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Custom code and scaling problems

FR12 is the largest news website and online community for Feyenoord fans in The Netherlands. With hundreds of thousands of visitors and thousands of posted comments (up to 10.000 per day) per day, it's the best place to be to get in touch with other Feyenoord fans.

When FR12 started, they hired an external developer to build the entire website and CMS. They also tried to always keep their code up-to-date. Despite their efforts, the code was not optimized well enough to handle large user traffic. It became increasingly difficult for FR12 to cope with the growing number of visitors and add new features because the code had become outdated and increasingly challenging to maintain.

Since the website was poorly optimized, taking longer to fully load, and even the entire website going down for several hours, especially when the user traffic would be at its peak, it had become a common occurrence. To make matters worse, the web hosting costs of FR12’s website were consistently becoming more and more expensive.

FR12's wishlist for a new website

FR12 wanted a new website for the following reasons:

  • The website needed to be able to handle larger volumes of traffic at peak hours. In other words,  optimal performance at all times and no downtime.
  • The SEO of the website needed to be improved to reel in more traffic from Google. Not only that, but FR12 also wanted consistent SEO updates to ensure that their website is equipped with all of the Google Algorithm updates so that it is always optimized for SEO. .
  • FR12 has a very active community with over a hundred thousand registered users. Keeping the size of their user base in mind, they wanted to build features that would increase the community's engagement. This would ultimately lead to more visits to the website. But this was impossible with the existing code on which the website was running because it had become outdated.
  • It was an increasingly challenging situation to monitor the thousands of comments left by users each day. So there was a need for a more advanced moderation system to be put in place with which FR12 could better monitor the comments all the while minimizing the manual input required to moderate the huge sea of comments.
  • FR12 wanted to add new features to the website. Such as an interactively advanced comment system where users could like and reply to each other’s comments and receive notifications (similar to Facebook and Instagram), a night mode, a live score/match center module, and online games like a prediction game.
  • Their existing mobile apps (iOS and Android) were also pretty basic and really needed more features, such as a live blog and a match center. It was important that all new features on the website would also work in the mobile apps.

Why Newsifier

FR12 now had two options: either build their own custom CMS and website again from the ground up or look for a better and more viable solution to their problems.

A necessary requirement was that the new website would not only come equipped with many new features but would also be future-proof. So they needed well-maintained code with consistent updates as well as regular SEO update cycles.

FR12 partnered with Newsifier because of their vast experience in growing news websites and the constant code and security updates to the Newsifier platform to keep it up to date. Newsifier would also take care of hosting their website as well. In short, by choosing Newsifier, FR12 would be leaving the technical work towards improving and maintaining their entire website and SEO in capable hands.

Result of the switch to Newsifier

The switch to Newsifier has exceeded FR12's expectations and has resulted in the following:

  • Within ten weeks of switching to Newsifier, the user traffic reached a new record of 570.000 visitors per week.
  • 92% more SEO traffic per month.
  • No website downtime and optimal performance, especially during peak traffic moments. On busy days, more than 250,000 unique visitors visit the website, and up to ten thousand comments are posted.
  • 25% increase in the number of accounts created per day.
  • 35% increase in the number of responses posted per day.
  • Newsifier’s effective moderation system that processes all posted comments saves a lot of time and resources.

A lot of new features became available to FR12’s website  with the switch to Newsifier:

SEO features

Due to the extensive experience of the Newsifier team with website migrations, the migration of FR12's website to Newsifier did not result in any loss of SEO traffic whatsoever. On the contrary: it resulted in a big increase in SEO traffic (+92% within six months). Newsifier is technically 100% optimized and efficient in maximizing SEO traffic (Google Search and Google Discover). Its SEO features also allow publishers to SEO optimize their articles and pages themselves conveniently and efficiently.

Giving likes to comments

Users can give likes (just like how the feature works on Facebook/Instagram) to comments posted by other users. This is a heavily used feature on FR12. In the first month, users gave more than a million likes. As such, two lists are created and updated each week, namely, ‘Top Likes,’ which showcases the user that has gotten the most likes on his comments, and ‘Top Users,’ which showcases the users that were the most active in interacting with the community through reacting and replying. This results in a huge number of returning visitors on the website.

Match center

FR12 also wanted to allow their visitors to follow all matches live. For this purpose, FR12 uses Newsifier's extensive match center module. This match center allows users to vote for the Man of the Match after every Feyenoord match.

All match center features (matches, player and club profiles, voting for Man of the Match) are also embeddable in articles with just one click, facilitating user interaction across the website and mobile app.

Let users pick their favourite line up

This feature lets users pick their favorite lineup straight from within the article. Afther this FR 12 shows data on the favorite lineup of all users combined.

Prediction game

FR12 also uses Newsifier's prediction game module to get users more engaged with the website. With this prediction game, the users can predict the outcome of the matches selected by FR12 every week. The prediction game also opens new monetization avenues for the website as well, for instance, bringing in the cooperation of bookmakers.

Moderation system

There was a need for a new and reliable moderation system. With Newsifier's advanced moderation system, it has become easier to effectively manage the enormous flow of comments and keep out trolls. Moderators can, for example, shadowban users. Shadowbanned users can still see their comments, but their comments are no longer visible to anybody else on the website.

There was a need for a new and reliable moderation system. With Newsifier's advanced moderation system, it has become easier to manage the enormous flow of comments and keep out trolls. Moderators can, for example, shadowban users. Shadowbanned users can still see their comments, but they are no longer visible to anybody else on the website.

Receiving notifications

Users receive notifications when another user likes or responds to their comment. These notifications are shown in the top bar of the website. And it is also possible to set up an email notification for likes and comments. This new feature has dramatically increased user engagement on the website and the number of comments per user.

Night mode

A night mode was a major feature request by visitors of FR12, who also wanted to use their favourite website in the evening. The night mode can be enabled for both the website and the mobile apps.

Are you curious how Newsifier can help your website grow? Request a demo today.

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Don't take our word for it.

We have asked our clients what they like most about Newsifier. This is what they told us.
"Migrating our website to Newsifier has been the best decision we ever made. We have grown exponentially since switching, and our website and mobile apps can handle up to 35 million page views per month with ease now."
Owner FR12
"The constant feature updates and SEO optimizations helped grow our online publishing business internationally. The constant updates let us always be one step ahead of the competition."
Henno Lubbers
CEO Zweeler
“Using Newsifier has helped us break our all-time traffic record within one year of migrating our website to their CMS. What I love most about Newsifier is the fact that we spend 50% less time now on publishing articles and sharing them across all our social media channels.”
Steve Abele
Founder VKMAG
“I love working with Newsifier as they are acting as a true partner in growing our online publishing business with us. We have broken our traffic record within 6 months of switching to Newsifier.”
Dimitry Vleugel
Managing Director Androidworld

Let us take away your doubts

We are experts in helping online publishing grow and have years of experience with SEO-friendly website migrations

What is the difference between Newsifier and WordPress?

The main difference between Newsifier and WordPress is that WordPress is a general CMS that is a one-size-fits-all solution for business websites, E-commerce companies, bloggers, etc.

Newsifier is a CMS that is 100% specialized for online news publishers and has a lot of built-in publisher tools that guarantee month-on-month traffic growth.

Another big difference is that with WordPress you have to take yourself of software updates and hosting. Newsifier includes scaled hosting and has weekly SEO, security, and feature updates.

These weekly updates make it ideal for online publishers who want to grow their business without worrying about performance, hosting, SEO, and security updates.

Will we not be 'locked in' if we migrate our website to Newsifier?

No, your website is not 'locked in' when you migrate to Newsifier.

We like to emphasize that our clients will always own all their data and that we do not limit their possibility to migrate to another platform in the case they want to leave Newsifier.

Because of this we also explicitly stated in our general terms that we are obliged to help you migrate for free to another platform if you wish to leave Newsifier.

We want to keep you as a client for Newsifier with our superior CMS and service and not by preventing you to leave us.

What happens with our current built-up Google rankings when we migrate our website to Newsifier?

We have many years of experience in SEO-friendly migrations and always ensure existing Google rankings will not be hurt by the migration of your content to our system.

We have developed a special redirect manager to ensure all exisiting pages will be indexed in the same way as before the migration by the search engines.

What happens with the design of our website when we migrate to Newsifier?

We have an extensive library with mobile-optimized templates and components that can be used or adjusted to fit your design needs.

Alternatively, we can also make a custom design that fits your preference.

So to summarize, you have total freedom in getting the perfect design for your website.

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