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Buyer's Guide to Web Projects

Technology and vendor neutral advisor for web projects

Buyer’s Guide to Web Projects
Our blog provides market information and customer case stories from the Nordics.

The blog is produced by North Patrol, a digital communications and business consulting company.

Planning a website, an intranet, an extranet or e-commerce?
If you are in doubt where to start from, just ask us!

Featured post

Data review: Web technologies in Finland in 2022

6.5.2022

In previous years, North Patrol has analyzed e-commerce systems, web content management systems, intranets, and many other categories. This year, we decided to do a broader review that broadly looks at organizations’ online services, taking into account e-commerce platforms, web content management systems, and customized solutions. As many as 2,500 sites of different organizations were selected for the review, so this is certainly the largest technology analysis done in Finland in this area. Large and medium-sized businesses form the largest group, but public administration, municipalities and nonprofit organizations are also involved in decent numbers. 

Continue reading “Data review: Web technologies in Finland in 2022”

The beginning of the end of the Magento Open Source version?

1.10.2021

The developer community for the Magento Open Source version is likely to be split in two. A significant number of Open Source developers plan to leave the current Adobe-driven community and continue as a separate organisation. At the same time, this means the division of the Magento product. A large proportion of developers are tired of the delay in approving and releasing new features and even bug fixes. The developer community has shrunk. No road map has been published for the software. The blaming fingers of the community point in the direction of Adobe. Differences of opinion about the architecture development have added to the contradictions. This article focuses on what is the impact of all this on the Magento Open Source version.

Continue reading “The beginning of the end of the Magento Open Source version?”

CASE: M2-Kodit online service helps to find a rental apartment

6.9.2021

At the end of 2019, M2-Kodit, who offer rental housing, commissioned usability testing of its online service. Based on the findings, it was decided to implement a comprehensive renewal project. The website was outdated in many ways and it caused frustrating marketing and content optimization difficulties. The decision to renew was also greatly influenced by the feedback received from customers: the site was perceived as challenging to use.

Continue reading “CASE: M2-Kodit online service helps to find a rental apartment”

CASE: Traficom modernizes its digital self-service channels

30.8.2021

The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom is an authority in permits, licence, and monitoring of transport and communications. The organisation began its operations in 1.1.2019, when The Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi), the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) and certain functions of the Finnish Transport Agency were merged into one operator. Traficom promotes the functionality and safety of the Finnish transport system and accelerates the development of a digital society.   

Traficom´s digital self-service channel entity is certainly one of the most versatile of its kind in Finland. You can deal with permit issues related to, for example, road traffic, boating, or the use of a drone. Some of the most used services are vehicle registrations and change of vehicle ownership. Traficom’s online services can also be used as a representative of a company or an organization.

Continue reading “CASE: Traficom modernizes its digital self-service channels”

Case: UEF online service is made for its users

The University of Eastern Finland online service UEF.fi opened in spring 2020. The easy-to-use online service is designed especially for users coming from outside the university community.

Continue reading “Case: UEF online service is made for its users”

Case: Kemira.com renewal on a fast schedule

31.5.2021

How long does it typically take to run a renewal project of a website for a listed company operating on six continents with sales in more than 100 countries? I would estimate 6-12 months, depending on the situation. Kemira made the impossible possible by revamping its Kemira.com website in just 12 weeks. The kick-off event of the implementation project was held in early January and the new website was published right on schedule on 31.3.2021.

Continue reading “Case: Kemira.com renewal on a fast schedule”

Planning and initiation of an agile digital project

19.4.2021

Skipping the planning and initiation phase of a project is often justified by agile project models, but high-quality project preparations are not in conflict with agile development – quite the contrary.

Continue reading “Planning and initiation of an agile digital project”

Complete reorganization of the HSY.fi concept was worth it

20.1.2021

HSY (Helsinki Region Environmental Services) customer service was drowning in the same questions every day. The situation was especially straining, as the answers could have been found on the website. Clearly, there was a problem with findability.

The HSY.fi website technical platform needed an update, and the directive on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector required changes in any case. HSY decided to take the customer focused approach seriously and the online service concept was completely redone. The new site presents the wanted services in an ideal way, but this change did not happen by itself. The renewal required persistent work, effort and time.

Continue reading “Complete reorganization of the HSY.fi concept was worth it”

Utilizing Contentful as a content management system

7.12.2020

Web content management systems typically have the capabilities to manage both the content of online services and the presentation layer – the website. As customized solutions have become more popular, content management solutions that operate completely separate from the presentation layer have emerged as an alternative to more traditional publishing systems. The terms headless CMS, API-first CMS, and API-Driven CMS are used for these solutions.

Continue reading “Utilizing Contentful as a content management system”

Many end up choosing two web content management systems

23.11.2020

The specialization of web content management systems for specific use is reflected as a phenomenon in the customers´ technology choices. Today, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to solve all online publishing challenges with one platform. Therefore, when there is a decision to be made, more and more end up choosing two different systems.

Continue reading “Many end up choosing two web content management systems”

CMS and ecommerce platforms in Finland

10.11.2020

The Finnish market situation on content management systems and ecommerce platforms is very interesting and various platform solutions are utilized in a surprisingly versatile way. We explored the options used in more detail and updated our directory of the most popular systems and platforms used in Finland. The directory is divided into three categories:

  1. Market leaders
  2. Strong challengers
  3. Other solutions

To support our evaluation, we conducted several data reviews, in which we investigated the implementation technologies of the websites using various tools.
Continue reading “CMS and ecommerce platforms in Finland”

Data review: eCommerce technologies of big web shops in Finland 2020

2020-11-02

This year our eCommerce data review consists of 299 web shops. The criteria were the same as last years: The annual turnover of the company behind the web shop must exceed one million euros. Also, the selection must be reasonably large. Selling just gift cards is not enough.

The amount of different eCommerce platforms has decreased from last years 50 to 48 even though our sample size is a little bit bigger. The change is small, but a clear sign of concentration to fewer technological solutions. The market share of small platforms has constantly decreased and most likely the same trend will continue in the future too. Continue reading “Data review: eCommerce technologies of big web shops in Finland 2020”

CASE: Lahti municipality’s website stands out

20.10.2020

The city of Lahti published their new website in September. A new website was needed as the support of the old SharePoint website was coming to its end, the Accessibility Directive called for changes, and Lahti was named the European Green Capital of 2021. 

The new Lahti.fi is aimed primarily for current residents, and therefore, the new website focuses on the services for Lahti citizens. The residents and customers of the municipality’s services are directed to identify the topics and content areas they are looking for on the website.

Continue reading “CASE: Lahti municipality’s website stands out”

Municipalities have plenty of WordPress partner options

14.10.2020

There are 310 municipalities in Finland, and according to our database, over 100 of them are using WordPress as their publishing platform. At the moment, there are about 40 implementation partners who have supplied municipalities WordPress sites, and many of them have experience with several municipality websites.

Continue reading “Municipalities have plenty of WordPress partner options”

Magento partners in Finland in 2020

7.10.2020

When measured by the amount of installations, Magento is the most popular eCommerce platform both in Finland and internationally.  Although the implementations are huge in numbers, their life cycle varies greatly depending on the solution. Lately, the worries about Magento 1 support ending and hacking threats of non-supported Magento sites have caused big headlines. Magento’s future prospects are also causing slight concerns in Finland. With the Adobe acquisition, Magento is increasingly targeting large international customers, which also leaves us to hope that domestic organizations will not be left behind.

Continue reading “Magento partners in Finland in 2020”

Data review: Web content management systems in the Finnish public sector – analysis of over 500 websites

24.9.2020

We did a research on which web content management systems are used in Finnish public sector organizations. We went through over 532 publicly owned organizations’ websites, including all government administration, municipalities, and educational institutions.

WordPress is the most used web content management system in the public sector. 30 % of these organizations use WordPress, 14 % use Drupal and 11 % use Liferay. Overall, the public sector organizations are using 64 different content management technologies.

Continue reading “Data review: Web content management systems in the Finnish public sector – analysis of over 500 websites”

CASE: Teosto renews all its online services

17.6.2020

In 2017, The Finnish Composers’ Copyright Society Teosto (hereinafter Teosto) decided to renew all its main digital channels. The current situation was recognized as unsustainable in many ways. Technological renewal and certain changes in operational practices were necessary to carry out. The most urgent renewal needs focused on online services provided to customers and stakeholders.

Continue reading “CASE: Teosto renews all its online services”

Will Episerver retain its leading market position?

7.4.2020

Episerver is the most popular commercially licensed CMS in the Nordics. Our common knowledge of the market situation got verification when we scanned what content management systems companies really use. In addition to Nordic review, we paid special attention to Finnish market by examining what content management systems the biggest Finnish companies (by turnover) use. It is noteworthy, that Episerver’s relative market share grows as only the top 100 companies are observed.
Continue reading “Will Episerver retain its leading market position?”

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