Automating Feeds

With WordPress to add scheduled content via XML news feed.

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HMV are a well known entertainment store who wanted to offer news via a dedicated website. The latest news was to be pulled from a partner company. The site was built using a multi-site instance so they could deliver the news articles in 9 different languages for people all around the world.

The Challenge

The requirements from HMV were to build a bespoke WordPress plugin that could connect XML news feeds to WordPress, regularly check the feed and pull in any new or updated data across 9 languages.

Integration with Apple News was also important, so they could have advertisements within Apple to increase revenue online.

There is no easy quick way to pull data from multiple XML news feeds into WordPress on a regular schedule, categorising the posts based on data within the feed as well as the site doing this for 9 languages.

The Solution

After breaking down what was required we setup a website which followed all the HMV branding guidelines to match and developed this into a multi language website within WordPress.

These new posts are then created from the new feed content & categorised as required as well as picking a particular user to be shown as the author, this allowed them to showcase bio’s about each author for example the gaming news would be by someone who loved gaming and we showcased description about them.

Imagery was downloaded, resized and added to an Amazon CDN server and attached to the content. One problem we had here was the cropping of images would sometimes crop a head in half which we had to use the GD image library to check for a person and then crop around them.

A cronjob was set up to trigger the download every 4 hours.

The posts were then pushed automatically to social media and Apple news, creating a 100% automated process distributing new content to all channels.

The Commercial Outcome

We saved our clients a lot of time manually adding or creating news content.

  • Employee’s Time Saved

    Time saved over a year – how much could your team be doing with this time?

  • %

    Total Profit

    Based on minimum wage per hour (£7.90) – over 400% profit margin.

  • Cups of coffee

    This accounts to be 3,715 coffees.

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