Case Studies > is Ireland's premier breaking news website providing up to the minute news and sports reports. Mobile

The Client is Ireland's premier breaking news website providing up to the minute news and sports reports.

Part of the The Irish Times DAC, has been keeping it's readers in the loop for more than 12 years, with all sorts of news from politics to showbiz. Offering the lastest breaking news from Ireland and around the world, Ireland's most popular daily breaking news service. For news, views and fun stuff. Homepage

The Challenge

The team from first approached us about our Publisher Plus platform in early Summer 2020. They had experience rapid growth over the previous number of years and they were looking to do a refresh of their platform. The BreakingNews team were looking for a partner with specific experience and expertise in the publishing sector with proven results.

With a very tight deadline and an ever increasing audience, they needed to be fully confident in the ability of their platform to deliver for their clients. Having had issues with site stability, page speed and advertising delivery in the past, they needed a platform and a team they could trust. They needed experts who knew about the common advertising problems they faced - viewability, effective targeting, programmatic, reporting. They needed confidence that this project could be delivered at a critical time for their business, and give them the foundation to support their future growth plans. Article

The Strategy

We began the project with a series of design sessions - working on wireframes, user flows and layouts. We then set about to rebuild the website using modern tooling. The rebuild effort meant that we could significantly reduce the size of pages being delivered, making the new site significantly faster.

Our approach to the new site was to take our existing resilient and fast API, and focus on squeezing out as much performance as we could from the front end. We took an AMP-first approach to building the new sites. AMP is a framework backed by Google with the goal of delivering content faster to users. This faster delivery, as well as appearing in things like "latest stories" searches on mobile devices means that good AMP support is critical for online publishers. As it's a slightly different format of HTML, often AMP pages are like the poor relation of regular web pages, missing functionality and often content. Our goal here was to deliver wherever possible an AMP version of the site which was indistinguishable from the regular web version. This would mean a faster site, with less maintenance overhead as new features and updates become required down the line. Mobile

The Outcome

With a tight deadline on this project, communication was key. We worked hand-in-glove with the BreakingNews team, ensuring that everybody involved had a good view of the project status at all time. The trust built up during this process meant that the BreakingNews team were happy to take our lead on suggestions around AMP implementation, display ad system updates and process improvements to article management.

Our AMP-first approach meant that the AMP experience on the BreakingNews site is as good as the non-AMP version, while also delivering much faster page load speeds. These factors combined to significantly increase the BreakingNews sites' presence in Google search results. River

The Impact

Since launching the rebuilt site, there's been a significant change in site performance. Site stability is no longer an issue for the team, no matter how viral their articles go and page load times have been reduced by a little over 50%.

We're confident that these changes will continue to increase audience engagement and in turn bring about an increase in advertising revenue to the team at BreakingNews.

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