De Rijkste Belgen, til now only available in book format, is a well documented list by financial journalist Ludwig Verduyn. A well established author who previously wrote for De Tijd (Belgiums financial newspaper) and was editor in chief for De Morgen, another major news outlet in Belgium.
Since some years he spearheads Actua TV and wrote a book about the finances of the wealthiest Belgians, where their fortune comes from, how they manage it and how it fluctuates.
Ludwig and his people contacted me to see how we could transform the static – and therefore quickly outdated – list to an online publication where they much quicker could post news revolving business, investments and wealth in Belgium.
So I sat down with them, wrote down all needs, provided them with an Information Architecture, and how to navigate it. Leaving room for online advertising, hooking in a daily and weekly newsletter, and a tool to manage all the entries in the list and giving them the option to make regular backups for easy overview of how the positions in the ranking change.
It was a very nice project to work on, very collaborative towards design and function, and everything went nicely hand in hand, content entry, design layout and functioning of the whole thing.
Until launch time, where the server that was set up by the people of De Rijkste Belgen could not cope with the massive attention it got from all the media outlets attending the press conference. So, on launch day, we migrated the whole setup to another server, and made sure no more visits were lost. Lesson learnt also, stress test this, also when a client already has his server setup.
For the backend, WordPress was used with some extra post types and taxonomies, some clever use of caching through transients and a separate tool to make regular snapshots on a periodic basis of the ranking, or via a manual command, providing the client with a easy importable CSV table to use in their comparison charts and further data analysis.