OSS powers SA's fastest growing websites

By   |  May 8, 2008

With unique readers growing by 190 percent over the past year, Engineering News has been named by Nielson Online as South Africa’s fastest growing website. The publication’s sister sites, Mining Weekly and Polity, occupied the second and fourth places respectively. All three of the sites were moved onto an open source software platform a year ago.

Engineering News, published by Creamer Media, grew its readership from 23 455 unique readers in March 2007 to 67 924 in March this year. Mining Weekly climbed 156 percent from 12 034 to 30 788 uinique readers a month. Polity grew 121 percent from 12 472 to 27 544 at the end of March 2008.

The overall growth in the market during this period was 44 percent.

In March last year Creamer Media moved its online operation from a Windows-based one to a publishing system based on Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP (LAMP). The Preditor publishing system that Creamer Media now uses was built by local company Prefix Technologies.

Creamer Media CEO Kenneth Creamer said the phenomenal growth of its three websites was because of a combination of quality local content, an excellent technology platform and a co-ordinated strategy to increase newsletter subscribers.

“I must also emphasise that this strong performance has only been made possible through a vital collaboration with Prefix Technologies, our South African technology partner, which has developed the tools and content-management platform through which we are able to deliver our world-class content,” Creamer said.

Creamer said that regular communication with readers through email newsletters had been a key driver for the growth over the past year. He said the group had increased it output of daily and weekly newsletters by almost 200 prefix during this time. He said that reliability in delivering the email newsletter had been significantly improved making it possible to reach more users.

Prefix Technologies director Sam Hutchinson said that important element of Creamer Media’s success was their use of pMailer Enterprise, through which the communicate to their readerships for all their web-portals via email. “Regular email newsletters keep readers informed and drive traffic to both the website and print editions of the various titles.”

Nielsen Online gathers statistics for the Online Publishers Association.

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