NetBenefit case study
Launched in 1913, the New Statesman has provided independent high-level editorial content about the social, economic and political world for close to a century.
In 1998 the well-established print edition was supplemented with an online version of the publication.
This new service offered digital content and gave readers around the world the chance to debate issues raised in the publication through vote and comment facilities. The website has received a large volume of users over the last nine years, helping make the New Statesman an essential read, whether online or in print.
To ensure that the New Statesman maintained its leading position, a decision was made to re-brand both the print edition and online presence.
The redesigned print version of the publication was launched in June 2006 giving readers more content with additional in-depth analysis and distinctive graphics. In November of the same year the website was brought in line with the print edition.
The online re-brand aimed to provide readers with more interactivity, feedback options and blogs. New features included a subscriber only section and an electronic edition of the magazine to download hot-off-the-press anywhere in the world. Functionality was also a key criterion.
The website had to be easy to use and well presented, with content being updated regularly and with graphics as vivid and distinctive as in the print edition. Readers were demanding a lot from the new website and the New Statesman wanted to exceed expectations.
The publication wanted to harness the potential of the Internet but also to ensure that the site was resilient and robust to support the growing amount of traffic and new services it would be providing.
With such a high profile brand, the site could not afford to suffer any downtime. The New Statesman, therefore, decided to outsource its hosting to an expert. In July 2006 the publication went out to tender for a hosting provider.
During the tender process, the New Statesman conducted research and gathered opinion on web hosting providers in order to find the right partner to support its new online vision. NetBenefit stood out due to the products it offered and the level of service it provided.
The New Statesman’s website had become business critical and it was therefore vital to have a level of support and technical backup from its hosting provider to meet this need. It required a scaleable and resilient solution for the site, no matter how much traffic or activity took place online.
Web developer at the New Statesman, Daniel Coppock, said, “After researching the market we realised there was a lot of variation in service and cost.
"We needed to find a reliable managed hosting provider that could support the activity we were planning and the peaks in traffic we were anticipating. NetBenefit’s offering was very attractive and we felt confident about remaining accessible no matter what news story broke.”
Aside from the technical package that NetBenefit was offering, the level of service provided impressed the New Statesman team.
In order to partner with a company on something as important as hosting, the New Statesman felt it essential that the chosen provider truly understood its business and the new media market they were working in.
Coppock added, “NetBenefit really understands the aims and vision of our publication and what we are looking to achieve from the website. We have access to a dedicated account manager who acts quickly and effectively.
“It was not just a case of showing an interest to win the business but a dedicated and professional concern was expressed about where we wanted to go – which still continues. They guaranteed exceptional support and are living up to their word.”
Since the re-launch of the website, the New Statesman has seen a 100 per cent increase in its web traffic. NetBenefit’s scaleable solution and unlimited bandwidth has allowed the New Statesman to concentrate on delivering cutting edge journalism without worrying about the ability of its website to stand up to high traffic volumes.
The New Statesman has successfully positioned itself as a market leading current affairs magazine ready for the challenges of communication in the 21st century.
In 2006, the New Statesman was voted current affairs magazine of the year and it continues to go from strength to strength. Meanwhile newstatesman.com provides an eclectic mix of humour, campaigning, politics and commentary.
It brings the added value of interactivity including podcasts, RSS feeds and email updates plus the opportunity to comment on any article and runs its own awards for both new media and social enterprise.Web columnists include comedian and campaigner Mark Thomas, Green Party co-leader Sian Berry, and Britain’s most surreal wit Simon Munnery. All magazine content is available for free each week. Our regular writers include such names as Julian Clary, Rageh Omaar, John Pilger and Lindsey Hilsum.
Sales and Marketing Director, NetBenefit, Colin Bell, said, “The New Statesman is a fantastic brand with an enviable reputation for quality. We are passionate about understanding our customer’s requirements and are delighted to have been chosen to support the New Statesman’s exciting new digital offering.”
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