December 30, 2021 / Web/
One of my big projects throughout 2021 was the RadioInfo website redevelopment. This project saw us migrate two Drupal websites to three WordPress sites. It also provided an opportunity to make some big advancements around design, SEO, hosting, automation, and information architecture.
This was a special project for me, as I had been a reader and fan of the RadioInfo website since my early days in Community Radio. It would often be a place I would go to find out what was happening in this industry I wanted to be a part of, see the ratings, read thoughtful opinion pieces, and see the sorts of job ads that popped up.
When we started talking with Steve Ahern at RadioInfo back in late 2020, he provided us with an overview of his business and the websites. As Australia’s leading radio industry trade publisher, they had a sizeable requirement list.
We conducted an in-depth review process of the two current Drupal sites, and began to imagine a new WordPress solution. RadioInfo operated websites in Australia and Asia, as well as launching a new Africa site in 2021.
The existing Drupal sites had been around for quite a while, and needed a lot of unravelling to get the data into a structured format and also discover a lot of the existing business rules.
New Sites Build
We conducted the new build in a number of sprints across 2021, focusing at first on content migration and feature discovery, then design, and then the build out of each of the features.
We ran a tight ship on a very clean, new codebase and a tight list of third party plugins. There’s no fluff or bloat to slow this site down.
Gravity Forms formed the basis of Membership & Job Advertisements, allowing automated job post creation and user registration. This was a big part of the brief – to reduce the time spent manually administering these sections of the website.
We have an in-house banner advertising module which we adapted to RadioInfo’s ad unit requirements.
Cloudflare and AWS formed an important part of the site’s hosting and caching arrangement, allowing us to deliver fast page loads even when swamped with traffic as a big story breaks. While we utilise the off-the-shelf Cloudflare APO functionality, we also have some custom cache clearing logic to ensure the site stays fresh whenever it’s updated.
We built some custom RSS feeds to send the latest content to MailChimp, allowing very easy automation of their multiple daily newsletters.
The design was to be mobile-first, and went through a few iterations with the RadioInfo team as we honed in on their preferences for each component. Much like our Radio Websites Platform product, the site is very modular and built on the WordPress Block Editor. There are no hard-coded homepages on this site!
Due to having three regional sites, we launched RadioInfo Africa first, then RadioInfo Asia, and then finally RadioInfo Australia. This gave us a chance to iterate on each launch and refine the site as we went.
While I know this design won’t be winning any awards, it suited the budget and has got very positive feedback from a cross section of RadioInfo’s audience. I’ve been humbled to see some of the positive feedback from big industry names come through in the months since the launch.
We are proud to have the chance to work with RadioInfo on an ongoing basis now to continue to maintain, enhance and support the sites. This has included the onboarding of the RadioToday site through their recent merger, and other projects as they crop up.
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