Highlights

  • A complete platform migration from Ingeniux CMS to WordPress
  • Design services, including branding and style guide development
  • Custom Gutenberg development for an integrated newsletter creation workflow
  • Hands-on training sessions and ongoing support

About Mortgage Bankers Association

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is a leading source of industry insight for the real estate finance industry in the US. Their mission is to inform & educate mortgage professionals from their 2,300+ member companies.

MBA Newslink, a newsletter by MBA, is at the forefront of this effort. The daily, bi-weekly and weekly editions act as industry news sources covering the latest residential, commercial and multifamily real estate finance news from national newspapers and MBA journalists.

MBA approached rtCamp seeking consultancy for their migration of MBA Newslink from Ingenuix CMS to WordPress. In the subsequent discovery phase, rtCamp noted several opportunities to leverage Gutenberg to significantly improve the editorial workflow of the newsletter creation team.

rtCamp prototyped a custom workflow and pitched it to MBA, where the team was excited to place it in service.

Building A Strong Foundation

The first course of action was to migrate all of MBA Newslink’s online assets, including past issues, images & documents. The website’s existing URL structure was preserved, ensuring that all backlinked content remained fully accessible. This is an important consideration for SEO ranking history.

As part of the migration, rtCamp also moved all of MBA Newslink’s ad clients and campaigns from BanManPro to the Google Ad Manager platform.

With the platform migration underway, rtCamp started developing a modular design system that would dovetail well with WordPress’s new Gutenberg editor.

Developing A Design That Fit Right In

rtCamp's modular design system, developed for MBA Newslink and translated into Gutenberg blocks.

MBA Newslink used to be built around a rigid page template that afforded each story and advertisement a fixed slot on the page. 

This design inflexibility not only resulted in visual repetitiveness but also limited the number of first & third-party content and advertisement slots within each newsletter edition. Furthermore, its fixed-width two-column layout was suboptimal for mobile.

rtCamp delivered a Gutenberg-based modular design system that incorporates MBA’s branding into each design block. This ensures layout flexibility without compromising on brand consistency or great design.

Creating A Modern Editing Experience

The newsletter creation software that came with Ingenuix CMS was spartan at best. 

Since it was a module added on top of Ingenuix CMS, MBA Newslink’s editors needed to manually ingest articles from the CMS into the software. This broke their flow multiple times during the day. 

By comparison, rtCamp’s customized Gutenberg editor is much cleaner and more efficient. To add stories, MBA Newslink’s editors only need to select articles from a dropdown list with stories already on MBA’s WordPress.

From there, the system automagically pulls in the title, metadata, and hyperlink. The editor can then choose the way the article is rendered and can rearrange, sort, resize or live-preview content with a series of intuitive controls.

Demo of a typical newsletter creation workflow for MBA Newslink.

rtCamp’s custom developed workflow for Newslink outputs two versions when published – a two-column layout optimized for mobile in HTML, and a three-column one that is archived on the website.

The mobile-ready layout can easily be copied over to MBA’s email distribution platform of choice, Higher Logic. This gives MBA Newslink the efficiency gains of an integrated creation workflow while continuing to leverage the database, distribution, and analytics from Higher Logic.

With rtCamp’s new Gutenberg-powered workflow, MBA’s editors can create a complete issue of NewsLink in less than 10 minutes.

Screenshot of MBA Newslink’s former Ingenuix CMS-based newsletter creation interface.
rtCamp delivered an integrated WYSIWYG workflow, built with WordPress & Gutenberg.

Training And Deployment

As part of our delivery, rtCamp also provided video demos and online hands-on training sessions for Newslink’s editorial staff. Along with style guides and platform documentation, this ensured a seamless transition into the new creation process.

Our experience with rtCamp was fantastic. Despite the time constraints and being halfway around the world, rtCamp hammered out a workable design and content management system in time for us to go live. They also provided valuable training sessions.

Headshot of Mike Sorohan, Editor, Electronic Publications
Mike Sorohan
Editor, Electronic Publications

The Result

rtCamp took a partnered approach to create a solution for MBA. Through our deeper discovery of their related business and workflows, we delivered a solution that empowered their editors and brought back their focus to what they do best.

rtCamp’s meticulously planned migration strategy ensured that a new edition of Newslink was published just one hour after going live with the new system.

MBA Newslink, now on WordPress, is stable and well set for future expansion.

In the Spotlight

Our work with Gutenberg for Mortgage Bankers Association received attention from publishers and developers around the world and was showcased by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg in his annual “State of the Word 2019” WordPress keynote address.

Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress, highlighting rtCamp's Gutenberg-based newsletter editor for MBA Newslink at the "State of the Word 2019" WordPress keynote.

The “Build an enterprise newsletter in minutes” webinar we presented alongside our partners over at WordPress VIP prominently featured this case study, along with live demos and a dedicated Q&A section.

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