Fifty sites. Ten months. One CMS.

Posted by jamie | July 16, 2009


Tierra customized WordPress as a CMS to make Online Publishing
more Efficient.

During the past year Tierra and WNET.ORG (PBS Channel Thirteen in New York) collaborated on a groundbreaking project that cut WNET.ORG’s costs, streamlined their web publishing process and improved the user experience on many of their individual program sites. At the heart of our solution was WordPress Multi-User, an open source blogging platform.

Publishing a dynamic website with frequent content updates is a must for many businesses these days. But this is easier said than done. There are a multitude of considerations, technical hurdles and business or marketing objectives that play into every website project. If you’ve ever created or managed a relatively complex website, you know what I mean. Now imagine that times 50.

That’s basically the challenge that WNET.ORG (PBS Channel Thirteen in New York) brought to Tierra this past year: Design and build a website platform that can scale to support the dozens of websites that WNET creates and publishes every year. And provide a single content management system (CMS) that lets anyone—from the most competent programmer to the most technically averse writer or editor—easily log in and publish on any one of those sites with very little support.

Tierra helped lay the foundation for a significantly streamlined publishing operation for WNET’s interactive group, from a careful discovery of technical platforms and design requirements, to information architecture, to migrating a decade’s worth of web content, to finally customizing WordPress Multi-User as a CMS. The new platform and tools let WNET.ORG focus on their core competency:  creating innovative and compelling educational content to support its on-air programming and extending it across the web.

The case study below describes in detail what WNET.ORG and Tierra accomplished with the project, how we went about it, and what the benefits have been for our client.  We also discuss how we customized WordPress Multi-User and some unique contributions we’ve made to this leading open-source software platform. We welcome your feedback and would be delighted to discuss our work with you.

Download the Case Study (PDF 2.6 MB)