How we redesigned a portfolio of magazine websites

NewBay Media is the leading publisher of business magazines, websites and events within the entertainment, technology and leisure markets

TVBE
PSNE
Installation

The Brief

NewBay Media is the leading publisher of business magazines, websites and events within the entertainment, technology and leisure markets.

Their magazine websites were expensive and hard to manage. They wanted to replace their Liferay (CMS) sites and ship in some shiny WordPress. And when you need WordPress, there’s only one option: Moove Agency!

The (A) Team

Team

Build Aims

  • Primary Goals
  • Reflect current journalistic site developments
  • Fewer sub-sections
  • Compelling advertising
  • Common development so that new code can be re-used across the entire portfolio of sites
  • Build flexibility for the Administrator
  • Secondary Goals
  • Increase user detail capture
  • Increase newsletter sign-ups
  • Improved ranking
  • Rugged/effective SEO
  • Increased visits and page views

Building the website

The magazine sites needed to turn the page. Using every superpower under the sun, we developed advanced interactive prototypes to enhance the UX research and analysis process. The end result was an intuitive website as modern as a microchip, yet more human than a John Lewis ad (Just less tearful).

Look & Feel

Our first website had to work as a template to create two other sister sites. And so we crafted the look and feel across all three sites so uniform - it was like the Changing of the Guard. Delivering WordPress CMS as flexible as a rhythmic gymnast helped fulfil all the functionality requirements across all three sites.

Palette Colour

At Moove, we love unique challenges. When we realised that all three sites use the colour blue, we got sore hands from high-fiving. In the end, we decided to work with different shades of blue that complement the colour in the sites’ logos.

Pallete

Fonts

Looking great is one thing, but you have to make sense, too. That means being readable, especially as the website is chock-full of rich content. We chose fonts that improve the reading experience, that provide hi-tech visuals and that look great together.

Fonts

Custom Color Skin

With all the widgets, CTAs, fonts and icons following accurate colour palettes that come from the logo, we built a website that’s consistent, corporate and colourful.

Custom color skin

Responsive Web Design

We built the sites using a hybrid responsive framework. This complements the site-wide ads system and custom widget look that works nicely with tablet and mobile devices.

Responsive

WordPress

As the fastest-growing CMS on the planet, expectations have always been high for WordPress and they have consistently been exceeded. If you have a news/blog website you'd be crazy to look anywhere else!

Realtime search for posts

Ad management system

We applied this to any place in the CMS where administrators can search for stories manually. If a site has thousands of stories, the manual selection method has to be as simple and intuitive as possible.

To make finding the needle in the haystack quick and easy, we implemented a real-time search for posts where you type just the first couple of letters of the story and the results show below (just like Google).

Import script from custom CMS Brightcove integration

Brightcove integration

Ad management system

The client wanted to integrate videos hosted on Brightcove, but we noticed that the WP plugin created by Brightcove had a tendency to throw its toys out of the pram.

After we told it off, we decided to install and modify it so it worked better. Playlists and video posts had to be displayed at different sizes and optimized for mobile devices, so we implemented custom code to further improve the basic capabilities of the Brightcove plugin and video player. Job done.

Realtime search for posts Adestra Integration

Adestra integration

Ad management system

NewBay Media wanted subscriptions to be handled via the Adestra service. The curve ball was that they wanted the same form to post information in the CMS database too and have the possibility to export that data through downloading a CSV file.

Through advanced digital wizardry, our development team found a usable workaround. While we were in there, we also installed a honeypot (not a real one) to permanently stop spam.

Brightcove integration Ad management system

Import script from custom CMS

Ad management system

Ever heard of Liferay? It’s like the dinosaur of CMS and it’s where all the old NewBay Media sites were installed. It was tough to use and all the content had to be imported to the new WordPress websites. Since we didn’t have a spare decade to import the tens of thousands of news articles manually, we had to automate this process.

Not complicated enough? How about a different category structure for the new sites? We used a custom script created by the development team, with additional scripts developed to pull image content from the site completing the process. Degree of difficulty: 9.9. Client satisfaction: ten out of ten.

Ad management system Realtime search for posts
Tim Frost - Digital Manager
Intent Media - NewBay Media Company

Key Deliverables

Website design / Art direction
Content management system (WordPress) / Website optimisation for mobile devices
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