Web-based platform and search tool for researchers

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The customer was a subscription-based trade magazine for trained sociologists, social workers and students. The magazine was published eight times a year, with a special research supplement added twice per semester. The staff was uploading content of the magazine each month, but focused mainly on the paper issue. With a falling subscription rate and revenues down there was a clear need for a re-think of the offering. The research supplement was identified as a highly appreciated asset that could be leveraged in a more digitized version of the publication, and a plan to create a new web experience was formed.

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The overall purpose of the investment in a “Socionomen 1.0” was to create a media platform that stretched over the paper publication, the online version, presence in social media, as well as pod and videos. The focus for Rhyme was to build the web-based experience. We wanted to create a more modern and relevant experience that could increase conversion rate of subscribers, stop the outflow and time spent on the website, while the customer more closely could follow key KPIs. A new look and CMS for articles and content had to be implemented, a subscriber and non-subscriber version with a paywall pushing to convert visitors to become subscribers, as well as a searchable database for all the research that was being published twice per semester - available for subscribers.

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Rhyme built a platform complete with a customizable startsite, articles, navigation, subscription paywall and payment solution. The proposed solution was based on Wordpress and relevant modules to create a versatile, customizable and maintainable setup:

  • CPT UI: Custom Post Types allows can be added to admin panel which increases customizability
  • ACF: Advanced Custom Fields makes it possible to add custom fields
  • SEO by Yoast to facilitate for the editor to manage visible information for search engines and social media
  • WC3: Cache is imperative for keeping load times low on a Wordpress-site
  • Smush: Image optimization that allows the editor to focus elsewhere
  • GDPR Cookie Compliance for basic GDPR data management
  • WooCommerce & Klarna: our chosen payment solution based on WooCommerce Memberships complemented with a gateway from Klarna to handle payments

To this a React.js-based search tool was built in order to handle logged in searches for research material. Rhyme used the internal REST API to build the web application. React.js is a framework that works well with Wordpress and it allowed us to ensure fast searches and load times in a database containing thousands of items.

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The new Socionomen site is a modern and sleek version of a media platform, more in line with major daily newspapers than a trade magazine. Coupled with its increased functionality and improved SEO, the site now drives decidedly more traffic and an upcoming overhaul of the social media management will leverage the solution further. More importantly early indications suggest that subscription churn is down and new subscribers rising.

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