We helped NPR.org launch a custom CMS in under four months.

National Public Radio (NPR) is a leading media outlet that serves as a national syndicator to a network of 900 public radio stations in the United States.

Though NPR audience numbers were still holding steady, overall radio audiences were declining with more and more listeners turning to the Web for news and entertainment. With these trends in mind, NPR made significant investments into their digital presence with the key goal of reaching new audiences by repurposing radio content for the Web.

This online initiative had four major components: design, content management system (CMS), web development and mobile optimization.

Download Case Study (PDF)
Key Takeaways
  • Launched a custom CMS in under 4 months.
  • Designed site tailored for audio content.
  • Codified QA development resources.
  • Implemented the Selenium.
  • Created a custom integration with NPR’s proprietary CMS to third-party software.
  • Installed Atlassian Fisheye and Crucible.
Technology & Services
  • Atlassian Fisheye & Crucible 
  • Selenium 
  • Agile Process Tools & Support
  • Technology Assessment
  • Web Strategy
  • Visual Design
  • Quality Assurance
  • Front-end & Back-end Development
  • Search Integration

Our Approach

NPR’s design process was already well underway prior to engaging Siteworx.  However, with only four months left in their timeline, NPR needed a partner with experience launching digital projects using the Agile methodology, a process they had only recently adopted. Siteworx’ diverse team of highly specialized design and development talents were brought on to assist NPR meet its aggressive goals.

Going from On-Air to On-line

NPR not only wanted to refresh its design, they also wanted to improve site navigation and highlight NPR’s extensive audio and video assets. Siteworx created a modern, intuitive design that focused on making NPR’s audio content search-friendly to make on-air references to Web content much more seamless.

Testing the Limits

Front-End Development

Due to the use of the Agile methodology, NPR’s CMS required continual front-end code updates, which in turn required continuous sample testing across browsers. To mitigate the risk introduced by the constant changes, Siteworx worked with NPR to codify QA development resources and implement the Selenium Web application testing system for automated browser testing.

Putting It All Together

Back-End Development

NPR’s proprietary in-house CMS limited how blog posts from their third-part blogging platform could be displayed throughout the website. To resolve this issue, Siteworx created a custom layer that enabled interaction between NPR’s CMS and their blog.

In addition, Siteworx also stitched the website’s back-end code to a Model View Controller (MVC) software pattern to create more reusable code, which sped up launch times and lowered the learning curve for new developers just introduced to the NPR code base.


Becoming Agile Inside Out


NPR selected the Atlassian product suite to improve their development and issue management processes. Siteworx not only implemented the tool, but also acted as a consultative partner for issues regarding agile development, deployment and issue tracking. 

For example, Siteworx recommended migrating to Subversion using CVS, an open source version control system, and using it with the Atlassian tools with which it is integrated. The project was such a success Subversion is now being used by non-developers to track their design artifacts and versions. 

The Impact

By bringing NPR’s on-air assets online, Siteworx has given NPR access to a fresh audience and new platform to interact with existing listeners. Furthermore, Siteworx’ back-end overhauls have created a strong foundation that enables the media group to share content with a wider audience faster and more efficiently. 


4 months

to launch a custom CMS


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