Published on by Devin Reams
International Living, a publisher of overseas investing and retirement advice, was seeking a complete overhaul for their online publications and products site. This included new design, page and post layout flexibility, integration of a customized authentication system, and new CMS functionality. The project began with an discovery process, where detailed project requirements were determined and a development plan was drafted.
Design and theme
International Living already had a design comp for the homepage. They enlisted our help in creating designs for other sections of the site, based on provided wireframes and the overall look and feel established by the home page comp. Once the designs were finished, we built the theme using the Carrington theme framework.
Content migration and WordPress MU CMS
We migrated International Living to WordPress MU (multi site) to allow for future expansion and improved content management experiences. In order to port the content from the previous CMS into WordPress custom templates were created to output the existing data in WXR format. We then leveraged scripts to scrape and combine the WXR pages to ultimately import them into WordPress. As with any content migration, a number of post-processing scripts were authored to help with as much automated content clean-up as possible.
Flexible post and page layouts
Since fine-grained control of page and post layouts was a project requirement, we implemented the Carrington Build flexible layout system. Carrington Build allowed International Living to separate their content into sophisticated row-based layouts. With a few clicks, International Living could add and arrange various page elements within the drag and drop interface.
Over a dozen widgets and modules were developed to populate the International Living site with specialized content, such as widgets for breaking news, related content, editor's choice selections, upcoming events, and testimonials.
Customer homepage and tabbed interface
An elegant customer homepage was implement so users can see the latest content for all the publications they are subscribed to on a single page. An alerts feature was also developed that notifies users on the customer homepage if they have three issues or less left for a particular publication. Tabbed interfaces were created for each publication to present content in an attractive manner and to allow for easy navigation.
Custom authentication system
A major component of the project was integrating the website with an authentication system that was previously developed by Crowd Favorite. Since publications and products are handled differently in the client's middleware, the authentication system needed to be customized to meet International Living's needs.