Case Study

Unlocking Power and Efficiency for News Corp Australia

Photo of subway-type train with NewsCorp Australia wrap ad. Text reads, "Get on board. Have you read the news today?"
News Corp Australia and XWP logos

News Corp Australia is Australia’s largest media company. Each month, over 7 million Australians consume news and information from the publisher’s digital brands. News Corp Australia operates 170 newspaper and magazine titles, which is nearly three-quarters of all daily metropolitan newspaper circulation in Australia. Together, these channels form the country’s biggest mobile news network, which also includes an extensive portfolio of mobile and tablet apps.

VIP has partnered with News Corp Australia since 2014, when the media giant undertook a migration of all its properties to WordPress and the VIP managed platform. Today, VIP supports over forty sites for News Corp Australia, including flagship brands The Australian, News.com.au, Vogue.com.au, and The Daily Telegraph. This case study documents the story of that initial migration, led by agency partner XWP.

Highlights:

  • Initial large-scale migration consolidating 15 sites and 90+ brands
  • 40x improvement in time to publish
  • Streamlined development workflow and toolset
  • New “Site Build” experience leading to 50% reduction in build time
  • Contributed Contextual Settings feature to the WordPress open source project
The Challenge

Multiple platforms
hampered growth

In 2014, News Corp Australia was grappling with ongoing development, maintenance, and administration challenges related to their existing publishing platforms.

With more than 90 major news, sports, business, and lifestyle brands spread across a wide range of platforms, their team suffered from inefficient workflows which hindered their growth. To position themselves for continued success, they needed a flexible enterprise-level digital publishing solution with the power to scale.

“Some of our goals with the migration were to improve workflow efficiencies, empower site producers to make changes with a full preview of their impact, and cut the time it takes to build out a section of the site from days to hours.”

Weston Ruter, CTO at XWP
The Solution

A clear path
to publishing

VIP worked with partner agency XWP on a yearlong migration of 15 major web properties to WordPress. Thus began one of the most significant technical undertakings in the company’s history. The size, scale, and complexity of the News Corp Australia migration were unlike any of its kind to date.

To bring all the brands to a single platform, XWP simplified the sites’ overall anatomy by consolidating several markup languages from the existing web properties into a single structure. This consolidation improved the sites’ performance and shortened the learning curve for News Corp Australia’s internal development team.

Incorporating a core suite of trusted plugins and custom publishing tools deepened the production team’s capability to create, without having to call on IT for technical support. This enhanced editorial workflow not only made the publishing process smoother but significantly reduced operational expenses.

The Results

As a result of the migration and replatforming, the organization gained:

  • 40x improvement in time to publish.
  • An agile platform that integrates seamlessly with internal systems.
  • A dramatic reduction in the time and cost required to update each web property.
  • Ability to better serve both its readers and advertisers.

Since launching with VIP, News Corp Australia has continued to grow their digital publishing offerings, now hosting 40+ sites with VIP, and launching new assets on a regular basis. They take advantage of over 50 custom plugins, which integrate WordPress with their broader systems architecture. They’ve built a highly skilled team of in-house developers who work closely with VIP every day to maintain and advance their publishing platform in the ever-changing and evolving WordPress ecosystem.

In many ways, this project allowed News Corp Australia to reinvent themselves and established a partnership to drive the evolution of the platform for years to come.

Want to read more? Get the full story of News Corp Australia’s migration to WordPress in a downloadable case study from XWP.

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