About the Client
ITP Media is a Middle East based magazine publishing company founded in 1987. The company publishes over 60 magazines in both Arabic and English with several key publications having online versions. The websites include arabianbusiness.com, ahlanlive.com, and masala.com for general audiences, as well as industry news websites such as ConstructionWeekOnline.com.
ITP was looking to move away from the proprietary CMS it was using to an Open Source publishing platform to run the magazine portals of ITP. The intended platform had to be as powerful as the proprietary CMS to use in terms of features, ease-of-use and intuitive editorial interfaces, ability to create new templates/ special pages on-the-fly, handling large volumes of content, scaling up seamlessly for traffic peaks just to mention a few.
The unanimous choice was Drupal.
Started in 2010, Unimity is a pure-play Drupal company. Over the years, it has strengthened its association by keeping pace with Drupal’s Ambitious Enterprise journey. Today, it is among the highly respected Drupal firms worldwide and has global clients that can vouch for their expertise.
Additionally, Unimity has worked with leading publishing houses in India and brings to the table the domain expertise and knowledge needed in developing solutions for large publishing businesses.
- Build a world-class platform that is scaled for significant traffic and subscriber growth.
- Use latest UI / UX to build engagement with the core readership to spend more time across their online properties
- State-of-the-art editorial features, facilitate ease of publishing
- Unified platform across their platforms to optimize technology & maintenance cost
- Quickly launch one of the sites in Drupal platform in a short turnaround time. The very first site was launched in 3 months
- Incrementally build features that get accrued to these sites.
- Build the platform as a Single code base to manage their different publications.
The Key highlights of the project include:
- Editorial features
- Content Migration
- Faceted Search
- Search Engine Optimization
Simplicity & Flexibility to the Editors was the most important goal for the Platform.
The key features included:
- Architecture & Inter-relationships
- Creation Interfaces
- Media & Picture Library
- Video embed capabilities
- Special pages & Microsites
- Editor Dashboard
- Workflow & Version Control
- Multi lingual content
On an average, each site had half a million content items, which included: articles, images, videos, link embeds and galleries. The migration exercise was carried forward in three stages :
- Planning: understanding existing structure of content & mapping it to the Drupal structure
- Execution: where the script to execute the content, create the interrelationships, manage the media resources are taken care of
- Synchronizing live content: as the sites were live, planned time with the editors to stop posting new content and execute migration closer to launch
There was a large volume of content, about half a million articles with lots of interesting information and Search enhances how a use can access these content. For the initial launch, Google custom search was used to manage the timeline. To make the search quick and powerful, Apache Solr was used. Faceted search was implemented, which further enhanced the way a user could drill down the search results.
Search Engine Optimizations
Reader acquisition is one of the important aspects of an online publishing platform. An SEO opens one of the main channels to facilitate the same. The site is optimized to include Page titles, meta tags and keywords, path alias, redirects and more.
Page load speed is a non-negotiable aspect of the user experience. Caching at the application level, infrastructure level, browser level, CDN were leverages to improve the performance of the pages. AMP was implemented for fast mobile pages.
The infrastructure was built on amazon to facilitate auto-scaling for peak traffic.
Result of Solutions provided by Unimity
Over the last 5 years of our association with ITP Media, the Unimity team has constantly added to the number of sites that we publish. Today, Unimity manages over 45 of their publishing platforms online and continue to maintain their platform, constantly enhancing it.
“Over the last 4 years, we have always visualized UniMity as an extension of our in-house technology team at ITP. While their responsiveness, availability and technical skills have been best-in-class, UniMity has also been an intelligent partner in understanding our business requirements and very flexible in scaling up resources quickly in line with whatever business demanded”
Group Digital Director
United Arab Emirates