was founded in 1999 and has grown to become one of the largest sources of information for investors in the Netherlands. Visitors will find economic news, stock market news, real-time quotes, advice and an expert opinion on the latest financial developments. Every month, the website attracts around 300,000 unique visitors and generates over a million visits. In Belgium, the Belegger group is active with the site This is by far the largest investor site in Belgium with 270,000 unique visitors every month. The Belegger group is part of Sanoma Media, the largest media company in the Netherlands. had just started developing a new website, when the helm had to change. The financial market was in a state of flux and wanted to remain at the forefront of news and backgrounds. The sooner the new website would be launched, the sooner readers, advertisers and also the editors would be able to benefit from it. The planning was adjusted and the new website went live four months earlier. Ibuildings turned out to be flexible enough to achieve this.

Speed first priority

Martin Hersman, Business & Finance Manager at Sanoma Media says: “When we decided to launch the new website almost twice as fast, we had to decide in a short time what functionality was really necessary and what was ’nice to have’ under the circumstances. We accepted that the site wouldn’t be optimal yet, but it had to be a significant improvement for readers and advertisers at launch. Ibuildings also had to adapt as a developer and they did so with a lot of flexibility”.

New CMS wanted to innovate rigorously. The site had to be clearer and more readable, so that would become the site of choice for every investor. With a clear separation between news, stock market prices and advertisements. A new content management system (CMS) was introduced at the backend, enabling the editors to place and manage text and images more easily. There was also a new, faster way to process advertisements. Because of the short turnaround time, Ibuildings phased in the requirements. When going live, at least the basis of the CMS had to function and the reader had to see a fully-fledged site. This was followed by all other functionality, so that the site would be completely renewed after about eight months.

Flexible stakes

Ibuildings is well known within Sanoma Media, as they are also closely involved with, among others, Startpage and Martin: “Ibuildings came up with an accelerated solution for, but this also affected other Ibuildings projects within Sanoma Media. The nice thing about Ibuildings is that they are very open and down-to-earth. They honestly state what they can and cannot achieve. Because they are a large organisation, they were able to deploy staff flexibly. This way, no project was really delayed.

Problem-free live after four months

Martin was well prepared for the launch of the new “An exciting moment, because everything had to be done so fast. Moreover, at the same time we migrated our Belgian sister site, which had its own specifications. We had extra people on standby, but fortunately no problems. Reactions were especially positive: readers praised the calm, clear classification of quotes, news and advertisements. Advertisers appreciate the professional look and the larger advertising space. The editors are also satisfied, because they have more room for content. The first returns are significant. We are growing and have 10% more visitors this year than last year. People stay longer on the site, view more pages and direct traffic has increased by 20%”.

Real cooperation

Martin has had good experiences working with Ibuildings. “It’s a party you really work with. They listen to the client’s interests, without losing sight of themselves. They want to develop and be the best in their field. My interest is the success of my project. In this, we are very open to each other, without hidden agendas. That is their strength: openness and honesty in how they work. If there is a problem, we can always discuss it. I would definitely recommend Ibuildings to others,” sums up Martin’s experience.

Future is clearly preparing itself for a new era. With the renewed website, but also with apps and mobile. “We want to be the clearer of all the stock market news. What’s more, within Sanoma we want to be the best news editor in the Netherlands for trade fair and financial news. We have that quality in-house. This means that the editorial teams of the various platforms will increasingly work together. The challenge for Ibuildings is to continuously increase usability. How do you make it even easier for editors to manage content and, above all, to share it among themselves? There is always news, day and night. We want to respond to that,” concludes Martin.

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Sander de Koeijer

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