A desire to ditch temporary fixes and create a better overall user experience
On a mission to empower and support event professionals to create and deliver successful events that bring people together, Hubilo has been serving the event space since 2015. The San Francisco-based company started out as an offline attendee networking platform, connecting and engaging professionals at in-person events so attendees could reap the most value from industry programming. But after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down physical events indefinitely, the team hustled to pivot to become a virtual and hybrid events platform — and did so in just 26 days.
Today, Hubilo helps make it easy to bring people together, anywhere, anytime — be it virtual, in-person, or hybrid. And as the team continues to redefine and reimagine the events world, they have been assessing its own ways of doing things, investing more in its branding, marketing efforts, and more.
This work kicked off with a brand refresh and website redesign that could help Hubilo better connect with its target audience and guide them to the content and resources they were looking for. As the team embarked on this project, they faced roadblocks when it came to implementing animations, interactions, time-to-build, and more — and that’s when the Hubilo team decided it was time to migrate their website off WordPress.
We knew there were alternatives to WordPress out there, and we really needed a solution that could allow us to design, test, and publish things on the website faster.
With a need for speed, Hubilo decided to make the switch to Webflow
The team wanted to lead its rebrand and redesign with intention and was laser-focused on creating a better overall user experience — from design and layout to messaging. The web team began making updates to the WordPress site, but they wanted to move faster and were yearning for more design flexibility and native features. So they decided to hit pause and assess alternative solutions that could help them both bring designs to life and test rapidly.
The bloated and buggy nature of WordPress — using plugin after plugin — on top of the vulnerabilities that come with using open source; we came to the realization that it's not a good way for building a website anymore.
Michael and his team team began vetting a number of solutions and tracking them against their core requirements:
- An enterprise-grade platform that could meet Hubilo’s strict security policies
- A visual-first tool that produced clean code and had built in support for custom interactions and animations
- A solution that would allow them to significantly reduce time-to-launch for new pages
- A tool that would empower more members of the marketing team to own parts of the website
After reviewing all relevant options with key stakeholders and executive leadership, as well as going through a rigorous evaluation process with their Security team, Hubilo decided to make the switch to Webflow. And because the team was in the midst of a rebrand and site redesign, they decided to partner with Webflow Enterprise Partner, Zabal Media, to assist them with the migration process.
How the Webflow CMS gave Hubilo freedom and flexibility
There are so many features Webflow offers — the CMS, custom interactions, animations...
Hubilo was committed to setting the team up for success with Webflow straight out of the gate. This meant establishing a solid web foundation that would enable the team to iterate quickly without compromising quality. Having the combination of internal development resources and industry expertise from Zabal Media was a winning combination that allowed the team to push themselves and create a stable web environment positioned for growth.
A large, cross-functional team was involved in the migration — from content and product to creative. And because the team was simultaneously tackling a rebrand, Hubilo was also updating its positioning, messaging, and voice and tone across the site during the migration process. The team built new CMS collections for their blog, customer stories, events landing pages, privacy and legal pages, and more. This empowered relevant stakeholders to have ownership over the content on these pages, alleviating developer dependency and giving individual team members more autonomy.
With Webflow, we’re empowering multiple teams to be more agile. Currently, we have 30+ CMS collections for events pages, legal & policy pages, our blog, and more, which each key stakeholder can own and manage themselves. This frees up our team's time to focus on more strategic projects.
More site traffic, increased efficiency, improved SEO, and the power to continue iterating
With the Webflow migration and rebrand happening simultaneously, one of Hubilo’s primary goals was to accelerate the time to launch. Prior to the migration, it was taking the Hubilo team an average of 24 days to complete a web ticket for things like bug fixes, edits to existing pages, new page requests, and more. After migrating to Webflow, the team cut their ticket completion time in half.
This increase in efficiency frees up the marketing team to think more strategically and go deeper into journey mapping and testing.
I was brought in to create an organizational mindset of experimentation across the business, and it’s really hard to do that if you can’t move fast. Creating foundations in Webflow has helped us constantly deliver on our goal of speed to market. We can experiment more and experiment faster.
The team also wanted to revamp the blog to boost organic traffic, which required them to make key decisions that would optimize SEO and improve the overall structure of the blog. Lastly, from a rebrand perspective, Hubilo was looking to be more resonant in the market.
After completing the rebrand and migration, as well as making strategic updates to its blog structure and SEO strategy, Hubilo:
- Successfully migrated its blog and upwards of 500 blogs posts onto a subdomain
- Saw a 19% increase in organic traffic to the homepage the first quarter after migrating onto Webflow
- Grew organic search traffic by 89% YOY
Hubilo has continued to tackle additional key site optimizations and branding initiatives, including new product pages, a focus on the expression of its product using animations, and accessibility audits. And because the team at Hubilo meticulously tracks the number of inbound tickets its web team manages, they’ve recorded an increase in output and a quicker rate of time to completion since moving to Webflow.
My advice for marketers is to remember how easy it is for things on the backend to go unrecognized, which is why I think it’s so important to express and document wins that may go unseen. Doing so has given us a more meaningful way to convey that the choices and decisions we make are the right ones.
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