Transforming 1851 Franchise for Optimal Performance and Scalability

1851 Franchise, a premier franchise publication platform, was grappling with significant technical challenges due to its legacy Yii2-based system. With a repository of 20,000 stories and attracting nearly 500,000 visits per month, the platform struggled with performance, stability, and customization issues. This case study details our strategic approach to modernizing 1851 Franchise, focusing on an incremental migration to a modern, scalable architecture.

 1851 franchise

Brief Description:

A comprehensive franchise promotion platform that allows users to write and publish articles, and run promotional campaigns on social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and X (formerly Twitter). The platform also provides detailed traffic reports to brands.

Modernizing 1851 Franchise


  1. Suboptimal Database Design:
     The existing database structure was inefficient, leading to performance bottlenecks.
  2. System Stability Issues:
     Frequent downtimes and crashes affected user experience and trust.
  3. Customization Difficulties:
     The monolithic architecture made it cumbersome to implement new features or modify existing ones.
  4. Inefficient Content Management:
     Managing and promoting content was a complex and time-consuming process.

Project Information


Hello Mainland


Philadelphia, United States

Project duration:

From 2019

Technologies used:

Nextjs, Nestjs



We proposed a phased, incremental migration strategy to transition 1851 Franchise to a modern, future-proof stack. Our approach included:

  1. Microservices Architecture:
    • Decomposition:
       We broke down the monolithic application into smaller, independent microservices. This modular approach enhanced scalability and maintainability.
    • Independent Deployment: 
      Each microservice could be deployed independently, reducing the risk of system-wide failures.
  2. Domain-Driven Design (DDD):
    • Alignment with Business Domain:
       By applying DDD principles, we ensured the system architecture closely mirrored the business processes and concepts, facilitating easier understanding and evolution.
  3. Content Modeling:
    • Structured Content Management:
       We implemented a robust content modeling strategy to effectively organize and manage the extensive content, improving retrieval and promotion efficiency.
  4. Headless Design:
    • Decoupled Frontend and Backend:
       By adopting a headless CMS approach, we separated the frontend from the backend, allowing for greater flexibility in UI/UX design.
    • Dynamic UI Customization:
       This design enabled 1851 Franchise to easily update and customize the user interface and themes without disrupting backend operations.


The transformation yielded significant improvements across multiple dimensions:

  1. Enhanced Performance:
    • The platform now efficiently handles high traffic volumes, ensuring a seamless user experience.
  2. Improved SEO Rankings:
    • Optimized content structure and faster load times resulted in higher search engine rankings, boosting organic traffic.
  3. Flexible UI Customization:
    • The headless design allowed for rapid and easy customization of the user interface, keeping the platform visually appealing and user-friendly.
  4. Scalability and Extensibility:
    • The microservices architecture made it simpler to add new features and scale specific parts of the system as needed.

Key Achievements:

  • Brand-Specific Portals: 
    Developed new portals tailored exclusively for brands.
  • Supplier Database:
     Created a comprehensive database to streamline vendor management.
  • Frontend Revamp:
     Overhauled the frontend for an improved user experience.
  • Core Web Vitals:
     Enhanced the site’s Core Web Vitals, leading to better performance and user engagement.
  • Unified Codebase:
     Successfully running four publications on a common codebase, reducing maintenance efforts and operational costs.


Through a strategic incremental migration, leveraging microservices, Domain-Driven Design, and content modeling, we successfully modernized the 1851 Franchise platform. The new system not only meets current performance and scalability needs but also positions 1851 Franchise for future growth and innovation. This transformation has empowered 1851 Franchise to deliver exceptional value to its users and brands, ensuring sustained success in the competitive franchise promotion landscape.