How Australian youth publisher, Pedestrian.tv replatformed its website for rapid growth

Primed for rapid expansion after an initial investment from Nine Entertainment, Pedestrian needed a publishing platform and technology partner that could keep pace with its growth in the Australian youth arena.

The Project

At a critical milestone in its growth, Pedestrian needed a new website and publishing platform for the future.

With desktop traffic stable, but over mobile facing 100% growth year on year, the new website had to be mobile-first and responsive. The website needed to scale for the traffic the publishing company was starting to see. And it needed modern AdTech to meet the needs of its advertisers.

A move to WordPress was also necessary to streamline the rapidly growing editorial team's use of the CMS.

“Pedestrian was originally custom-built; requiring significant ongoing development, costs, time & resources to update. A dramatic increase in traffic, ad trafficking & editorial requirements resulted in an urgent need to overhaul our platform.

A move to a widely recognised platform in WordPress proved to be invaluable. The migration by The Code Company was seamless and had an immediate impact on SEO. The ability to use WordPress plugins, integrate with ad platforms and stay live 24/7 was literally a dream come true!

- Oscar Martin, Co-Founder, Pedestrian.tv

A new WordPress platform

Pedestrian receives over 10,000,000 page views per month, which means its publishing platform needs to scale and follow best practices.

By moving to WordPress, Pedestrian’s editorial team was able to immediately take advantage of the user-friendly publishing platform. Pedestrian's old CMS required many features that had to be custom-developed, making it harder to use and easier to break. These same features are standard inclusions in the WordPress CMS.

Screenshot of WordPress dashboard

The Code Company fully customised Pedestrian's WordPress setup to align with its unique editorial structure and workflows, differentiating a variety of different content types and production calendars all within one system. We also created a sophisticated API that personalises content based upon a complex set of behavioural data.

We developed a significantly more flexible, easier-to-use and faster AdTech using Google Ad Manager. With this new solution, different Pedestrian departments can control and target specific campaigns to single articles or series of articles within the CMS. Advanced logic was developed to ensure advertising conflicts were avoided and easily managed by the editorial team.

Large-scale real time data migration of legacy content

The Code Company designed and engineered a live API service that could export content and data from Pedestrian’s old custom CMS and translate it all into a WordPress format.

Due to the fragmented nature of how content was stored, the data migration was incredibly complex. This meant it had to be constantly refined through an iterative process, accounting for increasingly older content.

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Graphic demonstrating a continuous data migration to WordPress CMS

A typical content migration often involves freezing all content and performing an export and import process, from the old website to the new one. However, Pedestrian’s website size and the structure of its old CMS meant this would have taken days. For a publisher that relies on timely content, this simply wasn’t an option.

Additionally, the Pedestrian team constantly publishes content (and sometimes edits old content), which means any migration service would have to be able to continuously re-sync content while migrating.

“Our legacy CMS made it difficult for our team to perform every day functions and made it even harder to innovate. Working with The Code Company to move to a streamlined WordPress implementation meant we are able to build out functions and features that we had previously only dreamed of, with the added benefit that costs are reduced as we don’t require completely bespoke integrations.”

- Elise Stitt, Technology Manager

Custom Jobs Board functionality

For most niche and speciality publishers, a jobs board is a great way to monetise their audience.

The Pedestrian jobs platform is highly customised to suit its business requirements. We built it with WordPress to simplify the technologies needed, and to create a straightforward administration system for its users.

The Code Company’s combination of WordPress knowledge and engineering capability meant that the jobs platform could use the best of both worlds: WordPress for basic underlying technology; and custom code to build up special functionality around that.

We worked with Pedestrian’s in-house designer to develop the backend and frontend functionality. We used WordPress and Angular to deliver an optimal experience both on desktop and mobile devices.

The job platform is able to send alerts to users wanting daily notices. On average, it manages 40,000+ daily job alerts and 45,000+ new job opening alerts. We've written about some of the technical challenges and how we solved them with sending bulk personalised emails in WordPress.

Being able to automate this has helped the Pedestrian jobs board grow in reach and relevance. The simplified processes of adding new jobs and setting up information means Pedestrian and its users are able to add and manage postings more efficiently than ever.

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