the Urban Dater

One of the internet’s longest-running, most beloved, blogs receives a website refresh.

Project Overview

Since 2008, the Urban Dater has been dishing dating advice and stories from real people—it stands as one of the longest-running blogs on the topic of dating and relationships.

the Urban Dater has long run on Open Source technologies and solid hosting (provided by WP Engine). Discussion had been ongoing with what to do with the site, to freshen-up the look and feel.

the Urban Dater receives over 100,000 visits per month, as it serves as a reliable resource for the lost and lovelorn. The website has been stagnant in its appearance and functionality for the last three or so years. It was time for a fresh coat of paint and to discuss what was next for the award-winning blog.

the Urban Dater had bugs to fix, issues to address regarding negative SEO campaigns, and just needed a digital facelift. Most of all, the redesign couldn’t break the budget and the hosting needed to remain stable.

The Challenge

the Urban Dater has thousands of original pieces of content and several contributors on the website. In addition to looking and feeling dated, the Urban Dater lacked an automated way to take new content submissions from prospective writers and creators. Ultimately, the new website needed to shed it’s tired appearance, improve its publishing workflow, and be easier to maintain and address legacy bugs that have long hampered the website.

the Urban Dater’s digital platform requirements

  • Rock solid hosting was a requirement
  • Required a top notch, sleek, but fun look that easily showcased the content
  • Improved site speed and performance
  • Be easy to update and maintain
  • Implement an easy-to-manage publishing process

The Solution

Leveraging the power of Open Source CMS WordPress, DigiSavvy was able to implement a robust solution, resolve bugs, and provide for an easy to manage publishing workflow for Editors and Contributors alike.

  • Editors had a new publishing workflow that notifies Editing staff and contributors when new content has been submitted for review.
  • Contributors are notified if their content requires changes, is approved/denied, providing self-service publishing tools for their content and author profiles.
  • Provided an updated, vibrant UX design, that focuses on the content, not ads, or anything that annoys the User Experience.
  • Provided multi-author post assignments, a feature long requrested by Urban Dater staffers
  • The CMS is regularly updated and innovated, ensuring that the website platform will grow with them.
  • Leveraged intelligent search that uses machine learning to help steer users to the right information they’re looking for.
  • Managed hosting provided by WP Engine, one of WordPress’s best managed hosts.

The Results

28% increase in pageviews

Part of the update for the website went to investigating a host of toxic backlinks and submitting them to Google’s Disavow tool—toxic links shouldn’t hurt rankings or traffic but it’s still a good practice to review your site for such links and report them, in this case it has attributed to an increase in traffic.

Improved publishing workflow that reduced back-and-forth

With the new publishing workflow implemented, there are less support emails, less questions about the status of an article, this has decreased author management and overhead by the Urban Dater Editorial team.

Increased ease of use and management

DigiSavvy performed a thorough technical audit, identifying plugins that could be removed, substituting bloat in favor of simplicity and a custom solution where it made sense.

Also, the Urban Dater now uses the Block Editor, introduced by WordPress in version 5.0, this has provided a great deal of flexibility for content creators to create their best content and use their imagination to create whatever they want.

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