Case Study

Dar Al Khaleej

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Engage Awards 2021 Doers
83 %

increase in new users

83 %

increase in average time on site

4 x

decrease in time to publish

Highlights

Situation

Publishers wanted to create an interactive, engaging, responsive website that was easy for users and site administrators.

Challenge

The organization had one publishing system for the newspaper and a completely separate, non-integrative platform for the website.

Our Solution

Acquia Cloud Platform, Acquia Campaign Studio

Results

The new site was launched in a mere four months. Other metrics include: 

  • 83.42% increase in new users — 86.7% of which comes from organic traffic
  • 82.74% increase in average time on site
  • Successful migration of more than 1.5 million articles and media items, with improved visibility to all content via proper SEO
  • Significant increase in ad revenue
  • Time to publish new articles decreased by 4x

The Client

Dar Al Khaleej is a publishing house in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. It publishes a daily Arabic-language newspaper, Al Khaleej, which has a circulation of 37,000.

The Situation

Dar Al Khaleej wanted to create an interactive, engaging website that allowed users to read news and take advantage of services regardless of device — while simultaneously being easy for administrators and content creators to maintain. The publisher wanted a site that would allow them to be strategic and nimble, ready to adapt to future changes. Additionally, their new site needed to:

  • Focus on the needs of their readers
  • Provide a consistent, user-friendly navigation framework
  • Be accessible and in compliance with W3C web content accessibility guidelines
  • Be flexible, allowing the site to grow and add new functionality over time with minimal costs
  • Streamline business operations and reduce the amount of time IT spent on site updates and enhancements

The Challenge

As the UAE’s most prominent newspaper, one of Al Khaleej’s biggest challenges was its dual systems; the organization had one publishing system for the newspaper and a completely separate, non-integrative platform for the website. 

In addition, the legacy web platform was a proprietary system with its own challenges. 

  • The publishing process was time-consuming; it often took 10-12 minutes to publish news. 
  • Performance issues and slow loading pages caused the site to lose traffic. 
  • Vendor support was lacking, with slow response times. 
  • Archaic technology made it difficult for non-developers to make changes or manage layouts.
  • Poor SEO and a lack of onsite SEO features prevented effective discoverability.

The Solution

Dar Al Khaleej approached digital partner Vardot, who provided a prototype demo to three Dar Al Khaleej teams — editorial, marketing and IT — to showcase how its new site would meet the organization’s goals. With the teams’ blessings, Vardot performed intensive discovery sessions, then completed the site redesign — including integrating the website with the newspaper system for seamless publishing and migrating all existing content.

The editorial team was happy to leverage Drupal and the Acquia platform for publishing, and the IT team appreciated the support, reliability and resilience that Acquia Cloud Platform offered to the heavily trafficked website. Working together, Vardot and Acquia onboarded Dar Al Khaleej’s marketing team to Acquia Campaign Studio, allowing them to issue push notifications and email digests based on users’ preferences.

The Results

Thanks to Vardot and Acquia, Al Khaleej’s new site was launched in a mere four months. Other metrics include: 

  • 83.42% increase in new users — 86.7% of which comes from organic traffic
  • 82.74% increase in average time on site
  • Successful migration of more than 1.5 million articles and media items, with improved visibility to all content via proper SEO
  • Significant increase in ad revenue
  • Time to publish new articles decreased by 4x

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