Al Khaleej: Bringing News to Life Through an Intuitive User Experience

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Al Khaleej News

Al Khaleej wanted to provide their readers with a convenient and cutting edge newspaper experience personalized across all devices - and they identified Drupal as the ideal technology to support their transformative ambitions.

This is where Vardot comes in. Al Khaleej has sought out Vardot’s award-winning Drupal web design and development services to build the new Al Khaleej website using Drupal 8 and Varbase CMS.

Launched in 1970, Al Khaleej is a daily newspaper published by Dar Al Khaleej in the United Arab Emirates and has grown to become one of the most popular media and news outlets in the Middle East and North Africa region.


On-Site SEO Errors Reduced


Secure Migration of Articles and Content


Increase in New Users Acquired Organically

Content Structure and SEO

Al Khaleej's legacy website suffered from outdated content structure-related issues that led to numerous penalties over the years due to neglect and lack of maintenance.

Our design and development teams made it their priority to address this challenge by developing a tailored, yet flexible, content structure according to best practices and standards.

Outdated UI/UX

From static pages to non-responsive layouts on mobile, and PDF assets replacing what should have been rich and dynamic webpages.

The legacy website caused much frustration to the newspaper readers and our UI/UX team endeavored to create an intuitive UI/UX for the newspaper.

No Room for Growth

Over the years, the legacy Al Khaleej website slowly deteriorated from a lack of essential updates and upgrades that should be monitored and delivered consistently.

We had to ensure that the new digital experience would have the right infrastructure and ability to evolve from day one.


Frustrating User Experience

Al Khaleej's website visitors suffered from spam and obstructing elements in their UX due to the rigidness of the ads that Al Khaleej relies upon to generate online revenue.

Their digital marketers needed more flexibility to place ads in a contextual and smarter way - by integrating ad placement in a far more intelligent UX design system.

Content Management and Publishing Workflows

The Al Khaleej content publishing and editorial teams suffered from the restrictive and slow nature of uploading news. With the pace of news breaking at blinding speed these days - this challenge has become more imperative to fix ASAP.

Luckily, Al Khaleej chose Varbase CMS for its seamless content management, publishing, and moderation workflows.

Smarter Marketing

Al Khaleej needed to overhaul its approach towards marketing and communication. They realized that one size doesn't fit all and didn't want to contribute to the content fatigue that their readers experience every day.

Vardot presented them with options tailored towards automating a more intelligent approach of communication through Campaign Studio - our omnichannel marketing automation tool.

Launching Quicker to Market

With Dubai Expo 2020, National Day celebrations, and more, Al Khaleej has their hands full of newsworthy events.

They needed to be armed with a tailored CMS that can launch their new website quickly due to the tight timeline they faced.

This is where Varbase comes in.

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What We Did

Digital Strategy for Drupal Development


After aligning their KPIs and technical requirements - we agreed that removing silos between their technical and non-technical team members was critical to achieving a seamless content publishing experience.

Intuitive UI/UX for Newspapers


While paying homage to the traditional content structure of newspapers; our UI/UX team enabled Al Khaleej to bring news to life through beautiful imagery, content layouts, video, and intuitive user experience.

Drupal 9 development for media and newspapers


Enabled the content publishing, marketing, and technical teams to coordinate seamlessly thanks to the content publishing and moderation workflow features built into Varbase CMS.

KPI Driven UX Design

Online ads integration on newspaper websites

Non-Intrusive Ads

Recognizing the importance of ad revenue to publishers - our UX design team ensured they are not intrusive or disrupting the reader's experience through contextual placement of ad spaces.

Social Feeds

Social Feeds

In a bid to enhance cross-platform content promotion - we had to factor in the design and placement of 3 different social data feeds to and from Twitter.

Personalized Landing Pages for Newspapers

Personalized Layouts

In addition to the layout personalization flexibility enjoyed by content editors - our UX/UI team provided Al Khaleej with multiple branded layout theme options.

SEO friendly Newspaper website

Digital Newspaper Experience

Transforming Al Khaleej into a reader-first digital experience required 4 months of research and insight analysis from our team. This intimate study into user preferences and behavior ensured that we prioritized key UX issues in the new Drupal site:

  • Page loading is faster than ever
  • Enhanced personalization features
  • User and search engine-friendly content categorization
  • Accessibility features for all readers
  • Social sharing features
  • Intuitive design across all screen sizes
Newspaper and media marketing automation

Smarter Newsletters and Email Marketing

Al Khaleej can now implement account-based marketing automation best practices by instantly creating smart reader segments based on intent, behavior, and reader actions on their website. Using Campaign Studio's intelligent campaign builder they can send automated bespoke newsletters, digests, and content tailored to each segment via:

  • Email
  • Social Media Channels
  • SMS

Moreover, Al Khaleej can easily personalize messages and notifications to each user based on their navigation on their website.

UX best practices for news and media website

Eliminating Silos and Enhancing Performance

Varbase CMS is tailored to the critical requirements of media and publishing enterprises - packed with hundreds of media-centric modules and features.

  • User-friendly and multilingual backend UX for all departments involved in content publishing (technical and non-technical)
  • Seamless content publishing and moderation based on user roles and permissions defined by the actual editorial experience
  • Best-in-class content editorial tools
  • Robust rich media management for hi-res images and video formats

How to Build a Winning News Website