The beginning of something new
DIG was at the start of a new chapter in their existence, the magazine was finishing in its printed form and the founder and chief editor Will wanted to focus on their digital presence. The problem was that their current system was built on Wordpress and was pretty much the same as their competitors, it didn’t really enable them to do anything different. DIG wanted to carry through the type of mature journalism and photography that made the magazine a success in the BMX community.
Transferring the ethos of DIG online
Working closely with Luke Godson from Stated, who is lead designer on the print magazine, we proposed developing the website around rich content with in-depth feature articles and photography. Video was also a huge consideration, and making the experience of adding and viewing new videos easy would be crucial to its success.
Making it work
The concept was simple but the reality of making it work was very different. Content management systems (CMS’s) are limited, popular solutions like Wordpress and Drupal are great for blogs but when it comes to unique, modular layouts of content like videos, text, quotations and photographs they fall over. We needed a flexible system which was robust, highly configurable and could build the content in a modular format within the CMS. Enter Craft, a new addition to the marketplace which ticked all of these boxes.
Managing the content
With Craft we were able to do the ‘Holy Grail’ in web content management, remove the need for a WYSIWYG editor whilst still providing flexibility and control to the client when creating content. With Craft we were able to design the modules on the back-end to take on very specific styles on the front-end, the client can add these modules in whatever order they wish and eveything gets rendered on the front-end just as we intended it to look.
“It really has been so easy for us to create magazine style articles, we feel we have even more control than ever before and can make articles look and feel very different.”
Engineering a fully responsive suite of templates for presenting the content
DIG has a young audience, over 50% view the site on a smartphone, so it was essential that we target this market first. We engineered a mobile-first approach which enabled us to optimise the site for mobile and build it up from this point into a full desktop experience. To keep performance quick we delivered assets according to the screensize, lazy loaded all images on the longer pages and implemented a robust cache system for content stored in the database.
DIG launched to a fanfare of praise within the BMX community, finally there was a mature publication which presented well-written and illustrated articles on the subject. What makes the site most successful though is the commitment to adding and managing the content from the DIG team, the Craft system has made this process much easier and more enjoyable for them.Visit Dig BMX