The London Evening Standard re-launched their website back in March 2012 with a new listings section for bars, clubs events and attractions called Going Out. At the time of going live, they were using their existing CMS, which was built for content publishing, but not designed to host complex listing data. As a result, the section did not perform as well as expected, often returning out of date listings, errors and a slow search speed.
A12 got involved with the project to look at the back end of the website and the management of the listing data, improve the user experience and produce a vibrant directory with lightning fast search. What did we do? Drupal was chosen as the platform of choice so the London Evening Standard could continue with their content driven activities while having a flexible structure to produce a unique and flexible listings directory. With Drupal, SOLR search technologies were also chosen to improve the search function so people could find what they were looking for, fast. The new platform was integrated with the existing CMS, alongside Akamai CDN technologies to improve the site and help it cope during periods of really high demand.
The going out site was launched successfully on time and on budget. Since the go-live date, traffic to the site has increased dramatically, month on month thanks to smooth search functions, a better performing website and a friendlier user interface. Since doing this project, A12 has continued to host and maintain the Going Out site and a second phase project has been commissioned to further extend the site’s current functionality as it becomes increasingly popular.