Schlussgang.ch - die Nummer 1 im Schwingen
Schlussgang.ch, developed by NETNODE AG for SCHLUSSGANG Medien AG, is a comprehensive, user-centric platform dedicated to Swiss wrestling, offering news, event schedules, athlete profiles, a live ticker, and more. Powered by Drupal and NextJS, it features the top-ranked Schlussgang Schwingerapp and an extensive Swiss wrestling database. Despite challenges like high traffic spikes and implementing a new digital subscription model, the platform has seen remarkable success, selling thousands of subscriptions and creating a unique, engaging experience for fans.
Case descriptionThe Premier Platform for Swiss Wrestling
Schlussgang.ch, developed by NETNODE AG, is the definitive online platform for Swiss wrestling, or "Schwingen." Created to serve a community passionate about this national sport, the site features a wealth of resources, from the latest news and event schedules to extensive athlete profiles and the unique "Schwingerpedia."
Harnessing Cutting-edge Technologies: Building with Drupal and NextJS
This platform was built using a cutting-edge, decoupled solution, with Drupal as the backend and NextJS as the frontend, enhancing its robustness and user experience. Further, dedicated apps were developed for both iOS and Android using Expo (React Native), expanding its reach to mobile users.
The Schlussgang Schwingerapp, the cornerstone of this platform, earned the #1 position in the iOS App Newspapers category for several weeks and still ranks in the top 10 as of June 2023.
Schlussgang.ch showcases a vast database on Swiss wrestling, boasting:
- Over 7,000 articles
- More than 6,000 athlete profiles, spanning both active and past wrestlers
- An archive of 5,000+ events tracing back to 1991
- Over 20,000 ranking lists and statistics
- 100+ Schwingerpedia entries
The Live Ticker: Delivering Real-Time Updates for Wrestling Fans
One of the key features is the Live Ticker, which publishes interim and final results for wrestling events in real-time. This feature has garnered a significant following, with tens of thousands of fans utilizing it every weekend.
Embracing Future-Proof Design: Creating a Robust, Adaptable Digital Infrastructure with Schlussgang.ch
Finally, a significant goal for this project was to design a robust, adaptable digital infrastructure. This novel architecture opens the gateway to incorporate fresh ideas and functionalities swiftly, propelling a constant wave of innovation while simultaneously responding to evolving market needs. The meticulously crafted solution does not just fulfill our current requirements, but also has scalability at its core, ready to expand and adapt beyond our present horizon.
Case goals and resultsExtending SCHLUSSGANG Medien AG's Digital Reach
One of the primary goals of Schlussgang.ch was to serve as a digital counterpart to the print magazine, thus further cementing the presence of SCHLUSSGANG Medien AG in the Swiss wrestling community. The intent was to provide a user-friendly digital experience that both complements and enhances the information provided in the biweekly print magazine.
This goal was successfully realized with the launch of Schlussgang.ch and the accompanying Schlussgang Schwingerapp. The digital platform and app have significantly expanded the reach of SCHLUSSGANG Medien AG, providing wrestling enthusiasts access to a wealth of information right at their fingertips.
A New Era: Introducing a Successful Digital Subscription Model
Another significant objective was to establish a new digital subscription model. Prior to this, the client primarily relied on an ad-based model. The challenge lay in introducing a subscription model that offered substantial value to users, encouraging them to pay for premium services while ensuring it did not cannibalize the print subscription base.
Exceeding Expectations: Rapid Success of the Digital Subscription Model
In response to this challenge, we introduced a digital subscription offering ad-free app usage and access to intermediate ranking lists. The outcome exceeded all expectations, with thousands of subscriptions sold in just a few weeks of launch. This not only generated substantial additional revenue but also validated our approach to balancing digital and print offerings.
Handling High Traffic with Tailored Hosting Infrastructure
In terms of technology, our goal was to deliver a high-performing platform capable of handling high traffic spikes, particularly during wrestling events. We accomplished this through a custom tailored hosting infrastructure provided by NETNODE Cloud. The solution involved multiple layers of caching, horizontally scalable frontend servers with NextJS, and Drupal application master backend. This fully integrated system, with a CI/CD pipeline, ensured smooth, fast, and secure ongoing development.
Automation for Efficiency and Speed
Furthermore, our focus was on enhancing the editorial experience. The editorial team, though small, is responsible for timely updates, particularly during busy weekends when multiple wrestling events take place. To streamline this process, we created a custom Drupal backend that allows the team to create and publish ticker messages within seconds. The high level of automation implemented in the backend significantly reduces manual input, allowing the editorial team to focus on content quality and speed.
Realizing Goals with Open-Source Software
Overall, the launch of Schlussgang.ch represents the successful realization of all our set goals, driving financial success, user satisfaction, and robust technological infrastructure. The journey exemplifies the potential of open-source software like Drupal in creating highly effective and user-centric digital experiences.
ChallengesBalancing Act: Strategizing the Introduction of a New Digital Subscription Model
Introducing a new digital subscription model was a big challenge. We wanted to ensure we offered an appealing package that would encourage users to subscribe without cannibalising the existing print subscription base. We found an effective solution in providing new services that were logical add-ons to the existing offerings, and the model proved successful with thousands of subscriptions sold within the first few weeks.
Navigating Platform Transition: The Challenge of Migrating from WordPress to Drupal
One of the significant challenges we faced during the development of Schlussgang.ch was the need to migrate from WordPress to Drupal. The client had grown dissatisfied with the WordPress integration, and transitioning to a different platform required careful planning and execution to ensure that no valuable data was lost in the process. Nearly 98% of the content from WordPress was successfully migrated to Drupal, maintaining the site's rich reservoir of information.
Overcoming Traffic Peaks: Ensuring Performance Amid High Demand
Another formidable challenge was managing high traffic spikes, especially during wrestling events. The peak traffic usually occurs around 5pm on Sundays when everyone is eager to see the final results. The site needed to be robust enough to handle up to 100M requests per month, with peak hours delivering alone 1M requests. This required a carefully tailored hosting infrastructure, and we were able to successfully build a system that could handle these high demands without compromising performance.
Creating Digital Login and Subscription Services in a Decoupled Architecture
Integrating a digital login and subscription service presented a challanging hurdle due to our decoupled architecture. There was no standard method available, so we had to create additional APIs and state management systems to fulfill our needs. Leveraging Drupal's register/login and user object functionality, we were able to successfully implement this feature.
Bringing Real-Time to Users: The Live Ticker and the Use of Websockets
The creation of the Live Ticker involved the use of websockets to deliver a truly "live" experience, allowing users to keep their devices open and simply wait for ticker messages to come in. With Drupal as a decoupled backend, we needed an additional real-time service. We chose to use Supabase, which integrates well with the NextJS frontend and can be connected to the Drupal backend. Despite the technical complexity, we achieved a seamless live ticker experience that has been embraced by tens of thousands of fans every weekend.
Loading Live Results Directly from the Field
Lastly, we aimed to integrate several APIs to load results directly from the swiss national federation of swiss wrestling. The objective was to import live data provided by the federation and integrate it into the live ticker within 1 to 5 minutes. Despite the challenges, this feature was successfully implemented, allowing thousands of fans to receive near-instant updates about their favorite events.
Overcoming Obstacles: Highlighting Technical Expertise and Dedication in Schlussgang.ch Development
Each of these challenges required careful planning, problem-solving, and technical expertise. Overcoming them not only enhanced the functionality and user experience of Schlussgang.ch but also underscored our commitment to delivering a top-tier digital platform for the Swiss wrestling community.
Community contributionsOur contributions reflect our commitment to supporting the open-source ecosystem and facilitating a shared learning environment.
Cultivating Open-Source Growth: Our Active Engagement in NEXTJS Drupal Community
We actively participated in discussions within the NEXTJS Drupal Slack community, contributing our insights and experiences about the integration of NEXT with Drupal. We shared the challenges we faced, the solutions we found, and the innovative strategies we implemented during the development of Schlussgang.ch. This active exchange of knowledge has proven mutually beneficial, enhancing our own understanding while aiding others navigating similar paths.
Shared Resources: Launching our Github NEXTJS Starter Template
Additionally, we shared our Github NEXTJS Starter Template with a Drupal Backend Base (https://github.com/NETNODEAG/nn-nextjs-starter/tree/13-drupal). This resource serves as a practical guide for those embarking on similar projects, offering a blueprint that can help streamline the development process. Our contribution is a testament to our belief in the power of collaboration and the shared growth of the open-source community.
Our contributions are an integral part of our journey with Schlussgang.ch. They are our way of giving back to a community that fosters innovation and growth, and we are proud to be part of this vibrant ecosystem. Through these contributions, we hope to inspire and empower others to create and innovate in their unique ways.
Why should this case win the splash awards?Financial Success and User Engagement: A Win-Win Situation
Innovation Unleashed: Decoupled Architecture with Drupal and NextJS 13 (app directory)
Secondly, the project represents a successful implementation of a cutting-edge, decoupled architecture using Drupal and NextJS. This innovative solution demonstrates the potential and flexibility of these technologies in delivering a high-performing, user-centric digital experience.
Superior Design and Functionality: The Unbeatable Ranking List Service
The platform also boasts the most comprehensive ranking list service in the market, further testament to its superior design and functionality. Its high level of automation and efficient backend design enhances the editorial experience, allowing for quick and easy content management and publication.
Built for Resilience: Tailored Hosting Infrastructure for Peak Traffic Management
Additionally, the platform's resilience in the face of high traffic spikes, thanks to the custom-tailored hosting infrastructure provided by NETNODE Cloud, shows the robustness of the solution and its ability to deliver a seamless user experience even during peak usage times.
Leveraging Drupal for Optimal Digital Experiences
Finally, the project was made possible due to the effective use of open-source software and the deep experience of NETNODE in creating digital experiences with Drupal. This case demonstrates the power and potential of open-source technologies in creating highly functional, user-friendly, and financially successful digital platforms.
In conclusion, Schlussgang.ch encapsulates innovation, financial success, technical excellence, and superior user experience, making it a worthy contender for the Splash Awards.