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Physics World

Transforming Physics World from a legacy site into a digital publishing experience fit for the future

Since early 2017, 93digital are proud to have been the WordPress partner for the Institute of Physics Publishing. Whilst actively supporting and maintaining all WordPress installations with IOP Publishing, we have also delivered 3 standalone projects, including the full redesign and re-platforming of Physics World.

Physics World is regarded as IOP Publishing's flagship digital property. 93digital led the highly strategic project to take Physics World from an outdated, legacy-technology site that was over 12 years old, onto a whole new architecture built around WordPress to drive new subscribers, open up commercial opportunities and unlock business value.

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The old site was not mobile-responsive. There was a now outdated design, and the legacy technology was becoming progressively unstable, thus making it difficult for the editorial team to regularly add content via a CMS with limited functionality.

Using the open source power of WordPress, we delivered a stable, scalable and highly flexible digital publishing platform to see Physics World into the future and beyond.

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Strategic Success

Physics World needed a transformation to align with commercial objectives and ensure that the site could support the revenue streams needed to drive business value. Project goals included:

• Increasing user registrations and subscriptions through an optimised UX and conversion strategy
• Creating greater engagement (lower bounce rates, higher time on site, increase in pages per session)
• Optimising the mobile user experience
• Support for new rich media & advertising formats

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The new Physics World platform demanded lots of functionality, features and integrations with a stack of modern publishing technology, including:

• Email integration with Adestra
• Digital advertising integration with AppNexus Open AdStream
• Bespoke advertising banner system within WordPress
• Job board feeds via API
• Supplier advertising feeds via API
• Event listings (including user generated content)
• Custom CRM development
• Integration with DataSalon MasterVision

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Our unique modular approach to WordPress development means the Physics World team have a WordPress site that is fully flexible and extendable, whilst being easy to troubleshoot and maintain.

Content sections on the site are built as ‘modules’ that the IOP team can rapidly redeploy. This gives the ability to create new content and manage category pages for subject matters quickly and easily.

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Quality content and the ability to control it is of course vital for any publisher.

93digital refined the user sign up and data capture strategy, as well as integrating solutions that help the team better understand their users.A content wall was implemented so that users are prompted to sign up after reading a certain number of articles.

We were also tasked with migrating over the legacy content over from the previous system into WordPress. To ensure this mammoth task was possible, we built a custom script to scrape, manipulate and import over 12,000 old posts.

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Bespoke Development

Other custom development & integrations include:

• Push notifications to increase engagement.
• Advanced Google Tag Manager & Analytics implementation.
• Content walls limiting the number of articles read before sign up.
• Full user account registration and subscription management.
• User-generated content including the ability to upload events.
• Multiple content formats across multimedia formats and MathML.

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