420on

Using Ruby expertise to facilitate a fast media portal launch

Media is a tricky industry. It is very difficult for media sites to make money solely from ads, so the most popular solution is to turn the site into a portal that meets a variety of user needs.

In 2008, the Evrone team developed a universal, versatile Ruby on Rails engine that helps us quickly launch media portals and build content delivery network solutions. It was used to implement klops.ru, the largest media outlet in Kaliningrad, and later it was used in news and media production for web and on other client projects. One of which was 420on.cz, the largest informational Russian-language portal in the Czech Republic.

The task: to quickly launch a web portal

420on.cz was founded by Vladimir Gurzhii, who, before the launch, was involved in supporting foreigners moving to the Czech Republic. He helped them solve legal and documentation issues, shared important details about the processes, and gave advice. He determined that it would be much more convenient for him to do this using a single source of information, so he turned to Evrone to develop his own media site about life in the Czech Republic.

Vladimir recognized our experience with custom content management system development and launching media sites, as well as the benefits of using Ruby on Rails. So he invited us to take on the challenge of launching a portal quickly and within a tight budget.

Thanks to our accumulated expertise and the use of the Ruby on Rails solution we had developed previously, we created and launched a powerful web portal written in Ruby on
Rails. It offers the ability to integrate additional sections and functionalities, and we completed it in just 3 months, with the help of 2 developers.

The solution: utilize our Ruby experience and our custom engine

The core of the project is a content management system written in the Ruby on Rails framework. It is much more functionally powerful than what small news portals typically use. This is because it allows you to connect different functions that cover the needs of different user groups. You can use it to publish banners, create a catalog of companies, build a real estate section, sell tickets for events, etc.

Using a custom CMS for a news portal turns a regular editorial office into a media startup team. When additional tasks appear, the engine helps to cover them all.

SEO and promotion

The platform we developed includes a module that makes it much easier for the editorial staff to manage news articles and optimize materials for search engines. For all published content, we included a tag system. Tags can be applied in manual or automatic mode and allow you to use a content search or sort the materials by topic to find what you are looking for.

Sorting articles according to the necessary criteria is not the only feature of the 420on.cz content management information system. All articles on the website are placed in such a way as to keep the interested user on the website for as long as possible. After reading one article, users are directed to a selection of materials on similar topics that might interest them, keeping them on the site longer.

We paid a lot of attention to the technical optimization of the website. Pages load quickly and are not overloaded with heavy code, which is ideal for search engines and traffic optimization.

Simplifying advertising opportunities

Any good project should bring in money, either directly or indirectly. Usually, monetization of news portals is arranged through the publication of partner materials and advertising. We provided the technical ability to flexibly customize the advertising and quickly place sponsored materials and manage advertisement banners.

Since advertising capacities cannot always provide the required amount of profit and are very dependent on the season, monetization is usually realized through other sections that may be of interest to users. Thus, 420on.cz has the following sections: banners, real estate, leisure, work, and a forum, and they have gained immense popularity. For example, not a single Russian-language event in the Czech Republic, be it a concert or a conference, takes place without information, support, and ticket sales on the 420on website.

Tech stack

The project was developed with Ruby on Rails, which Evrone has accumulated great experience with.

It took only 2 people from Evrone to launch the project. This was achieved due to the fact that we customized a media operations management solution we had already created, rather than developing an engine for the news site from scratch. This approach allowed us, not only to speed up the launch of the product, but also to significantly reduce the cost of the news portal development.

The client came to us with a ready-made portal design, and laying it out did not take much time, because our platform for managing websites allows us to implement almost any design quickly and without any complications or changes.

Now the product is being developed by the customer's own team, and we continue to advise them on expanding or changing functionality and help interview new team members.

The result

Today 420on.cz is the leading Russian-language online news portal in the Czech Republic, with an efficient content management system based on Ruby on Rails. Thanks to the technologies used, it works stably and is ready to scale and increase workloads. For example, in 2020, during a pandemic, traffic increased 3 times, but this did not affect the website and user experience in any way. Page loading speeds remained the same, and readers were able to quickly get the information they needed.

420on’s success was achieved partly due to the fact that they have efficient, well-designed digital publishing solutions and website management tools. The editorial staff can spend time creating quality content, instead of wasting time and effort dealing with an inconvenient layout and text editor in an incorrectly configured news CMS.

If you are looking for a team with Ruby on Rails & media production systems development expertise to develop an Internet portal, create a news site, or build a custom CMS to solve problems in your business, fill out the form at the bottom of the page. We will schedule a convenient call time to discuss how Evrone can help you.

Review from Clutch.co
Evrone has the right combination of price, communication, and the ability to find solutions to our issues. They made an effort to understand our challenges and were interested in what we wanted to achieve through the website. You don’t have to be super specific and worry they’ll miss the details. Evrone would fill in the blanks and ask questions if there was any confusion.
Vladimir Gurzhii
Business Development Executive at 420on.cz
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