A Modernized Music Review Site for Big News and Big Traffic






  • Information Architecture
  • Laravel
  • UI Design
  • UX Design
  • WordPress
  • As the go-to source for all heavy metal & hard rock news, needed a modernized website to support their millions of monthly visitors. We rebuilt, to help quickly hook music fans while accommodating their high web traffic. The result was an increase in user engagement and exploration, as well as a decrease in hosting costs.

    Why this project was a success

    • 1

      Decreased monthly hosting costs by up to 50% with AWS auto scaling.

    • 2

      Encouraged further site exploration by implementing Elasticsearch.

    • 3

      Developed a robust website using Laravel to manage large traffic spikes.

    Developing a Fast-loading Site for High Traffic

    Heavy metal and hard rock fans flock to Blabbermouth to stay up to date on the latest news, with 1.2 million page views per day. To ensure fast loading times no matter what, we implemented AWS Lambda and Cloudflare content delivery network (CDN) to help cache the site images and protect against bots.

    Through these auto-scaling and caching updates, we reduced Blabbermouth’s hosting costs by up to fifty percent! Along with migration from RoR to Laravel, we created a more robust site with quicker loading times and little risk of crashing.

    Improved Discoverability for Dedicated Fans

    We revamped search capabilities with Elasticsearch for dedicated fans looking for noteworthy news. We developed a tagging system for all content so that users can filter through and find exactly what they’re looking for. Along with suggested articles, users are continually encouraged to further explore the world of rock and roll.

    To bring Blabbermouth into the 21st century we removed all dated terminology, created a Features section to highlight exclusive interviews, and developed a submission form for quicker news turnaround.

    Balancing a Great User Experience with Monetization

    Since the biggest source of revenue for Blabbermouth are their ads which are featured across the site, we had to ensure these were working correctly, but not impacting the users’ search for content. We ensured all images and text would load before ads guaranteeing a good user experience regardless of their internet quality. 

    Users can now get important updates from anywhere with improved readability on mobile and quicker loading speeds.

    Improved Experience for Site Administrators

    It was important for the site administrators to have the flexibility and ease of uploading content independently. By using Gutenberg blocks and reorganizing Blabbermouth’s CMS, admins are now able to quickly and easily upload content. This was crucial since breaking news stories need to be published as quickly as possible to attract search traffic first.

    Site administrators were also dealing with an overwhelming backend that contained a large number of unused plugins which had led to slower loading times, a higher chance of a security breach, and an increase in overhead costs. We created a hybrid site using WordPress for its easy-to-use CMS and Laravel for its robust backend. This helped increase the site’s speed and security which was important considering their high user traffic.

    About the client is a website dedicated to heavy metal and hard rock news, as well as album and music DVD reviews. It was founded in 2001 and is run by Borivoj Krgin. The revolutionary site was the first platform dedicated to providing breaking heavy metal and hard rock news 24/7. It quickly became the top news source for major fans around the world. Now, over 20 years later, the website is still going strong.

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