Associated Press

As one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, The Associated Press (AP) has provided comprehensive, high-quality reporting of every major news event since 1846. Constantly adapting to new technologies, their recent goal was to modernize their online reporting and publishing tools. The AP reached out to Vector Media Group team to develop this new project knowing that they would get high quality results.
Launch Site

Situation Switching to Craft CMS to Create a Workflow That's Intuitive and Effective

Operating in more than 280 locations worldwide, more people in more places get their news from the Pulitzer Prize-winning AP than from any other source. They reached out to us to revamp some of their properties, and provide a deeper understanding of the news behind the news. As part of their commitment to honest journalism, they were looking to provide channels that would allow for multiple perspectives on the latest trends in media and technology, as well as provide transparency in AP’s operations and mission.

Since AP’s online multimedia news service is continuously updated 24 hours a day, they needed the latest technology to distribute their content. The new site had to be easily updatable so that AP’s writers could focus on quality journalism. To accomplish AP’s goals, we knew that the internal CMSes needed to be user-friendly and straightforward to navigate. Mike Bowser, AP’s Director of Branding and Creative Services, suggested using Craft CMS because he liked the interface and trusted Vector as an official Craft Service Partner. With so many different people of various technical capabilities requiring access to the CMS, we agreed that Craft would be the perfect solution.

Action Building a Flexible, Custom CMS That Delivers Enterprise Level Results for a Fraction of the Cost

With Craft’s straightforward CMS allowing full flexibility to customize our build, we knew we could deliver the author experience (AX) that the Associated Press was looking for, while also customizing the back-end publishing experience to suit their needs. By implementing Craft, we were able to make AP’s online publishing easy and enjoyable. We built a system that would allow AP to add their high definition images and videos, as well as pull quotes and other media into the content with just a few clicks. Because AP is such a large organization, each department has different requirements for publication.

Using our work, authors can now share their edits with the appropriate decision makers or test the draft on a mobile device using a preview URL. AP authors working remotely will now be able to edit content on the go due to the responsive control panel. And authors will have full control over creative and media-rich content without compromising the final product.

Task Sharing Resources and Expertise to Enhance the Product

AP’s technology department is top of the line, and we worked very closely with them to accomplish the deployment and production hosting for the project. Our developers essentially served as an extension of AP’s internal team, and we formed a very successful collaboration. Since this project required data migration between two different CMSes, we needed to ensure that AP was knowledgeable about the new system. AP’s team was able to count on Vector, as an official Craft Service Partner, to answer any questions they had regarding internal support during and after implementation.

One way that we accomplished this was to host a staging server on AP’s infrastructure that gave their tech team access to see how everything was working very early in the process, and carefully documenting all deployment and disaster recovery steps. On the editorial side, with Craft’s Live Preview feature writers and editors could start working with real content right away, as the site was being built.

The whole editorial department was then able to observe what worked for them and see how our development team adjusted it to accommodate their workflow. Because our development and QA teams were able to respond to issues and questions in real time, all the relevant AP staff was able to learn how the new site worked as it was being built. This was essential in providing a smooth transition to the new CMS.

Result A New Site with a Dynamic Author Experiences That Holds up to AP's High Standards

Our successful collaboration with Associated Press produced a beautiful, modernized website built with responsive design. We worked with AP’s authors to add taxonomy to their posts, making the site navigable and crawlable. By migrating their data to a modern CMS like Craft, we were able to keep AP on the cutting edge of technology.

The new highly functional site features easy-to-use publishing tools that serve to highlight their rich multimedia elements for continuously updated content. The AP team was thrilled with the work, and is already talking to us about additional projects!

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