Latterly Magazine launched on Kickstarter*in November 2014 and got funded to start a monthly magazine featuring longform stories that narrate the World and often remain untold. They wanted to create a digital only, beautiful reading experience to support journalism through subscriptions across multiple channels.
We at thePrintLabs have been in touch with Ben Wolford, Latterly’s Editor and Founder, to develop and deploy a publishing system based on WordPress, and deliver the Web and the iOS App digital editions. Subscription management systems that seamless work on the Web and native Apps are often complex and lack customization features, thus the decision to integrate a standalone system that we custom developed to manage purchases and logins across the different channels and run a metered paywall on WordPress.
Design & development
We have been designing the Web and the iOS experiences to enhance the narrative’s beauty and let readers subscribe easily with a one-page purchase process. Starting from the existing content and the editorial plan, we provided continuous support to develop effective technical solutions in terms of workflow and front-end presentation.
Our commitment spanned from setting up the server infrastructure, to the development of the application framework which deeply integrates Sullivan, our custom subscription management system, with a WordPress instance powered by PressRoom.
We also had the pleasure to be involved in the design process for both tha web and iOS app, developing the latter over the open source Baker framework. At the end, each piece of the infrastructure smoothly integrates in a seamless, clear experience.
As it happens in many digital publishing projects, the initial consultancy and scoping is then proved right or wrong after the first deployment, and through continuous support and tweaking. Our experience in consulting and supporting magazine and newspaper publishers across new digital channels, not only involves development, but also means facing every day’s issues in business and in the publishing process together with them. The relationship between thePrintLabs and Latterly Magazine is an ongoing partnership based on sharing insights on the editorial project, and on the other side providing ideas, suggestions and features.
A publishing platform created for paid content needs to be open to new developments and provide the tools to test different business models quickly. Latterly Magazine is now running on a tailored system that enables subscriptions, single issue sales, donations and advertisement across different channels, with plenty of space for improvements and new features. They can also manage to create additional editions starting from the same content, and deliver them to additional websites or Apps, repurposing content for different audiences.
Latterly requirement have been to deploy an easy to use and future proof platform based on the well know and widely used CMS WordPress. Journalists and Editors could use the platform to edit articles and customize the layouts from within the same system with no additional staff required. Also the training process have been really quick and efficient, letting Latterly to manage the editing, publishing and metric reading process easily on their own.
The platform is now the perfect system to keep the overhead low and enable tiny publishing operations leverage small priced subscriptions, letting them invest on generating outstanding content and being economically sustainable.