Behind the Paywall: Valuing Stock Market Updates from Benzinga
Interested in Finance markets and their functioning? Look no further than benzinga.com. Benzinga is a vibrant and trusted financial media outlet that provides the latest information from Wall Street's top traders. Its high quality and unique content encapsulate all the necessary important sensitive information which is required for any investor to survive in the most uncertain and volatile markets. Benzinga does this by providing information on a real-time basis which is a feat that is yet to be matched in effect.
We have had the pleasure of working with this client almost since the inception stages. The site initially came to us as a partially built one still in the development stages. The site had not yet gone live. Once we engaged, we were actively involved in all the aspects of it and quickly turned out to play multiple roles like that of Technical Consultants, hosting providers, Drupal development experts, etc. Our CTO himself was involved in this project initially and ensured all the decisions that are being taken care of in the best interests of the client. It was at this time a lot of strategic data-sharing partnerships came up for Benzinga and we were closely associated with the process of building these partnerships. The client, in full confidence of our abilities, completely let us handle all aspects of technical discussions and involved us in their major decision-making processes. As mentioned before, Benzinga came to us partially built by another service provider. It came to us with a lot of bug fixes and issues like site crashing, wrong data being published, etc. Since the company was in its initial stages, it was also able to cater to their immediate requests without having to worry about processes and procedures. A lot of real-time immediate bug fixing was done and live site maintenance was done with no hassle. Zyxware ensured there was very little downtime when a critical issue occurred and worked immediately to bring the site back up. This dedication and ownership of the project as our own were the two main qualities that helped us build a long relationship with them.
As a start, Zyxware set up a development server and initialized GIT. Once all the bug fixes were done, a new design was given for the site and benzinga.com was made to go live.
The main work for us came in terms of developing another version of the site called pro.benzinga.com which was only for subscribers who wanted to get exclusive information not available to nonsubscribers.
The main features of this site were:
- Payment subscription option available for members to get monthly/ annual subscription
- Access to exclusive information not available in the benzinga.com website
- Dedicated sources for pulling in information- not available for free
- Calendar time-line option for viewing past data: Monthly, Weekly, Daily views available
- Feeds- MangoDB was used to full in feeds from benzinga.com to pro.benzinga.com
- Over 20 custom modules like BZ Calendar, BZ Author page, BZ Ad management system
- Over 10,000 lines of custom codes
- Site developed in Drupal 6
- Over 50 live feeds on the website
- Information being pushed to almost 200 client sites
- Daily uploading of 200-300 articles into the website
- Affiliate marketing option within the website
- Over 1000+ subscribers
- Powerful search functionality within the site
Apart from getting content from news syndicates like Reuters, Benzinga also has its own pool of editors and contributors who can submit articles and write-ups to the site. Firstly, the content being pulled in from other news syndicates is monitored and filtered by the editors and a decision is taken on whether to publish it or not.
There are 2 kinds of Contributors:
a. External contributors
b. Selected contributors
External contributors submit their articles and it is checked for authenticity and correctness by the editors through a small workflow and is either published/ rejected. In the case of selected contributors, their articles mostly get published straightaway. Multiple permissions like Senior admin, staff admin, senior editor, etc are set and different privileges are set. Initially when the site was released the traffic was around 18,000- 20,000 unique visitors per day.
Once it gained popularity in terms of valuable information presented in a timely fashion and the user-friendly manner in which it was shown, the traffic steadily improved. In a few months, it crossed over one hundred thousand visitors daily which is when we started facing challenges. Servers strained under the load and became slow.
Zyxware Technologies introduced Varnish, memcache, and CDN to increase the site's efficiency. Servers were split into two and now there are a total of four servers. Solr search feature was introduced and it turned out to be an effective search mechanism within the site.
Ad management was another factor handed over to us. Complete ad management including ad rotation, custom ad campaigns did use Google ads and other partner advertisements were done by Zyxware in a timely and effective manner.
Zyxware had a good time right from the beginning working with Benzinga and finally becoming their reliable technical partner to help them achieve the best on the web. There are plans to migrate to D8 and we are excited to work with them on the shift!