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Discover our Rideology car enthusiast technology that builds community.


Tech Challenge

To create our community-in-a-box beta Rideology.io we invested more than 2,000 hours of development time to craft a hybrid version of Kentico's and Umbraco's content management systems (CMSs) because each CMS tool offers distinct features and benefits we like. We write programs to take advantage of features we like while downplaying or not using things we don't like as much. Far from an "out-of-the-box" installation Rideology.io takes advantage of Umbraco's headless CMS and Kentico's easy to use content editing interface.

Headless Versus Monolithic or Legacy CMS

A headless cms allows us to create a scalable, fast, secure, and modular content distribution system. We like how we can program Umbraco as a monolith and headless cms. A monolithic CMS couples the front and back-end layers as an all-in-one solution to store, manage, and present content using a single codebase. WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are "legacy" content management systems since they've been around for ten years or more. 

A monolithic CMS is a traditional CMS that couples front-end and back-end layers. As the newest trend in content management systems, headless CMS allows us to create a highly scalable, fast, secure, and modular content distribution system. Examples of an external client using APIs from a headless CMS include:

  • Static Site Generator (SSG
    SSGs create static HTML web pages based on raw data and templates, automating the task of coding individual HTML pages. These pre-built HTML pages load very quickly in users' browsers.

  • Single Page Application (SPA)
    SPAs know and take advantage of the fact that most web page information stays the same, with only a few pieces needing to update at a time. The SPA only sends what a user needs with each click, so this piece-by-piece client-side method makes user load times much faster, helping with a website's user experience (UX) and search engine optimization (SEO.

  • Mobile Apps
    Mobile applications often use a headless CMS with API calls to render content.

While the tech industry has many names, including "Headless CMS," "API-first," "Content Infrastructure," "Content Hubs," or "Content as a Service," look closer. Many names describe the same thing - a database back-end with a web-based user interface (UI) with content accessed via an API. 

Rideology.io utilizes a headless CMS and API calls because we saw smartphones as the primary user interface (UI). In addition, we knew car lovers would load large images of beloved cars, so a headless CMS was the best way to quickly render webpages with lots of information.

Dynamic Content Compression, Static File Compression

Because of those big car pictures uploaded by users (user-generated Content or UGC), we knew Rideology.io, a mix of dynamic and static file compression. Configuring an Internet Information Service (IIS) server's dynamic compression compresses responses coming from ASP.net, Internet Server Application Programming Interface (ISAPI) Extensions, and Common Gateway Interface (CGI) handlers.  

Dynamic websites present different information to different visitors. Variables such as location, time, settings, previous website behaviors (shopping habits, for example), and user preferences determine what content an individual user sees to create a personal and interactive experience. 

Dynamic front-end flexibility requires more back-end complexity. For example, when our web servers (hardware or cloud) build pages "on the fly," they pull information from one or multiple databases to construct an HTML page customized for the user based on programmed variables, business rules, and other factors. 

We use server-side scripting such as JS and Jquery in addition to client-side languages such as HTML, CSS, and Javascript to render pages in a complex dance a website's visitors never see or know. Instead, users see what we want them to see quickly and securely, with personalization and interactivity. In addition, we use compression and content delivery networks (CDNs) to make websites 50% faster while consuming 40 - 70% less bandwidth. 

Here are a few of our compression tricks: 

  • Static Content Caching
    Static caching helps HTML files, images, or JavaScript resources, allowing them to be served directly from the CDN's network's globally distributed data centers. It also reduces the load on your servers because content such as Rideology's large UGC pictures of cars is served directly from the CDN.

  • Dynamic content Caching
    We use the patent-pending Incapsula solution's advanced machine-learning tool to profile and gather intelligence about each website resource. Some dynamically generated resources rarely change over time for some users. Therefore, we use Incapsula's intelligence to optimize caching and resource accuracy.

  • Serving Pages from Memory
    We use advanced machine learning algorithms and frequency analysis to identify the most frequently accessed resources. Then we load those resources from physical memory, bypassing the file system and other generic mechanisms (such as buffer-cache). This advanced capability means our customers' web pages load faster than other caching systems can provide.

  • Client-Side Caching -
    WTE Server Tech uses the same advanced algorithms used for dynamic caching to optimize client-side caching to place as much content as possible in a visitor's browser or mobile device cache. Client-side caching produces instant loading of resources to create the best possible user experience (UX). Our proprietary algorithms help CDNs enrich browser caching instructions while setting the right refresh policy to keep content fresh so users don't receive stale content.

  • "On the Fly" Compression
    Configuring server resource compression requires technical expertise and consumes valuable web server processing power. Instead, we dynamically compress HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files stored on servers "on the fly" using GZIP (and HTTP/1.1 chunked transfer encoding where possible) to accelerate page load times at the cloud layer. By intelligently compressing web resources, Incapsula reduces the amount of data sent over the network without server configuration hassles.

Content Delivery Networks

CDNs are geographically distributed servers working together to deliver Internet content quickly and safely. CDNs help speed the delivery of HTML pages, javascript files, cascading style sheets (CSS), images, and videos. Today, CDNs deliver the majority of web traffic. We knew those large UGC pictures of cars meant we would need a CDN for Rideology.io. 

Using a CDN when malicious attacks happen daily and frequently change content can be tricky. That's why we use the same advanced compression and resource utilization algorithms to configure our client's CDNs for security, the best user experience, and hassle-free content management. Rideology.io uses Akamai, Amazon, Cloudflair CDNs. 

CDN Benefits

CDNs don't host content, but they help with content caching at the network edge. Edge computing focuses on bringing computing power as close to data sources as possible to reduce latency (so pages load faster) and use bandwidth efficiently and economically. We want to get as many processes as close to our customers' users as possible, given other considerations (speed, money, time). We want to bring as much computation to the network's edge as possible to minimize long-distance communication between a client and a server. 

Every CDN installation is different, but generally, CDNs provide four benefits: 

  • Faster Load Times
    When website visitors use a nearby CDN server, pages load faster, and there are few things your website's visitors love more than speedier page loads (free shipping, maybe, but only if that page loads fast too).

  • Lower Bandwidth Costs
    Through caching and the other optimizations outlined above, CDNs reduce data an origin server must provide must serve, thus reducing hosting costs. CDNs aren't free, but the delta between CDN usage costs and bandwidth savings usually favors the installation of a CDN; what's the cost of slow page loads, frustrated customers, and a website investment flushed due to bad user experiences?

  • Server & Content Protection
    CDNs keep pressure off of your web servers, so they don't go down as often, and even when your origin server is down, aspects of your distributed content may continue to work as you fight the fire.

  • Security
    CDNs can improve safety by mitigating denial of service and other attacks.

Code Repository

Where your code is securely stored can impact development efficiency and project security. That's why we kept Rideology.io's code on GitHub and used Perforce for version control. Source control tracks and manages changes to code. Nothing is more frustrating than writing the same code twice because a team member unknowingly overwrote yesterday's work.

Time is the only thing we can't create, no matter how good our code is, so we use a combination of GitHub and Perforce to only write code once and backtrack mistakes. For example, place a comma or apostrophe in the wrong place, and an API or micro-service that worked yesterday may not work today. Perforce helps us find errant apostrophes or commas and keep on writing.

Social Marketing Challenge

Rideology.io case study hero image A few years ago, we realized something important - no web marketing team, no matter how large, could create enough content to win the search engine optimization (SEO) game. Winning top non-paid organic search placement requires excellent content, good on-page SEO, and an army of people sharing, linking to, and engaging with your content.

As we outlined in Content Marketing, the world is awash in content, so the only way to win is to ask for help to create a sustainable online community. Creating an online community is increasingly important because Google's algorithm rewards fresh, well-linked content. Sharing your web pages and content creates advocates and contributors, but developing enough trust to earn the web's real gold consistently - user-generated content (UGC) - is challenging. That's why we're creating the first community-in-a-box application to help our customers do the most challenging, rewarding thing we've done - create a trusted and self-sustaining online community. 

We want to create an online community to be less complicated, so we're developing Rideology.io, a beta version of our community-in-a-box application with easy-to-install online community components:

  • Brand Ambassadors
    The 80/20 Rule applies to contributors with a small, highly engaged group making most of your online community's contributions, so elevating your most engaged contributors creates an easy and meaningful reward.

  • Profiles
    Profiles for beloved cars, collectors, mechanics, and fans will give brand ambassadors plenty of content to curate.

  • Directory
    We discuss why we love directories in our Moblz case study, but we love directories because they play well with Google's search engine optimization (SEO).

  • Gamification
    Rideology and our community-in-a-box create social rewards to reinforce how much we value the 10% of visitors willing to contribute.

We used our three-legged Agile Software Development development framework you can learn more about on our Services page, to rapidly deploy a minimal viable product (MVP) so car lovers could help define Rideology. Rideology is a "mobile-first" application using WTE's AgileSite platform designed with smartphones and tablets as the main screens.

"We were ready for the cloud's development innovations and API first approach because we've work with integration partners such as Kentico, Amazon Web Service, and VMware," WTE CEO Eric Garrison explains. Community-in-a-Box Prototype Rideology is the first use of WTE's community-in-a-box. Still, WTE plans other applications to make creating an online community easier, faster, and more trusted.  

Online community and User Generated Content (UGC) create the most impactful digital marketing in a mobile-first social media-dominated time. Rideology's features, such as Ambassadors, Car Directory, User Profiles, and curated content, create an archetype for other online communities. In addition, any business with an active, supportive tribe can use WTE's community-in-a-box application to encourage, reward, and manage their online community and contributor content.

The 1-9-90 Rule

Website visitors fall into three categories.

  • Contributors
    1% of your visitors will contribute content when asked and when those contributions are valued and rewarded within your community.

  • Social Influencers
    9% of visitors will share your website's content, notably when a 1%er contributes that content.

  • Readers
    Readers don't take as active a role, but you never know when a reader will join and contribute.

Another way to think about the 1-9-90 Rule is that most communities depend on 10% or less of their visitors; it is essential to create social systems to cherish, reward, and encourage user-generated content (UGC).

Public Versus Private Recognition and Rewards

It's vital for your online community to consistently, immediately, and publicly thank and reward your most engaged contributors. Public recognition can take many forms, including comments, social shares, and awards such as special profile badges.

We recommend three private thanks for every public award. Sending your most engaged contributors personal thanks, notes of encouragement, and requests for assistance privately reinforces how much you value those contributions. Be specific with your praise. For example, if one of your most engaged customers leaves a great review that defines a new feature and benefit territory, say that. Reinforcing the online support you want is the best way to earn more and similar contributions.

Curation versus Creation

Every website begins its journey with a handful of creators and designers. Your web marketing team's goal should be to hand over as much of your content creation to community members as fast as possible. But you'll need to start slow, earn trust, and express appreciation before an online community can form.

We've created a lot of online communities, and they always follow a drip, drip, drip, flood track. So patience, courage, and commitment are vital ideas for any digital marketing team looking to create less and curate more, looking to develop a vibrant online community.

Big Social Data AI

Rideology tapped into a powerful tribe - car lovers. We needed to scale the community without a huge budget, so we cut down the massive number of car sites we could follow and engage with artificial intelligence (AI). We wrote an algorithm to cut car sites with favorable Rideology characteristics such as following, engagement, and post frequency to reduce "could follow" to "should follow.

We aimed for a 5% follow-back rate and achieved almost 17%! Rideology broke a thousand Instagram followers within weeks after our first use of our extensive social data AI, adding hundreds of engaged followers.


Rideology.io broke 1,000 Instagram followers months after launch. With little ad support, the site has achieved 65,000 views generating 185,000 events as hundreds of car lovers created profiles and shared their cars. The directory's 5,000 views are almost 8% of all pageviews. With 19 brand ambassador requests within weeks of asking for help, we will soon give the keys to Rideology.io's content to Ford, Ferrari, Jeep, and other brand ambassadors. Stay tuned for our next community-in-a-box installation.