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The Forward

A new digital publishing platform for The Forward

The Forward is an influential media company that delivers news coverage that matters to a Jewish American audience. However, the organization’s web presence felt dated, and the technology powering The Forward was limiting their editorial team. Simpatico partnered with in-house editorial, business, and design teams to build an all new digital platform for The Forward on WordPress.

A responsive, lightweight, on-brand custom WordPress theme that is visually attractive to users and easy to use for editors

The design team at The Forward provided the Simpatico team with high-fidelity Sketch mockups. Simpatico turned these flat mockups into a flexible WordPress theme, working in tandem with editors to ensure the back-end UI was as streamlined and user-friendly as possible to support efficient content creation. Simpatico paid special attention to page speed optimization.

I've redesigned over a dozen major publications in my career and have never had a better development partner than the team at Studio Simpatico.
Angelie Zaslavsky Head of Design,

Integrations for a full-fledged digital publishing platform

In addition to the responsive, custom WordPress theme, the build’s requirements necessitated several third party integrations:

  • Piano – The Piano platform empowers publishers to create customized digital experiences and build relationships with users. We leveraged Piano to implement a paywall and subscription model to monetize The Forward.
  • Iterable – We integrated Forward’s custom WordPress theme, Piano implementation, and Classy instance (nonprofit fundraising software) with Iterable for seamless newsletter signups.
  • AMP – We leveraged the WordPress AMP plugin to automate the process of generating AMP-valid markup as much as possible.
Our first look at the build came quickly and was nothing short of awesome, demonstrating the highest level of craftsmanship.
Angelie Zaslavsky Head of Design,
The Forward in Yiddish

Assisting The Forward’s long-standing partner with the migration effort

We partnered closely with the team at Make It All Work to create a robust migration strategy and project plan to move content from their existing Symphony CMS into WordPress. Initially a daunting challenge, our teams partnered on a detailed migration plan, choreographing a careful order of operations, mapping of Symphony fields to WordPress fields, and creating custom shortcodes to support legacy content from the old build. All migration milestones were completed on time, and the new site went live on the original target launch date.

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