EMyth

Rocket Lift was EMyth’s ongoing development partner for two years, methodically improving website systems and empowering them with new marketing capabilities.

EMyth’s business coaches teach entrepreneurs to build passionate and energetic businesses. Rocket Lift supported the EMyth marketing team to manage their website, extending the reach of their helping hand to small businesses everywhere.

A company in transition

In June of 2011, the business coaching company EMyth was at a crossroads. After more than 35 years of helping entrepreneurs implement the ideas in the bestselling book The EMyth Revisited, the company’s systems were out of date, its corporate structure restrictive, and its culture was squashing creativity. They brought in new management to dream big. They moved their office from San Mateo, California to Ashland, Oregon. They made new investments in technology. They built a new coaching app to help their clients.

All in all, EMyth made a complete metamorphosis, and it was time to tell the world about it. Their rebranding included a new website to function as the centerpiece of their dynamic marketing efforts. It would communicate the company’s revitalized energy over the web to potential customers. Once they had their new site — beautifully designed and mission-critical — they realized they needed more help for the site to realize its full potential.

Rocket Lift joins as Development Partner to help EMyth realize some ambitious goals

The new EMyth.com was an ambitious website that made advanced use of WordPress, but it needed active ongoing maintenance to keep in good order.

With the site’s mix of custom code and pre-existing plugins, plugin management became an increasingly urgent problem. Not all the plugins were high quality, not all played well together, and routine updates threatened to introduce unpredictable new issues.

EMyth’s site was also woven together with several third-party CRM’s for email management and affiliate lead tracking. These integrations caused complex problems when the applications were updated, and EMyth.com would suffer down time as a result.

Rocket Lift is a pleasure to work with on a daily basis, and follows the highest standards of robustness and quality in their work. I was looking for a progressive and methodical WordPress development firm that version controls their work in Git. They worked very closely with us on EMyth.com.
Jed Bickford, Director of Marketing, EMyth

A critical part of EMyth’s marketing strategy is its excellent blog. Since EMyth’s marketing department continued to tinker with its strategy, it became clear that the blog needed to reflect all of the changes to the site. It needed ongoing refinements to perform well on devices of all different sizes. And, being at the center of dynamic data-driven marketing campaigns, the website also needed rapid development of new pages, designs, functionality.

Finally, the site needed many different kinds of optimization. EMyth’s custom editorial workflow had pain points that needed smoothing to improve staff productivity and happiness. Website loading speed was slow, especially on smartphones over 3G connections. Site management suffered from minimal code organization, making it a slow process to enhance and debug. There was no modern deployment system in place, so the project wasn’t prepared for multiple collaborators, and updating the site was inefficient and error-prone.

EMyth’s website was mission-critical, but needed a lot of love. So they recruited Rocket Lift as the development partner to take it to the next level.

It made sense that after EMyth contracted this great website, they needed a new partnership to take it to the next level. With their ethic of building quality business systems to let people manage the systems (and not the other way around), their eyes were open to the reality that this great web marketing system needed some expert care to grow, improve, and gradually morph in shape and character over time. They sought out a long-term development partner to meet these needs on an ongoing basis.

We were so thrilled when EMyth approached Rocket Lift. Their values dovetail so well with how we think and act as a company — in no small part because reading The EMyth Revisited helped to shape our own approach to growth. Our mix of design, coding, and systems administration talent complemented their team’s creative vision and product development strengths. We were able to provide the high level of professional rigor and thoroughness they were looking for in a trusted technical partner.

Rocket Lift as EMyth’s Development Partner

Rocket Lift worked with EMyth for two years to keep things moving on EMyth.com, with the following services:

  • Executing pixel-perfect, responsive layouts to implement the EMyth marketing and design team’s plans.
  • Handling project management and quality control & quality assurance (QA/QC) testing internally, relieving the EMyth team of technical details so they could focus on planning strategy and tactics.
  • Integrating seamlessly with EMyth’s systems for project management and task tracking, in a customized, collaborative workflow that increased our productivity and reduced communication overhead.
  • Using Git to version-control updates to the site provided a safety net to easily revert the website to any state in case of problems, and allowed efficient collaboration between EMyth’s and Rocket Lift’s developer teams.
  • Testing updates in an isolated staging site prevented interruptions in emyth.com’s functionality during development.

We streamlined emyth.com on an ongoing basis, saving time and money in the following ways:

  • We converted a CSS stylesheet with over 9,000 lines of code into a well-organized system of easily updatable SASS partials, compiled to dramatically fewer lines of CSS that loaded and rendered much faster.
  • We standardized and optimized custom WordPress code to reduce issues with third party plugins and make the site easier and more efficient to maintain and build on.
  • We set up a system to log in through the marketing front-end (WordPress) directly to a separate e-learning application built with Ruby on Rails.
  • We reduced the number of plugins they rely on by combining functionality and replacing complicated systems with simpler solutions. There are fewer plugins to maintain and update.
  • We simplified EMyth’s custom interface for publishing posts, so the experience of using WordPress to run the site is more faster and more intuitive.
  • We restructured URLs of business coach profiles (a custom post type) to improve SEO, replacing a complex integration to track referrals in a CRM with a simpler, standardized approach.

Looking Back on an Empowering Partnership

At Rocket Lift, we aim to serve our clients by leveraging their own resources with ours, propelling them further and making them better as a result of our collaboration.

It is easy to work create dependencies in consultant-client relationships, due to conflicts of interest in the consulting business model. But Rocket Lift’s goal is always to empower clients by building new capabilities in them, and avoiding creating a dependency relationship.

So after working together for a year and a half, when EMyth’s marketing goals drove their decision to grow their internal team and move Rocket Lift’s role in-house, we saw that as a successful outcome of our work with them: We were able to support them through a period of transition, work positively with them during a smooth wrap-up of our engagement, and look back on our partnership being proud that they were better off in the end than when we began.

Contact Rocket Lift about forming an ongoing development partnership to support your own technical needs. We look forward to hearing from you!