Faster publishing for enterprise brands
Improving operational efficiency is a constant challenge for many enterprise organisations, however the rewards can be transformative. By refining everyday processes to free up time, cut costs and save resources, businesses can focus much more effort and investment on broader strategic goals.
For brands that regularly create digital content, one of the biggest day-to-day drains can be a dated and cumbersome publishing system, holding back editorial teams in a myriad of small but significant ways that delay posts by hours (sometimes even days).
As an experienced enterprise WordPress agency, this is an issue we see fairly often, however by leveraging the power of WordPress and focusing on five central areas for improvement, we can empower organisations to publish at record speeds.
One of the most effective ways to speed up the publishing process is to trim down – or even eliminate – clunky and needlessly complicated workflows. At Big Bite, we achieve this through a tried and tested process of discovery, design, and implementation, where we gain a deep understanding of exactly how our clients create and publish content, and then develop streamlined paths to deliver the same outcomes with considerably fewer steps.
Much of this approach is possible thanks to the WordPress block editor, which has revolutionised how teams can put together pages and posts. By using it to build suites of reusable, brand-compliant components for each of the organisations that we work with, we dramatically simplify the self-publishing process for non-technical users, and enable editorial and marketing teams to publish on-brand content in rapid timeframes.
Notable brands reaping the benefits of faster workflows include The Sun, which reported an impressive 60% improvement in time to publish after it switched across to the WordPress block editor, and MarketWatch, which can now publish breaking updates in seconds via its custom Pulse feature. We rebuilt the functionality on behalf of the financial website after it moved across to WordPress, allowing its content teams to immediately publish news snippets – such as dramatically rising or falling share prices – directly via the CMS dashboard, with the option to easily expand on posted stories at a later time.
Gutenberg enables our editorial teams to interact with content in a much more visual way, which simplifies and speeds up the publishing process while also reducing dependency on our technical departments. We also find that it facilitates collaboration better than any platform we’ve previously used, and by working closely with Big Bite, we can easily extend its functionality to suit our exact requirements and work patterns.Luke Sikkema, Digital Product Manager, The Times
Reducing reliance on other departments and third-party resources can also tighten up the content creation process, and carefully designed functionality is an ideal way to facilitate this. On behalf of the New York Post, we recently created two plugins – Collage Creator and Liveblog – with that clear objective, and both have delivered the desired results.
Collage Creator empowers editorial teams to easily create custom imagery for articles from directly within the organisation’s WordPress CMS, removing the need to enlist support from photo desks and thereby saving a considerable amount of time. The Liveblog plugin, which is one of the first of its kind on the WordPress platform, enables editorial teams to publish news snippets in a real-time feed format with zero involvement from technical teams.
In addition to custom plugins and functionality, we’ve also found that the user-friendly interface of the WordPress block editor can have a major impact on time to publish metrics. Working in close collaboration with the Octopus Group, we developed a core WordPress theme and admin panel that allows non-technical teams across the company to produce their own web pages in just a matter of days – significantly quicker than ever before – and make daily updates and changes where needed. Even minor additions can have a positive impact, and in instances where teams have heavily relied on outside tech resources, we’ve improved the average time to publish by as much as 400%.
The new Octopus WordPress theme has revolutionised the way our business functions on a daily basis, particularly our marketing and content teams. The WordPress block editor allows us to react to new business needs very quickly, and productivity among our teams has increased massively.Mona Steininger, Head of Digital, Octopus Group
Making it easier for teams to collaborate and share resources is another key part of our approach to improve efficiency, as demonstrated by the Editorial Notes feature that we developed for The Wall Street Journal. By enabling writers and editors to directly add, edit, reply to or delete comments against articles within the publication’s WordPress CMS, the functionality eliminates the need for teams to highlight and discuss changes outside of the system, saving a sizable amount of time each day.
Centralised resources such as the custom media library that we built for IDG – the world’s leading tech media company – also make it much faster and easier for teams to find or distribute required assets. Created with a React-based UI, the library brings together a vast number of images and videos within the organisation’s WordPress setup, and features a powerful search and filtering system.
IDG’s portfolio of brands spans digital, video, events and print in 97 countries – some of its best known publications include Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive, which have millions of readers worldwide.
Building once, using often
One of the main advantages of the WordPress block editor is that it enables us to develop custom themes with reusable components that our clients can use within any post, page or site within their network. By creating a framework of predefined blocks and patterns that adhere to existing brand guidelines, we not only ensure visual consistency across all online content, we also enable non-technical teams to quickly and easily create posts, dramatically speeding up the publishing process.
We took this approach when appointed by Amnesty International to enable the organisation to establish a universal publishing process, and meet the increasing demands of publishing numerous websites, microsites and website rebuilds across all of its global hubs. By building a WordPress multisite network and user-friendly core theme – which we scaled for use in over 50 countries – Amnesty’s worldwide teams are now able to populate predefined content blocks with text, links and images to easily create and publish web pages and sites with a unified brand identity. The theme is now being used across more than 30 sites, and also since been released as an open-source tool – Benenson – allowing the wider Amnesty International and WordPress communities to utilise it.
Widely recognised as the world’s leading human rights organisation, Amnesty International is a global movement of over 10 million people who are working together to fight abuses of human rights through detailed research, determined lobbying, and powerful campaigns.
Despite the recent hype, we’re still a long way off from relying on AI to create high quality content, however technology can automate a lot of the more mundane tasks involved in publishing, further shaving time off the overall process. Smart integrations are a great example, particularly those that retrieve a huge amount of useful data at the push of a button, such as the vehicle finder tool on Gumtree Cars.
Built on a WordPress ecosystem that we developed for the Gumtree brand, the cars content hub provides its readers with a unique page for each make and model, including detailed vehicle specs, to ensure its users have all the info they need to make a purchasing decision. To achieve this manually would’ve taken an astronomical number of hours from its editorial teams, and would be extremely difficult to maintain, so we took an API-approach to resolve the challenge. By merging and integrating two APIs into WordPress, we were able to bring together a vast amount of car specifications and make the data instantly accessible to Gumtree’s end users. Now, when users search for a particular car make and model on the hub, they’re presented with a page that includes a huge array of vehicle info including fuel type, engine capacity, and boot dimensions, all neatly displayed in a concise table.
Via the WordPress REST API, it’s possible to link the platform with near-endless sources of live data, enabling editorial teams to instantly embed informative, illustrative, and accurate information within articles in predefined layouts consistent with an enterprise organisation’s brand identity. As a result, non-technical teams can use a range of user-friendly drop-down options to generate data-rich content – including anything from league tables to performance statistics – within seconds.
“Thanks to the enterprise WordPress ecosystem that Big Bite developed using Gutenberg, our non-technical teams can now self-build and self-publish content, which has not only resulted in an incredible improvement to our publishing speed, but also saved resources from other departments. Prior to working with Big Bite, on average it took us around four hours to publish an article – today it takes less than five minutes.”Hannah Rouch, Chief Marketing Officer, Gumtree
Looking to speed up your digital publishing workflows? Get in touch to find out how Big Bite, a leading enterprise WordPress agency, can help you leverage the power of the world’s number one CMS.