Runners World is the well known publication for the running enthusiast, published by Touchline Media (part of Media24). LightSpeed was brought in to redesign the main Runners World website, My Runners World (the online community site powered by BuddyPress) and the dedicated Comrades Marathon site to accompany the new web presence.
The Runners World Theme
The Runners World (RW) theme is built on WooThemes’ Canvas Theme and utilizes the Events module (used for Races on Runners World) we’ve developed for our Publisher theme and the Ads plugin we developed.
The Race Calendar
The Events Module includes a landing page with a slider for Featured Races, Single Race posts (with Google Maps) and Advanced Race Search.
Race Calendar features:
- Post Type with custom taxonomies and custom fields.
- Landing page with slider (for featured events)
- Upcoming / Past Events
- Featured Events
- Single Event posts
- Event Search
- Events Calendar (linking to single event posts)
- Frontend event posting
We are continually improving the Runners World website and ensuring that it utilizes the latest functionality available. Updates to WooThemes Canvas Theme and WordPress are implemented site wide. An example of this continued maintenance is when we recently moved the gallery post type to the standard Canvas portfolio post type. This is ideal for galleries as it includes the built in Lightbox and gallery slider for each gallery (portfolio) post.
Runners World Mobile
We used WPtouch Pro to develop the Runners World mobile theme, which is based on our publisher mobile theme. It is a simplified version of the main desktop site, broken down into the two main sections: Articles and Race Calendar. Iain developed a custom home page with links to the Articles landing page, the Race Calendar landing page, and the ability to search events from the home page. Individual Race posts feature Google Maps and Social media sharing buttons.
Runners World, Community and User interaction
Runners World has a strong focus on user interaction. This can clearly be seen by the amount of space devoted to community affairs on the Home Page. Right underneath the slider featuring the latest articles, the most recent member activity on My Runners World is displayed, along with the latest Forum topics.
Upcoming events are displayed in the sidebar, as well as a Call to Action widget to subscribe to the weekly newsletter. Slightly further down the page a lot of space has been devoted to Twitter, with RunnersWorldZA‘s Tweets and Twitter Mentions displayed next to each other. In the Sidebar the Facebook page is promoted with a Facebook widget.
Runners World understands that their readership is their biggest asset, and leverage their community for continued success.
Runners World Plugins
We implemented these tried and tested plugins for Runners World.
- Google Analytics for WordPress
- Redirection – Manage all your 301 redirects and monitor 404 errors
- Tweet Blender – Provides several Twitter widgets: show your own tweets, show tweets relevant to post’s tags, show tweets for Twitter lists, show tweets for hashtags, show tweets for keyword searches, show favorite tweets. Multiple widgets on the same page are supported. Can combine sources and blend all of them into a single stream.
- WP-Polls – Adds an AJAX poll system to your WordPress blog.
Runners World hosted on Feedmymedia
Runners World is hosted on Feedmymedia, our own dedicated WordPress hosting platform. It is our most trafficked site on the network, with an estimated 90 000+ visits and 350 000+ Pageviews per month.
Publisher Theme Case Studies
LightSpeed’s expert team of WordPress developers have crafted many websites for online magazines, and this experience (including our work on Runner’s World) has led to the development of our Publisher Theme. The LightSpeed Publisher Theme is a magazine publishing framework for building magazine style websites. It is based on a Canvas child theme and aimed at making the development of media rich websites for magazines and publishing houses easier.
Have a look at these Case Studies for more information on the theme’s capabilities:
Keep a look out for our follow up Case Study of the Runners World community site, My Runners World. We also have an interview with Amy Ebedes, Runner’s World online editor on what it takes to build a community around a print publication.