We are pleased to announce the relaunch of LA2Day.com, an online lifestyle magazine.
Let me first give you a brief on LA2Day.com
LA2DAY is an Online Lifestyle Magazine catering to Los Angeles. LA2DAY has been setup in third quarter of 2006 and is run by several enthusiastic creative entrepreneurs and marketing people who have the ambition to grow this venture into a professional organization.
To take the site to next level LA2DAY Team decided to redesign and reorganize the site with a new Layout and implementation of a CMS. Several CMS were in fray for possible implementation, however, we all (including LA2Day team) agreed that Drupal is the best available choice on this planet.
The site was supposed to be organized in 9 Channels. Each channel needs to have a Moderator/reporter who was primarily responsible for posting content and manage comments. Apart from it, a Global Moderator was required with full access to all content throughout the site. Each channel has its own individual color identity.
A robust Banner Management was required to manage multiple position on Home Page, Channel landing pages and other pages.
Ability to search content throughout the site and archive feature for all Channels.
Site was expected to have a newsletter to be published every fortnight and circulated to its subscribers.
Another important feature was publishing of events in all Channels.
Let all these features on one site and another side was SEO capabilities. SEO friendly site was the topmost requirement.
With all these requirements the site development started in Feb 2007 and the site was launched in March 2007.
Some highlights of what we did:
Taxonomy and taxonomy access were of immense help to build the site workflow. We created a vocabulary with all the 9 channels and roles for each of the term in this vocabulary. We designed a CCK type for each of the nine channels. We used taxonomy access module to assign appropriate access to each role.
Since each channel & content inside it had its own color identity, we wrote a node template file for each of the 9 content channels. A dynamic class was added to the page template file for each of the channel landing pages. This provided our designer a hook to write classes for each of the channel's content to give its respective color identity.
Custom code was written for blocks that appear on the site. Archive section and landing page for all the channels was coded.
- Video implementation: We implemented Video capabilities on the site for its music channel with the help of its integration with JW player.
- Enhanced User Experience: We implemented AJAX features on home page. From home page itself user can browse through all items of any channel.
- Epublish & Newsletter: We created two layout files for epublish module. One was to serve the Newsletter online and another file generated an inline class html for the same layout that can be utilized by an admin person for the external Newsletter Mailing application MailerMailer.
MailerMailer is a dedicated service for Emails and Campaign management. We built a module to integrate email (un)subscription, Mailing list management features with MailerMailer.
- Site slow down on Video Implementation: When we first implemented video upload capabilities it hit the site performance tremendously, the site was slow to load. We then decided on sharing the load and moved all videos to Amazon S3. It improved the site performance and the site was back to normal.
- Site performance: Site performance went down during peak traffic a couple of times. We performed hardware enhancement and performance tuning on the server. We even moved the database to a different server.
- Special characters in content: It was observed that some of the characters are displayed as special characters in the email newsletter while the site displayed it correctly. On examining the content it was found that content were posted by writers who use to copy-paste content from MS Word. TinyMCE with its ‘paste from word' feature was able to resolve the issue.
SEO Friendly Drupal:
Drupal is loaded with several SEO capabilities with the modules like Pathauto, Metatags, Nodewords, Gsitemap, Google analytics, Service Links and many more.
The site will continue to evolve with more features and rich user experience.