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Migrating A Media Operator from Substack to WordPress

Like many successful creators, Jacob Donnelly needed a more powerful and flexible publishing platform to help scale in a competitive space.

The Challenge

Outgrowing Substack

Substack helps new writers to establish an audience relationship, and requires minimal effort and technical investment.

When A Media Operator first launched, Substack was an ideal startup solution. Yet as the business evolved, Jacob needed a better way to engage and monetise his growing audience.

Read more: When to Migrate From Substack to WordPress 

As I continued to think through what I was trying to build versus what Substack was supporting, I realised I was stuck.

That’s why I decided to move from Substack to WordPress

Jacob Cohen Donelly,  Founder A Media Operator

Content-friendly web design

A personalised user journey to drive newsletter subscriptions

Default Substack themes are designed for newsletter-only publishers, so customisations are limited.

The Code Company’s first task was to design and develop a custom layout, which educates new visitors about A Media Operator and prompts them to sign up for the free newsletter.

If an existing newsletter subscriber visits the site, they receive a personalised experience and are encouraged to upgrade to access premium members-only content.

The layout was designed to encourage strong organic SEO, with the flexibility to add additional or bespoke content treatments if required.

Seamless data migration to WordPress

Overcoming Substack’s limited exporting capabilities.

Like many SaaS tools, Substack prevented a direct data import into the new CMS, so The Code Company developed a custom import process to:

  • Leverage existing content from all previous articles and URLs
  • Ensure there were no broken links as the migration occurred.
  • Create a strong information architecture
  • Provide a solid platform for future SEO and campaigns.

The Code Company were quick to identify the major priorities and present solutions to make the product as good as possible.

Although our project was not complicated like many of the larger ones, I never once felt as if we were less important.

Jacob Donnelly,  A Media Operator

Native newsletter creation within WordPress

A Media Operator wanted to re-create the effortless user experience of Substack when creating newsletters and articles.

The Code Company worked with our friends at Newsletter Glue to integrate their innovative WordPress newsletter plugin.

The result was a stunningly straightforward user experience that enabled A Media Operator to push content directly from WordPress block editor to their subscribers by simply ticking a box.

The nice thing about partnering with an agency that really gets digital media is that they understand what matters most to our businesses.

Jacob Donnelly,  A Media Operator