When Potomac Local Media contacted Web Publisher PRO, the publication was in a bind. Two months earlier, the independent local news publisher had launched a subscription tier of service, with about 10% of content being kept behind a paywall. Hundreds of readers quickly signed up to become paying subscribers, and the launch was deemed a great success. It continued to be a success, up until one morning in late October, when Potomac Local’s subscribers found themselves unable to log into their accounts to access the premium content they were paying for.
People were angry that they weren’t getting what they were paying for, and Potomac Local had no choice but to seek out immediate technical support. After temporarily removing the paywall, Potomac Local’s publisher placed a call to Web Publisher PRO. We were tasked with diagnosing the problem that was causing Potomac Local’s user logins to fail, and also making some necessary website upgrades.
Understanding the frustration that subscribers were experiencing, we made it our first goal to fix the login issue impacting Potomac Local’s website. To ensure the issue never happened again, we needed to rebuild the publisher’s WordPress website from the ground up. That included reducing the number of plugins on the website, which had bogged down the performance.
Given how important email newsletters have become to successful local news publishers, we recommended that Potomac Local explore email marketing as a channel for reader outreach. We worked closely with Potomac Local’s publisher to upgrade the publication’s RSS templates in MailChimp, which would make it easier to generate a newsletter with headlines for subscribers.
By the time Potomac Local launched its new website and restored its paywall two months later, all of the subscriber login issues were gone. The website was also faster, and the periodic instances where the website would crash unexpectedly were no more.
FROM THE CLIENT
Founder & Publisher
“Entrepreneurial journalists work hard to build trust in the communities they serve — not only with readers, but with local governments, police and fire departments, and businesses whose employees all serve as sources who help us bring you the news. With our website issues behind us, Potomac Local has a renewed sense of trust and reliability in our community.”