We were approached by the online department at Southfields television to manage and further professionalise all WielerFlits.nl technology. What started as a typical assignment quickly became a time trial to launch a new mobile app just before the Tour de France 2019!
From site to mobile app
While we were busy setting up the deployment street (development – staging – production) for the .nl site, it was also decided to update the existing mobile app. It was all about timing – this needed to be ready before the Tour de France.
The existing app for iOS and Android appeared visually neat. The brief for the new app was clear from the outset. Faster, to be able to keep users up to date on all cycling news in real time, or as quickly as possible, and easy to navigate. As well as Tour de France news, all WielerFlits information had to be available too.
In order to roll out a good technical foundation, we built the app from scratch, in React Native. This open source framework, created by Facebook, makes it possible to develop an app for iOS and Android in one go.
Content is uploaded via WordPress API. The app has been created to ensure visitors can respond to articles and follow the blog, which is a live feed. Therefore, the site and app work in conjunction, meaning no additional editorial time is required to publish content.
We achieved our goal to launch just ahead of the Tour de France 2019 – the new improved app was available for download on time. Compared to 2018 figures, traffic increased by 51% in the Tour weeks alone.
Teams from Van Ons and Southfields concur on a weekly basis, monitoring the deployment street and coordinating with editorial staff, ensuring ongoing technological improvements and a fully professional team.
This has already led to 70% more unique visitors to the .nl and .be sites in the past year!