In 2003 Poundbury Publishing (the owners of ITALY Magazine) decides to invest considerably in their online presence creating an online destination that had the same values of quality and original content about "Il Bel Paese" as the print edition of ITALY had.
While italymag.co.uk already existed in a basic form a significant overhaul was undertaken.
The result is a website and online community that embraces the latest technologies and means of online communication such as blogs and feeds, forums - but also a presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Attention to search engine optimisation has also placed italymag.co.uk in the first page for several key phrases including "italy" and "property for sale in italy".
The traffic grew several times over in the ensuing four years to become a premier destination for lovers of Italy from across the world.
ITALY Magazine is the world's best selling english-language magazine for lovers of all things Italian. The website receives a considerable amount of traffic daily (more than 120 000 uniques a month) and offers both an online magazine section (with feature stories, shorter daily news stories, travel guides, user-submitted links and a language podcast) as well as property, accommodation and holiday listings.
The website went from a collection of Wordpress blogs for the news page, Joomla for the listings pages and VBulletin for forums to a complete Drupal installation (starting from version 5 and then upgrading to version 6). Each major component of the website (news, holidays, accommodation, property, community) uses a separate database and slightly different theme. The administration of these components has been made considerably simpler by Drupal's multisite capabilites and theme inheritance.
We have a basic ITALY Drupal package of modules and a basic ITALY theme that is shared across all components of the website and is then enhanced with specific modules for each website and subthemes for fine-tuning each different part of the website.
Heavy use is made of Views and CCK with custom modules that glue everything together. The Community site uses Organic Groups, CCK and Views to create groups and forums.
Another important component of the website is integration with Google Ad Manager that takes care of all banner positions and choosing whether to run in-house banners, advertiser banners or AdSense ads.