Flow Communications' digital team recently assisted ELLE South Africa to do a major technical makeover on its ELLE.co.za website.

The magazine has 45 editions around the world, from Argentina to Vietnam, and of course South Africa in between.

A screenshot of the fashion pages on the new ELLE website.

Flow assisted ELLE South Africa with content management system (CMS) integration and website functionality as it migrated its online presence to a new website. We did this using CraftCMS, a content-first CMS framework that enabled us to deftly manage the rich multimedia content developed by the South African team and syndication partners.

"We chose to work with Flow on this very significant project of redesigning the ELLE.co.za website, bringing it to 2018 from both a design and functionality point of view," says Kelly Fung, editor-in-chief of ELLE South Africa.

"While strict guidelines are set in place by the international ELLE brand, the team were able to understand the needs of our brand and execute accordingly. With this website to become the central point of our business, it was imperative that the site unquestionably align with international standards. This was achieved."

“It was great to work with an international brand of this stature,” says Richard Frank, head of digital at Flow. “ELLE is of course the largest fashion magazine in the world, with a powerful content network.”

Part of the challenge was migrating over 10 000 articles from the former WordPress-based website and format them to ELLE’s exacting international design guidelines. “We developed a migration script that mapped all the content over to the new website – the content translated surprisingly well into the new format,” says Frank.

Flow also held two training sessions before going live to ensure the editorial team could continue publishing seamlessly on the new system. The final migration was run over the weekend and the site was live on the Monday morning, ready for the influx of early-morning readers.

The cherry on the top? A week later, news aggregator Flipboard picked up a story published on the website, resulting in ELLE.co.za’s largest single day of traffic ever. (Who wouldn’t read “This luxury resort is like vacationing on another planet”?)

The project is the second website collaboration between Flow and publishers Ndalo Media, the first being mentorfeed.com, which was launched last year.

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