*Partner Content: The news industry is more competitive than ever, and more and more people – especially the younger generation – are now turning to social media rather than traditional sources for the latest news. That means it’s critical for online publications to publish stories as quickly as possible to secure clicks, increase views, and gain more subscribers.
One of the most successful ways to reduce the average “time to publish” metric for digital titles is to scrutinize the entire production process, including software systems, and remove steps and tools that create friction. Outdated and cumbersome content management systems are often the culprit, hindering newsrooms in a number of small but significant ways, delaying coverage by hours (and sometimes days), but by focusing on three key areas, organizations can Released at record speed.
The ease with which an editorial team can create digital content is often the biggest factor to consider, and while the news industry has come a long way over the past decade, many custom publishing systems are still catching up. As a result, more and more publishers are now choosing to take advantage of the power and flexibility of WordPress, making it the number one CMS for news sites.
In addition to providing continuous innovation and best-in-class security, the open source platform features a built-in block editor that significantly simplifies the self-publishing process for non-technical users. Leading WordPress agency Big Bite has long championed the benefits of time-saving tools and is focused on enabling global brands and corporate organizations to use it to their advantage. “The block editor has revolutionized the way teams put pages and posts together,” said Big Bite CEO Iain McPherson. “By using it to build reusable, branded suites of components for every organization we work with, we enable journalists, copywriters and editors to publish branded content in a fast time frame, saving significant time and resources in our client.”
This includes The Sun, which has reported a 60% reduction in publishing times since switching to a block-building approach. “We are now able to publish breaking news stories in two minutes, compared to five minutes in classic WordPress,” confirms Joel Davies, Head of Editorial Operations at News UK.
Reducing reliance on other departments and external sources can also strengthen the content creation process, especially if well-designed features can bridge the gap, such as Big Bite’s Collage Creator and LiveBlog plugins for the New York Post. The Collage Creator feature enables editorial teams to easily create custom images for articles directly from an organization’s WordPress CMS, eliminating the need for a photo table, saving a lot of time. Likewise, the LiveBlog plugin enables editorial teams to quickly and easily publish news snippets in a live feed format without the involvement of a technical team, and is the first of its kind on the WordPress platform.
“While WordPress provides the ideal foundation for publishing, it’s important to really fine-tune our process for designing and developing custom plugins to make life easier for journalists and editors. Even small additions can have a positive impact, and in some cases In situations where the team was previously reliant on external technical resources – we reduced the average release time by as much as 400%,” says Iain.
Careful sub-editing and fact-checking differentiate newspapers from many other sources of information, and while these steps are critical to maintaining quality and accuracy, they can also slow publishers down if the workflow is disjointed. User-centric features can eliminate this problem while also fostering stronger collaboration, a prime example being the editorial annotation feature developed by Big Bite on behalf of the Wall Street Journal. The feature enables authors and editors to add, edit, reply to, or delete comments on articles directly within the publication’s WordPress CMS, without requiring teams to highlight and discuss changes outside the system. The feature continues to be a huge time saver for The Wall Street Journal’s team and has been adopted by other publications within its publishing house.
“The more tasks editorial teams can do directly in the CMS, the more time they can save overall, so we work closely with clients to iteratively improve the publishing ecosystem so authors can focus on copying rather than content curation” , Iain said.
“Of course, an organization can extend or improve a custom CMS with the same goals, however, the main difference is that by leveraging the capabilities of an open source platform like WordPress — which is continually updated by a global community of contributors — changes and improvements can be made in a shorter Time to achieve, enabling publishers to more effectively respond to the rapidly changing needs and expectations in a fast-paced industry.”
*This article was published in association with Press Gazette business partner Big Bite. To learn more, contact Big Bite at [email protected] or visit their website today.