WFDD engaged Alloy because it was unhappy with the lack of flexibility and innovation in its prior publishing platform. Because the product was a service shared with all customers, new features were slow to arrive and watered down, and requests were frequently met with responses to the effect of “that’s not possible.” As the straw that broke the camel’s back, WFDD was being forced to migrate to a new look and feel to enable responsive features, and in the process would have to engage in a significant manual effort after launching to make the new platform not broken.
The compelling benefits of the old platform were a tight if restrictive integration with NPR’s digital publishing and syndication tools. So, for the project to be successful, integrating with the third-party services in a seamless way was absolutely critical.
The new site is designed to create a solid foundation on which the WFDD news and digital teams could create fantastic, rich content by focusing on the content itself, rather than inventing new layouts or fighting with tools. The new WFDD.org seamlessly pulls in NPR content while making it easy to create new local stories. The site integrates with application program interfaces (APIs) made available by the scheduling and on-air systems to display current and upcoming programming, provide live streaming services, and display complete program schedules. Editorial workflow is supported directly in the content management system, and it also provides simple yet powerful tools for promoting certain content to the frontpage and other key areas of the site. The content management platform also seamlessly integrates DFP to allow maximum flexibility in serving ads throughout the site.
At Alloy, we have an agile project management process for development. The WFDD project is a great example of this work. While we had a laundry list of “I Wish...” features for the site, we worked closely with the client to prioritize what could be accomplished within the quick project timeframe and what could be worked on post-launch. We’re excited about site features that we’re continuing to develop and improve on post-launch.