CNT had a website built on Drupal 6. It did not receive the page views that the team wanted because of issues related to SEO. Because of this and security issues, the CNT team wanted to upgrade the website to Drupal 7. At the same time they wanted a new design to be implemented that would be mobile friendly as well as enable flexible and state-of-the-art digital advertising options.
Conde Nast India, the company that owns CNT and other media brands such as Vogue India, Architectural Digest AD India and GQ India, had contracted Srijan for the Vogue India website earlier and were thrilled with the engagement because of Srijan’s domain knowledge and method of engagement.
Srijan was contracted to handle this project of migration to Drupal 7 as well as implementing the new design for the website. This also involved integration with ad networks, enabling the right rendering for mobile formats and custom development to enable new advertising options via Drupal. Srijan followed the agile methodology for this development.
Srijan’s team worked as a thought partner for CNT and gave valuable inputs to them during the course of the development. The CNT team developed the designs for the online and mobile formats. Srijan reviewed these designs and recommended changes that would enable resue of modules for later projects that the team wanted to implement. Srijan gave inputs to bring in consistency in user experience across devices.
Srijan also recommended changes in areas that industry best practices could be implemented on the CNT website.
The website is responsive and mobile friendly thus ensuring that CNT’s growing mobile readership and ad revenues get a further boost. Srijan ensured that the site would not only render very well on various screen sizes, but also on non-standard sizes as well.
Features to help the editorial team
With the earlier implementation, the CNT editorial team needed to create 4-5 versions of the same story so that it could be published on different pages, or go for syndication. Srijan enabled the process to let them do this with one version using nodequeue.
With new content types introduced, the editors can now bundle content under one topic or theme and easily promote it without having to disturb the main menu, or depend on the tech team to implement it.
New features to improve reader engagement
The redesign of the website was to increase reader traffic and engagement. The new site has a new, trendy tiled layout using large images.
Readers now now only get the option to share a link, but also images and even quotes from a story. And if they find a story through a listing, they can share it right from the listing and don’t even have to click to the story page.
An array of advertising options
Ad management was a key requirement of CNT. The CNT team needed various options to serve ads depending on the kind of content being consumed by readers online.
- Srijan customized Drupal to work with Doubleclick for Publishers, the ad-serving platform used by CNT.
- CNT wanted parallax ads to be implemented. Parallax scrolling creates an illusion of depth in a 2D environment, thus giving a different user experience.
- Another requirement was to have overlay graphics to promote ads and content. These are served to a visitor only once in 24 hours. The visitor can thus see the message or ad without considering it an annoyance.
- CNT also wanted to have themes around topics which would essentially work as tags on a website. Themes aggregate all the content of a topic on one page. Having content presented as themes as well as a separate page enables CNT to serve different ads to the same page.
- CNT also now has a tile takeover ad option, that allows ads to appear as a small graphic and takeover more space fluidly on click or mouseover.
- The website now has an option to create a home-page like page for sponsors who might want to get associated with specific content and have only their ads on display on that page.
- Multiple pageviews on a slideshow are enabled to get see better impressions for ads.
Migration without changing old URLs
Usually a Drupal 6 to D7 migration is fairly simple if it does not involve a structure change. In this project, a structure change was needed to enable improved taxonomy and creation of content types.
Another challenge was to maintain the existing URLs so that visitors who may have bookmarked the site would not end up with missing content. Srijan wrote scripts to enable automatic redirects to the right pages on the new website.
The images on the old website had captions in various formats. Srijan migrated them to the new website as well. The new website has a specific field for this now to ensure consistency.
The new Drupal 7 website is hosted on Acquia Cloud.
- Ensured proper migration of stories and related elements: Despite the migration from D6 to D7 being challenging because of change in web structure, Srijan ensured all the content was migrated properly.
- Improved productivity of online editorial team: The team can publish a story just once, and then assign it to appear on various pages or for syndication easily. They don’t have to create multiple versions any more. This also works out better for search engine optimization for the CNT website.
- Design and features to engage the reader: With a new, trendy layout that renders beautifully on mobile screens, options to share content in various ways, and ability to view related content in one place, the reader will find the site engaging. Initial reports indicate a significant rise in page views.
- Many advertising options: Srijan has customized Drupal 7 to enable various advertising options that render very well on mobile devices as well. Advertisers can now opt for innovative ad formats on the website to interact with the reader.
- Srijan as a thought partner of CNT: Over the course of the project, Srijan worked closely with CNT as a thought partner giving valuable inputs on business, design and development that were incorporated.