Custom WordPress development for a global publishing powerhouse.
Fulfilling a shared vision to create a seamless editorial experience, allowing editors to be able to adapt and react to potential news stories and breaking news features.
With an array of prestigious publishing titles including The New York Post, The Times and The Wall Street Journal held under the News Corp brand, the team has ambitious plans in place to launch a suite of valuable newsroom tools on a common CMS technology stack, which will provide an additional level of efficiency and streamlined processes to each content team.
The initiative, named NewsPress, is set to increase the pace of technological innovation and amplify the return on global platform investments by allowing numerous editorial platforms to take advantage of the suite of plugins. Built through collaboration with numerous WordPress agencies from around the globe, NewsPress aims to create a seamless approach to writing, editing and promoting content articles across numerous websites including The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times.
We were approached to contribute towards, and build, a number of key features which would enable journalists at The Times and The Sunday Times to continue to innovate, produce and share cutting-edge content, which has been at the hallmark of News Corp since the company began.
Utilising predefined page structures
To further strengthen the editorial workflow, a new scaffolding tool pre-defines page layouts and web components depending on the type of content. This means that editors can simply select a predefined page structure which is set by internal editorial or management teams, depending on the subject or area of news, and craft news content around these blocks. Scaffolding differs from traditional Gutenberg templating by giving content writers and editors the flexibility to move and manipulate blocks, allowing a scaffold to provide a starting point or full structure to work with.
Increasing page views with related content
Following a number of discovery talks with content editors and management teams across News Corp, we put plans in place to develop additional features which would provide the editor with a detailed insight into article performance and analytics, allowing content creators to choose popular related articles and reuse them for their own articles based on real-time statistics. The related articles feature list is viewable on the same page as the multi-title support, and we’re currently working on further improvements to allow for articles to be suggested based on the title content and tags.
Supporting a digitial-first newsroom
One of the key goals of this project was to establish a common platform which allows staff and editors to be reactive to news stories, by streamlining and improving existing workflows. With this goal in mind, we developed a multi-title support plugin which allows editors to add and amend multiple selected titles with ease from a single post editor, including the main title, headline, sub heading and social title, or any other defined title. A simple character count indicator changes colour to illustrate the number of characters left in the title as part of the pre-flight checklist, and the content creator or approver cannot publish the article if it exceeds the count.
Creating a functional editing experience
Recognising the value of smooth editing experience to allow for teams to quickly react to breaking news, we incorporated a number of new plugins into the content production workflow. Numerous view modes can now be shown and collapsed, depending on the selection made, which allows an editor to control what is viewed, ultimately saving time when reviewing specific content along with the ability to amend an article whilst also showing previous revisions.
In addition, a single sign-on (SSO) plugin allows the team at News Corp to access multiple websites and applications with a single set of credentials, which not only minimises the risk of multiple password use but also increases productivity levels.
We continue to work with News Corp to further enhance the NewsPress suite of plugins, incorporating new technology to enable the team to seamlessly integrate a digital-first newsroom into the traditional print industry.