 116 times!
The main gwrr.com site, along with sites for those railroads that cross into Canada, were professionally translated into French Canadian as well as US English.
A lean and efficient, data fuelled website that clearly demonstrates the huge scale of G&W’s operations in the USA. Individual microsites provide in-depth information on every individual railroad within the G&W network.
G&W’s customers have also appreciated the reorganisation of their websites into a structure that spotlights each of their primary services and provides a hub for customer use.
View the website here.