Helping to reduce costs and boost revenues by merging websites

Client: Granta Publications
Services: Web development, Quality Assurance, On-going support, Responsive website, Bespoke data integration

Granta Magazine and Granta Books share a remit to discover and publish the best in new literary fiction, memoir, reportage and poetry from around the world.

Granta is one of the world’s most respected literary magazines, acclaimed for the quality of its writing, its international reach and its mix of established and emerging authors. From Nobel laureates to debut novelists, each themed issue of Granta turns the attention of the world’s best writers on to one aspect of the way we live now. Published quarterly, the magazine features a blend of reportage, fiction, biography, poetry, memoir and art. Photography essays are also an integral part of the editorial, including visually stunning images printed on premium coated paper. Granta’s ‘Best of Young’ issues, released decade by decade, introduce the most important voices of each generation – in Britain, America, Brazil and Spain – and have been defining the contours of the literary landscape since 1983.

Circulation: 23,000
Average readership: 37,000
Geographical split: UK: 60% ; US: 40%
Subscribers: UK: 9,823 (6,572 print; 3,251 digital) US: 6,019 (4,546 print; 1,473 digital)

Website traffic information 300,000 page views (monthly average)
150,000 unique visitors (monthly average)

Granta is an international partner with The Independent Alliance – The Independent Alliance is a global alliance of publishers and their international partners who share a common vision of editorial.

The challenge

Granta’s key drivers behind the project included;

  • Increase subscriptions and lead generation
  • Increase monthly revenue
  • Grow monthly web traffic across international markets
  • Reduce costs by merging both websites into one

Woman on laptop full bookshelf in the background

The approach

Over the last six years Vidatec has developed specialist knowledge, working with Granta on multiple web projects has enabled the team to develop a deeper understanding of the inner workings and complexities of both Granta Magazine and Granta Books websites. As well as the experience built up over the years from providing on-going support during that time.

For this challenge the Vidatec project team, which included web developers, worked as an extension of the Granta publishing team, with the Digital Director joining daily stand-ups during the build and testing of the site. Our web developers were ready to get to work with the UX/UI design already undertaken by Granta’s in-house design team.

There were two major challenges for the web developers.

  • Integrate both websites whilst managing dynamic content that would help drive sales of Granta books including;
    • Online catalogue for all books
    • Previewing books and authors before purchase
    • Multiple purchasing options, buying directly or via other book stores
  • Find a way to integrate data from Biblio suite, a leading enterprise publishing management system with no API available.

Using agile methodology, our project work was carried out in stages called ‘sprints’. Sprints generally last for two weeks, and included; project management, website development, and quality assurance.

Our quality assurance (QA) testing stage was delivered hand in hand with the development, with iterative testing carried out on developed features. All to ensure Granta’s new website was ready for release as rapidly as possible.

On-going support for Granta website infrastructure

The Vidatec support team takes care of the website infrastructure, giving the Granta digital team peace of mind, they know their trusted brand is in safe hands with access to technical expertise available 8 hours a day, Monday to Friday. Our ticketing management system means Granta can chat/email or raise a ticket with our technical support team at any point. We also provide a bi-annual service reviews.

The results

During the first quarter of 2020 we delivered the smooth integration of both Granta Books and Magazine website, followed by the successful launch of the new joint website in January. Since then has experienced significantly higher levels of engagement on the new book pages across the site, and a rise in direct sales. Achieving a 30% increase on previous year with annual web traffic to overall.

  • 50% increase in direct sales from the website in Q1,2020 compared to Q1,2019.
  • The newly integrated Granta Books homepage has helped to attract more visitors.
  • With several Granta Books excerpts performed well this quarter, rivalling the regular work published on the website.
  • Submissions to the magazine now have a dedicated page on the website.
  • The new feature module on the home page, designed to spotlight issues of the magazine and front list titles, has also led to an upsurge in visits to the

What the client said…

Luke Neima, Digital Director at Granta Publications said

Vidatec have always been a pleasure to work with; friendly, prompt, creative and communicative. Never flummoxed and always ready with a solution, I’d highly recommend them to anyone looking for excellent, high-quality online development.

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