Eight months in the making, the work is aimed at helping the publisher roll out digital products faster and run more native advertising.
“Condé doesn’t have a reputation for being the strongest digital publisher because we are still such a strong print brand. That’s a double-edged sword,” said Condé Nast UK group digital director Wil Harris.
That perceived disconnect is set to change. Like many publishers, Condé Nast has seen desktop homepage traffic decline to 4 percent of its overall audience while mobile traffic has grown to represent about half its traffic, according to Harris. (In September, Vogue.co.uk had 628,000 unique visitors, 423,000 of whom came via mobile, according to comScore.)
All 10 titles are moving to a common content management system, starting with GQ. When the men’s site launches in the next few weeks, it will have infinite scroll, feed-based navigation and more native ad placements. Articles will be pre-loaded to speed up load time. Digiday caught up with Harris to talk about the changes.
How hard was it to start from scratch?
I used to say my job was minimising the number of people who are pissed off with me in any given week. You can have 10 times the amount of people and still not have enough to maintain 10 separate code bases. But we knew we had to go back and rewrite the code bases from scratch with one common core across the 10 titles. The impetus for it was mobile growth.
So mobile has been more central to the design than desktop.
When designing Web pages, you can get obsessed by what your homepage looks like on desktop. Homepage desktop readers are less than 4 per cent of our audience in the UK. The people who follow us are those that follow us on YouTube and Twitter. Their Twitter feed is their homepage, and they see every article we post there.
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