We are website developers and provide web hosting and support services. We primarily focus on the publishing industry but we work with any content marketer who needs a reliable, scalable site that generates revenue.
We started out in 1997 as a software developer. We built a CMS and custom applications to host NewsBytes News Network. We built the CMS in trade for an interest in the company. The CMS included gating and content syndications.
In the early 2000s we sold NewsBytes to the Washington Post. We retained the rights to the CMS. Soon we added a number of other publications owned by the Post including Government Computer News, WashTech and the Gazette newspapers. We expanded the functionality to include e-commerce and event registrations.
In 2005 we added an email marketing service that we named MailZeen. By the 2010 we had added 30 publishers and 300 sites. Learned about high volume and the need to scale from RollCall.com. When Drudged the site would jump from10,000 page views per hour to 400,000. We added full page caching and a content distribution network. We were delivering 50 million email messages a month.
By 2015 we faced the fact that we could not keep up with the rapid evolution of email marketing systems and WordPress. Too many new features and millions of dollars and thousands of open source developers revolutionized the ease of use and the power of both systems. We began complete remake of our products and services. We had developed a wealth of knowledge and experience around what made a digital publishing operation successful and we knew a great deal about how to build unique features required by publishers like site licenses, pay-per-view products, event registration and the need to connect the website to email system and the fulfillment system. We began to completely rebuild our stack using Amazon, WordPress and a suite of plugins that would meet the functionality we had developed over 15 years.
It took several years and lots of testing and restarting. We had to develop some custom plugins and make some hard decisions about teaming up with the best partners. One hard choice was selecting a marketing automation partner. We chose ActiveCampaign. Over the years we had integrated with all the popular mailing systems. We know their strengths and faults. We still integrate with them. We picked ActiveCampaign because they provide the most bang for the buck. They also have a great reseller program so we get paid for providing integration and support. ActiveCampaign is a very open system with robust APIs. We have been able to tightly integrate with WordPress well beyond the ActiveCampaign plugin. Our ActiveCampaign plugin allows you to create a mailing in WordPress, designate the ad from DFP, and publish it to ActiveCampaign. We are able to track who clicks on ads!
The next big decision was what to do with Themes. Every publisher hates the limitations of the CMS when it comes to design and design changes. Volume web hosting companies lock you into a design that you must live with until the site is redesigned. There are too many great themes in the WordPress world to live that way. We looked and tested and looked and tested and arrived selecting the Newspaper theme as our foundation. This theme allows non-technical people to change the layout of pages and posts without coding. It supports thousands of designs.
We spent several years wrestling through theme issues with plugins. Most plugins are not well behaved and break designs. We have selected a suite of plugins and done the work to get them to behave with the Newspaper theme. The results are terrific! The purchase experience, articles, gating, calendars, events, directories and other features all play well with the main theme. They are all responsive and display nicely on phones!
We are now proud to bring to market a new kind of service that integrates your website, your email marketing system, ecommerce, gating, and your fulfillment service. We provide a great race car that your editorial, marketing and digital staff will love to drive.