Building an Online Publication

newslineResults

  • The new Newsline website quickly brought domestic and international traffic
  • Increase is content posting from once a month to 5-7 times weekly
  • Integrated a number of new bloggers into the Newsline team to develop more content and deliver it faster to the market
  • Implemented a paid subscription model to increase revenues
  • Implemented a new advertisement model that significantly increased revenues
  • The new functionality on the site facilitated writers with video, audio and other medias to help make their articles come to life for the readers
  • Integration of over 20 years of content to facilitate researchers, students and historians

Business Need

For many years, Newsline had been using a standard HTML website for publishing its monthly periodical online. The standard HTML website only provided limited articles online for readers forcing them to purchase the printed magazine to read additional articles. Also, since the website was only updated on a monthly basis, many of the articles were no longer relevant to the news happening in Pakistan at the time of publication causing many people not to purchase the print publication. Additionally, due to resource constrains the website would be updated 10-15 days after the print publication was available on newsstands making the online publication more outdated.

In terms of the website itself, since it had not been changed since its first launch, functionality that was available on blogs and other news publication websites was not available. Additionally, the static HTML website did not allow for readers to take part in the articles through comments or discussion making the articles seem stagnant. Lastly, the existing website was not properly indexed with keywords so readers and other journalists were not able to find information easily limiting the usefulness of the site. From a revenue generation point of view, the existing website did not provide a large number of advertising opportunities, which limited the capital that could be used to improve the print and online publications.

Our Process

Taking a print publication and converting it to a strong online publication is not an easy task, because many items must be discovered and accounted for throughout the process so that key items are not omitted. The process started for Newsline with the emagine team understanding what they wanted to achieve with the switchover and what resources could be provided to assist in the process.

emagine broke the project down into the following steps:

  • Understand the content that was available on the existing Newsline website and how it was structured
  • Develop a list of materials that are currently available on the existing site so that we understood and planned for the volume of materials that would need to be incorporated into the new site
  • Review and tag all the existing content with searchable terms to facilitate easier access for researchers and readers
  • Prepare a design that would display the content and other materials in an easy to read format and provide access to other articles that relate to the topic
  • Define the organizational changes that would need to happen at Newsline to effectively run the online publication, including new staff members with specific skill sets
  • Suggest new content sections that could easily be supported online that would not be part of the print publication
  • Devise and implement a training regimen that would bring all staff members up-to-speed on how WordPress works and how the online publications would run
  • Define a methodology for video, external links and RSS integration into the new site
  • Identify both a free content and for pay content methodology to capitalize the site

Our Solution

emagine began the process by reviewing international news and publication websites to determine what sections and functionality were bringing the most readers and interaction. This research was required for us to best understand what needed to be and what could be done to improve the new Newsline website outside of what was already included in our process. From this research, we were able to develop a comprehensive list of functionalities and sections that drove traffic to international websites, while segmenting the functionalities based on how to implement them into the new site. This started the design process.

While the design process was ongoing, the emagine team began to review the content on the website and in the publication to develop training materials that would be used by the Newsline staff to tag and keyword the articles for searchability. This was one of the most crucial parts of the conversion as it would make the new Newsline website usability to visitors and researchers, allowing for capitalization opportunities.

Once the design and training was completed, the new design was uploaded to a test website where the new site could take shape, while limiting the access to management and staff only. The content transfer was begun simultaneously with the optimization and uploading of images to the media library. As each article was tagged, the relevant images were attached to the content so that editors and sub-editors could review them for final approval. When all the articles were added to the design, the website design was again tested to identify and eliminate flaws and errors.

All required functionality was either coded into the design or plugins were added from the WordPress library and tested to make sure that everything worked seamlessly and without error. Once testing was completed, the entire site was exported and prepared for upload to the live site.

Prior to the new website being taken live, a new domain was purchased along with hosting so that the new website would have reliable hosting and support. WordPress was deployed on the site along with the design and plugins prior to the content being imported. Since the size of the import was much larger than what WordPress can automatically manage, all the images were re-uploaded to the new site and each article was again checked for accuracy and image association.

Lastly, social media links were added along with integrating automatic posting to Facebook and Twitter. The RSS feeds were initiated and the new website was registered with various domestic and international blog aggregators to bring more traffic to the site.

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