Coming out of stealth mode is a big leap for any start-up. It was even more so for Space Nation. Renamed, rebranded and suddenly expecting to cope with a monthly load of 30 million visitors, the old company web presence was not only technologically inadequate, but also telling the wrong things. It had to be replaced with a brand new spacenation.org that would have to meet a whole new set of goals: massive increase in user numbers, top-of-the-line visual design, content that would be constantly updated and increasing, the ability to stream videos and promoting mobile applications. Last-minute adjustments to the overall Space Nation vision and brand posed an additional challenge, as they forced the developers to respond to shifts in tone, focus and goals with little or no advance warning.
The solution was to attack the problem with a pincer movement. On one hand, there was a robust team with proven experience, professionalism and initiative. On the other, there was a technological solution of using WordPress platform hosted by Wpengine, so there would be very little maintenance and the system would scale to match the user count. The first version of the website was out in a couple of weeks but as the brand and target group became more defined, the content and appearance underwent several makeovers. Despite much of this coming as a surprise, it never became a problem as the website had been designed to be modular and reusable from the beginning according to our principles with design systems. Also, various improvements were made regarding Search Engine Optimization and analytics, enabling Space Nation to reach much higher rankings on Google.
Space Nation considers the project a success but points out that it will continue indefinitely as the web reflects the continually updating and improving nature of the business. Iikka Winter and Anni Muukkonen from Space Nation also gave the web development team from Nordcloud top marks, especially regarding their agility with the changing focus and vision. In addition to the actual website, the Nordcloud team helped create one of the main products of Space Nation, the web-based journal Space Nation Orbit (orbit.spacenation.org). By now, SN Orbit has close to 70 articles and the number is increasing almost daily. The journal and the website are closely linked.