I’ve been working with MMG Publishing for the last couple of months on an entire rebuild of their online presence. This project was both fascinating (as it’s not something i would normally do) and challenging from a technology point of view, but thankfully the end result is proving to be a winner!
The project involved amalgamating articles from a number of their existing websites, all of which used different systems and had different ways of storing the article data. Before the site was even launched, it had over 3,900 article, correctly categorised and dated.
MMG are considered leaders in their industry for their print publications, and the team at MMG were really keen to achieve that same status on the web. The site was incredibly well planned and thought out by the team, and made my role a lot clearer.
Example content page
Everything about the site is manageable by the client. It features an incredibly sophisticated advert management system that enables them to show adverts based on categories, set advert weightings and even calculate the CPC of adverts if they wanted to.
Based on WordPress, the workflow for adding and managing content is as simple as it could be. Asset management (images, files etc) is handled by WordPress and services have been setup to automatically reduce file sizes of images and more. Keeping the site trim is half of the battle for keeping it fast!
Caching isn’t an option on this site due to the complexity of the advert system, so I looked at other routes to improve loading times. All the images used in the theme have been smushed, and CSS has been minified dynamically and cached on the fly. The theme itself has been adjusted to use less database calls than most, and the optimisation efforts shaved a whopping 5 seconds off the original load time. Not bad going, but i’m continuing to look at ways to improve load times.
Following launch I submitted their sitemap to Google and awaiting
patiently to see how soon it would index and then include the site into their database. Google correctly found all 4000+ pages and within three days over 3000 of those had been included in Google’s index.
I’ve really enjoyed this project. It’s provided plenty of challenges but I’m over the moon with the end result, and so is the client! Look forward to seeing this site develop over time!