FreeFashionInternships.com was launched in 2007 and has since stayed an industry-leading source of fashion internships. Thousands of visitors access the site every month to find and apply to a variety of internships from production to managerial for boutique and national fashion brands alike. The founder came to us with the desire to upgrade the functionality and front-end user experience, elevate the brand, and improve the back-end management feeatures for the site. She had struggled with her previous development team and getting timely updates and fixes, so it was very important that she work with a team that both came up with cutting-edge ideas, and was extremely dependable and responsive.
There were multiple challenges on this project - from the sheer amount of data migrated (tens of thousands of users and old internships) to the necessary features required for both user roles to the custom management tools necessary for the founder to successfully manage and market her growing site. A big challenge whenever building an existing website or application from the ground-up is the need to include, and improve on, all of the previous site functionality. This can be a big challenge when moving to an entirely new platform.
The result of this project is a beautiful, new progressive web application that gives the site owner complete control over content, pricing, users, and marketing. The site takes advantage of modern browser capabilities to provide a modern and intuitive experience for both interns and growing fashion brands. The goal of the redesign was to increase income from the site, and we've taken big steps towards making that happen. 6 months after launch the client reported having increased sales on the new site over 50% compared to the prior year.
The old platform had thousands of users from years of usage, we needed to make sure we were keeping the new platform as light as possible, without losing valuable data. We decided to import all active users who had accessed the site in the last 2 years, still an undertaking of a few hours since that was about 50k accounts. We were able to bring over the internships that were paid to be featured on the old site, as well as 500 internships that had been posted in the last few months so that the site wasn't starting from zero.
We created two different user types - Interns and Employers- and a new Dashboard feature, customized to the user type. Interns are able to manage resumes and cover letters, as well as the internships they've applied to - while Employers can manage all applications, and the internships that are posted or inactive. The user interface of both views is easy to use, but comprehensive in the information it provides.
One of our main goals for this site upgrade was to ensure that our client increased the profit she was making off of the site. We were looking to create a site that was mostly hands-off for her to manage, but would result in an ever-increasing stream of revenue. We integrated PayPal with her system, and found new ways to upsell purchases for her users.
This site has a custom reporting view, allowing the client to see the sign up trends for both companies, and interns. We will be building out the custom functionality of this piece in the future, and the sky is the limit on what information she will be able to access.
Building this site in Drupal 8 was challenging, but it allowed us to give the client the power to edit all users and data that appears on the site. Because of the massive user base that the client is handling, she needed to be able to have full oversight into and power over what content was being posted on her site, and what users were accessing that. We were able to give her full control, so she can manage as much or as little as needed.
Was just looking through reporting and we finally beat revenue figures from 2017. We increased revenue by 50% in June and July in comparison to 2017! I know you mainly hear from clients (me) when something wrong. Thank you for being a great partner.
Carla Carstens | Founder
We built out a custom template, and automatic email that goes out weekly to all interns, highlighting new internships that have been posted over the preceding week. We gave the client full control over the internships that are listed on this email, a new spot to upsell featured internships, and use Drupal to automatically send out the weekly digest email to 28k interns. We also built out an unsubscribe feature for the recipients, and gave the client the ability to unsubscribe people as necessary.
In order to keep out bots and prevent interns from signing up multiple times to access the 'free with tweet' function repeatedly, we built out an integration with Twilio to implement SMS verification. Previously, the integration was with Facebook, but in order to preserve privacy and get around interns who are unwilling to sign up because of the Facebook connection, we switched to having an SMS verification path. We were able to tweak this to allow for both US and European numbers, and built in a number of safeguards to improve any confusion and hangups as interns were using it.