WLR is Ireland's Local Radio Station of the Year for the second year running. Each day 50% of all adults living in Waterford City and County listen to WLR, while each week 69% of all adults listen to their local station. The station is managed by a committed team who along with a talented group of producers and broadcasters share a real passion for radio and for Waterford. Shows like The Big Breakfast Blaa, Damien Tiernan's Déise Today, Geoff Harris on The Lunchbox and Rick Whelan's Here's Ricky command a huge audience locally.
For news and sport WLR prides itself on being first for Waterford's news and its very rare that the station is beaten to a story, on air or online.
The team from WLR first approached us about our Publisher Plus platform in Summer 2021, they were looking to do a refresh of their platform. The WLR team were looking for a partner with specific experience and expertise in the publishing and radio sector with proven results.
With a very tight deadline, they needed to be fully confident in the ability of their platform to deliver for their clients and users. 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, 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.
As with all Publisher Plus projects, we began with a number of design and scoping sessions with various people from the WLR team - working on wireframes, user flows and layouts. We then set about to rebuild the site using modern tooling. This rebuild effort meant that we could significantly reduce the size of pages being delivered, making the new site considerably 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.
Being a radio station, audio content is very much core to everything they create. Our approach to the new site was to put audio to the forefront. The fully integrated audio player allows the site visitor to listen to an uninterrupted live audio stream or playback a podcast while still browsing through the pages of the website.
With such a tight deadline on this project, communication was key. We worked hand-in-glove with the WLR 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 WLR team were happy to take our lead on suggestions around implementation and process improvements.
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! Page load times have been reduced by a little over 50%.
Across the site, changes to the way advertising is delivered have given much greater targeting capabilities, with significantly-improved viewability figures. This delivers a great benefit to their advertisers, while being focused on respecting the consent of site visitors.
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 WLR.
We have plans to suit all publishers whether you're a national broadcaster or an individual blogger.