A good plan is the fundamental requirement for approaching a large project, such as a “website re-launch”. Apart from the technical aspects, a variety of editorial questions arise: Should existing content be taken across? Does this content still sound good today, or should it be adapted to the current reading habits; that is, should they become more direct, succinct and shorter? Does Google still class the headlines as relevant, or should more keywords be included? Do we have all meta data that are needed in the new CMS? Who could have predicted back in 2008 that the mobile use of websites would increase so substantially that all of a sudden geo-coordinates are expected in any good article?
In October 2013, we started such a large project – the re-launch of redbull.com.
We call that complex and sophisticated process described above “content inventory & audit”. It is the first step in migration. To put it simply, we had a good look around redbull.com and decided where everything should go and what needed to be done to make it sound and look great for the user and for it to be found by our favourite search engine.
After the inventory, we took a closer look at the users: How do they communicate today? How do they consume? Denglish – a good thing? Without a good glossary, and with all the Do’s and Dont’s, it’s simply impossible. The great fun begins when a localisation for three languages is added to the lot, as was the case here.
Based on the inventory, the glossary and the tested workflows, we developed a migration concept that allowed us to estimate the time and staff investment.
While we’re talking about staff: If you want to be the best site in the world of extreme sports, you need real experts. People who know the difference between a fingerwhip and a one-handed tailwhip and are then able to write about it. That’s who we recruited.
After all that planning, we moved into production, which is the content management, copywriting and the actual localisation of the content. Since redbull.com boasts a wealth of contents, we developed an agile work flow to meet the deadlines. In summary: 15 editors, 1 project manager, 4 continents, 24/7 production – and all that synchronised for the different time zones. A true virtual newsroom.
Since the editors practically “held the content in their hands”, they also assumed the role of quality assurance in content management: No image without captions, no contribution about Sebastian Vettel without a track description of his latest race, no video without a suitable playlist. And, of course, search engine optimisation of all the texts. That’s a given.
When something didn’t quite work right, we notified the technical support and we also took over the bug reporting.
Since the migration went so smoothly, we simply carried on. Since the re-launch in March 2013, we have been localising hot-off-the-press stories from the world of extreme sports every single day for millions of German, French and Spanish users. Now, we really are quite proud of that!