CRONICABALEAR.ES is an online media publishing (mainly) local news from Balearic islands in
almost real time. One can find there everything – politics, incidents, sport, crimes, culture – name it. Now often their daily traffic reaches 150K for top news.
Website suffered from bad structure and inappropriate development. Traffic pics often caused delays in 5-10 min page load time. Downtime occurred on daily basis.
We were briefed to make over the media in reliable, fast and usable website attracting its visitors and offering local businesses advertising space.
What happens NOW is what matters for Cronica Balear. I wanted to incorporate this spirit of urgency and evanescence in design making the content extremely readable no matter how many ads there are by introducing strong hierarchy that differentiates what’s new and essential from all the secondary stuff.
The core of Cronica Balear is all about NOW & HERE and I wanted to catch this spirit in design.
need for speed
It was crutial. Everything from graphic design to development we first filtered by the highest speed requirements. Fast and versatile website were what we wanted to achieve most.
Good design requires deep understanding, but Spanish is not a language I’m familiar with so language barrier was another big challenge. Google translate and some old memories in French helped me but the funny thing was how at the end of the project no one minded if reads portada or home page.
Website was based on WordPress and we kept the platform but carefully examined and optimized every part causing delays or bad performance. Plugins were tested one by one and these who failed on speed or performance were replaced by custom software.
Navigation and structure of website were simplified. Whole typography was specially redesigned in order to achieve top readability and clear content hierarchy. Have been designed several types for integrating graphic and texts for hub and article pages and some tests helped us to select the best one.
From minutes we succeeded to decrease page total load time to appr. 1 second. Website is literally flying.
After the launch of new design average traffic increased 2x times and for some top news heats 150,000 visits daily. Downtime got history.
The owner found himself in position to choose from pile of advertisers and seriously thinking over the possibility to offer visitors paid subscription.