The Marketing Technology Office

Perils Of Open Source Software

Content Engineer DJ Gilcrease

We here at Kanban love Open Source code and attempt to use it wherever possible. This is much easier on the frontend (HTML, JavaScript, CSS) than it is on the backend (Depending on your platform of course). In almost every frontend project we have worked on we have automatically included one Open Source JavaScript library: jQuery.

In a recent project, one of our goals was to speed up page load & rendering time on the product listing and detail pages (The product detail page used to take 15 seconds to render). One way to do this is to dynamically load in data/DOM only when it is needed. Doing so either required the backend to learn how to render data for each section separately, or to use frontend templates. With the particular backend system we are using, making it learn how to render each section individually would not be worth the effort, so we settled on jQuery Templates[1].

Even though it was in beta, it was being officially backed by the jQuery team and Microsoft. Though we understood that beta software would have bugs, it was an acceptable risk.

Continue reading

Content Engineering

Maintaining Control Of External Sites

Content Engineer DJ Gilcrease

Many of today’s brands generally have a large number of external or partner third-party sites that should ideally maintain the same look and feel as the brand’s main site. The solution for many is to pull in the CSS from the main site to keep the style of each experience consistent.

This approach has two issues. First: if the main site restructures their DOM or CSS, it can break the external site. Second: content changes do not automatically get propagated to the third-party sites. This can lead to inefficiencies and extra costs in maintaining and supporting those sites. It can also cause a lack of brand control and an inconsistent cross-channel customer experience, which can erode site conversion and brand loyalty.

Continue reading