As we embark forward into the future, our world is more interconnected and alive than ever before. But with the world literally at your fingertips, and endless knowledge only a search bar away, how can we easily know what information is readily useful, and what information is maybe not so important. Maybe a better way to phrase it is: How can we apply subtle and intuitive knowledge to our business and daily lives, to navigate this abundance of options? This is a question that Yvonne Versteeg aimed to dispel when she sought to create her online home: Verbonden Wijsheid (Connected Wisdom).
Verbonden Wijsheid (VW) is a gathering point, an online meeting place for discovery, collaboration and experimentation. It’s a place where everyone can share their personal and professional lives and create meaningful connections. It’s a place where curiosity is heavily encouraged so the community can create a tangible, meaningful, and powerful home. Through these connections, the community can elevate and optimize their businesses and personal lives along the way. It’s all too often that we see feelings and intuition separated from goals and practical decisions, whereas Verbonden Wijsheid is where those two worlds blend for the betterment of society.
HowAboutYes is our Dutch Partner agency from the Netherlands, led by Sefrijin Langen. The agency came about from humble beginnings roughly 12 years ago when Sefrijn noticed that there was a gap in the market for people who needed a custom website created to serve their business or personal needs. Back then the technology of choice was WordPress, using basic and custom templates to build for client demands. However when the global pandemic rolled into our lives in 2020, Sefrijn decided to spend those famous lockdown months learning new ways to service clients through his business by learning about modern front-end tools, like react and of course, Storyblok.
HowAboutYes is an agency that puts emphasis on working on projects that create a positive impact. Whether that’s in terms of a social or spiritual self-development, ecological awareness, Sefrijn likes to focus on projects that he feels genuinely connected to and believes in the mission of his clients. HowAboutYes’s agency focus is always going to be to create a social impact and empowerment through work and collaborations that they believe in.
Frontend: Nuxt 2
Mail: Proton Mail
Analytics: Google Analytics
The founders of Verbonden Wijsheid come from a very successful coaching company who have already tenured 15 years, focusing on educating big organizations, optimizing how they work together and developing individual relationships within the organizations. Their focus isn’t to get a company to increase their sales or share price, but developing the individual, intrapersonal experiences and relationships for long-lasting success. Yvonne, one of the founders of VW, likes to focus on the things that people don’t necessarily see right in front of them, like intuition and esoteric spiritual knowledge and bring them to the forefront. She tries to get people to think of these things not as intangible ideas and feelings but goals that we need to realize that we can leverage.
The brief for creating this project was fairly straightforward. VW’s old stack was a basic WordPress project that unfortunately did not have the best security features and was quite difficult to maintain. They’d been hacked at one point and the entire project needed to be restored from backups and older content pieces. The project was also a strain on HowAboutYes, as they had to be brought on board to update and fix these niggling problems every so often. One of the first and most basic requirements was for content editors to have the capability to easily open the project and create new blog content. They also wanted the project to be extremely fast and have a wide capacity to grow in the future. Storyblok fit the mold here really well as they could start the project on a smaller pricing plan, and expand the team and add more users to their plan as they grow.
Initially when HowAboutYes was briefed on the project, Yvonne and VW asked ‘Why not Wordpress?’ Although Sefrijn initially agreed to consider it, he also suggested looking at a couple of Headless CMS’, such as Strapi and Storyblok to name a few. In the end, they all decided that Storyblok was the best choice forward due to the revolutionary Visual Editor. VW were especially pleased with this feature as they could create and update their content with a live preview, cutting down on their development time and costs. In total this project took about 60 hours to complete as there was some time spent ideating the design.
As this was one the first projects HowAboutYes built with Storyblok, there was a learning curve to discover how to best utilize the chosen frontend, Nuxt along with Storyblok to make full use of the Visual Editor, as well as Storyblok’s preview parameter to load the live content rather than the static version. However these trials made it easier in the long run as it made Sefrijn’s job of onboarding the tech team much easier. The route he took was to onboard the client on video calls with screen sharing, followed by sending over some supporting documentation in case the client needed to refer back to some specific points later on.
The overwhelming factor in this project was the Visual Editor. For HowAboutYes coming from WordPress, The Visual Editor eased the creation process as they had the live preview in front of them as they worked, which made the process much more enjoyable as they could actively see their progress as they built out the new and improved Verbonden Wijsheid. For Yvonne and her team, the Visual Editor was a complete shift from what they were used to on WordPress, as they now had the ability to create content directly within the CMS, as opposed to constantly having to shift between a word processor and back. They also felt more inspired working through the Visual Editor, as they could see their work come to life as they added more and more content to their space. Yvonne was also pleased with the pricing model of being able to create this project without needing to pay a high price, while also having the ability to scale up and add more users as her business grows.
All in all, the new and improved Verbonden Wijsheid is a night and day shift from its predecessor, with upgraded security features thanks to Storyblok’s security certifications, as well as dramatically improved page speed. Their Lighthouse scores speak for themselves with almost every category in the 90th (or above) percentile.