How can I roll out and manage multiple websites?

Multi-Site Generation and Management Tool

Shire, a global specialty biopharmaceutical company, turned to Ruder Finn Interactive Studios and GeekHive to evaluate their web presence. Working together, RFI and GeekHive were able to re-imagine and refresh Shire’s web platform, ensuring that the next-generation website was user-focused, responsive and presented a united brand experience for their global audience of patients, their families, and physicians.  The new site has enabled more people than ever before that need Shire’s specialized services to find and engage with the education Shire provides and the trials they offer.

Leveraging Sitecore SPEAK UI

We were tasked with building a content management system that could handle Shire's international properties, provide a seamless customer experience across sites, and provide their content management team with intuitive publishing capabilities.

We chose the Sitecore platform for this project because the scale of the project required a high-end enterprise level solution with the capability to be easily configured and enhanced as the company grew. Building Shire’s solution on Sitecore enabled us to consolidate many disparate web entities within their organization into one central location where their customers and investors could readily access site content.

To manage these sites we implemented a robust site management tool using the SPEAK UI framework. Shire can easily push changes to “target” sites from the primary “source” site.  New sites are generated from the central hub, then fully customized separately from the source site allowing any future changes to be synced to the newly created sites.

Technology Partner & Agency Governance

Shire looked to us for guidance throughout this application but also leaned on us to help them put together a governance document that existing vendors and future agencies would reference. This document outlines and guides teams on Sitecore best practices, how the solution is structured, and why we built it in the way we did. Overall the purpose of this guide is to make sure agencies follow it in order to keep all development and architectural design consistent. Through this effort, we were able to develop a great working relationship with Shire based on building trust through transparency and collaboration.

Keeping Content Workflow Simple

Using Sitecore’s permission system, we gave Shire the ability to assign each user their own unique role that provides them limited access to the specific sections they need to see.  Content editors are able to update content and pass it through the workflow without jeopardizing the integrity of the site as a whole. Due to the customizable nature of the site, Shire can now segment the site more effectively and update it based on analytical data to serve up appropriate content to their large customer base.

Shire’s Improvements and Results

Shire immediately saw improvements in their overall business objective, developer process, and marketing team’s productivity. Development cycles are significantly faster and there are far less restrictions in place than on their previous solution. Multiple teams of developers can now work in the same instance without issues and rather than focusing their energies on putting out fires and fixing problems they can concentrate on building out new features.

This partnership was so successful, and the results so powerful for Shire, that the site was a nominee for Sitecore Site of the Year 2015 and we continue to work with Shire as technical support with our long-term engagement team.

Technology at Work to Save Lives:

The new user-focused, responsive site has enabled more people than ever before that need Shire's specialized services to find and engage with the education Shire provides and the trials they offer.

Here are some of the improvements Shire has seen since launch: 

  • Better end-user experience

  • Centralized and consistent platform

  • Reduce hosting costs and complexities

  • Time on site up 27%

  • Page views per session up 6%

  • Bounce rate down  27%

  • Return visits increased by 2%

  • Social media visits up 55%

  • Homepage exit rate down 34%

  • Mobile usability time on site up 32%

  • Visits to careers section up 9%

  • Visits to investor section up 2%

Shire Website
Shire Mobile Website
Shire Website
Shire Website



  • CMS Strategy
  • Digital Governance
  • Marketing Technology