Print publishers often find themselves in the position of having to evolve or face extinction.
When we first met with award-winning multi-platform publisher AL DÍA News Media, this was certainly the case. Their existing editorial approach focused exclusively on providing local Latino news primarily in Spanish — a strategy that we agreed would not carry them into the future, from an online traffic and revenue perspective.
An extensive website content inventory and user behavior and analytics review revealed two surprising facts: The first was that more than half of their current visitors were bilingual and using browsers that were set to English, and the second was that the vast majority of visitors were coming from outside of the local demographic (nearly half of them from outside of the country!). What’s more, their users demonstrated a strong interest and appreciation for articles offering an opinion-based Latino perspective on politics and economics. This was good news for the client because they weren’t in a position to provide “breaking” news in the current marketplace.
Armed with this knowledge, we uncovered the untapped potential for a larger audience and advertising stream by repositioning this local news site as a national news platform. We were pleased to collaborate on creating the groundbreaking new website, ALDÍANews.com, the first national news outlet offering fully bilingual content, with all navigation and features equally accessible in both Spanish and English at the click of a toggle. With a broader focus on politics, business, culture, opinion, media, and technology news affecting the Latino community on a national scale, the new responsive site allows readers to quickly and easily choose the language in which they want to view a wide array of content and features.
Above all else, our approach to this project focused on the simplicity and usability of features and presentation of content. And while we feel that the engaging design speaks for itself, it’s really what’s behind the scenes that makes this site a standout. This project marked the first time we mixed Drupal on the back end with AngularJS on the front end — a combination that resulted in a lightning-fast, smooth, and intuitive user experience.
Once we developed a plan for migrating almost 70,000 pieces of content from their old, Joomla-based website, we engaged AL DÍA’s content team in extensive discussions about how to provide ongoing content in both English and Spanish and how to treat articles that didn't yet have translations. Ultimately, they committed to manually translating articles, as appropriate — an impressive but necessary undertaking for creating a truly multilingual site.
The AL DÍA content team is now able to easily upload rich content while maintaining a fairly complex set of editorial workflow requirements. The homepage, menus, and topic pages can be easily modified to present very unique sets of content, as needed, but in a way that feels very natural and expected to the end user.
Last, but not least, we combined the Drupal SimpleAds module with some custom coding to allow AL DÍA and its advertisers to tie online ads to specific sections, topics, or geographies — making them both more effective and less intrusive at the same time.
In the end, we were very pleased with how open AL DÍA was to rethinking and redefining their brand through the process of redesigning this site. In short order post-launch, a comparison of their current pageviews showed an increase of more than double when compared with the same month in the prior year.