FYI Music News
  • Drupal 7 + Bootstrap theme
  • Custom Newsletter Editor
  • SOLR Search
  • Advertising Management system
  • 3rd party integrations (Nielsen API, Billboard API, Disqus)
  • WYSIWYG Editor templates

FYI Music News is a Canadian music portal. The site has advanced editing features to work with a large amount of diverse content on a daily basis:

  • easy newsletter creation system
  • simple articles selection that should be included in the digest
  • flexible submission and placement of advertisements system
  • an up-to-date music charts list divided by genre, as well as a weekly updated “Career” section

About FYI Music News

FYI Music News is a daily updated news portal. Its updates include both music industry professionals and new performers, as well as news from government agencies and music associations. Over the years of productive work, the portal has become very popular among both musicians and fans. The site offers an intense news feed, topical positions of all sorts of Canadian charts and exclusive articles on its topic.

FYI Music News
News page

Our task

Initially, FYI Music News wasn’t adapted for mobile devices and had a low content download speed. The confusing search system problem was also relevant. The lack of post time filtering has led to difficulties for editors and site visitors. Visitors could not find information on previous articles, the mass of HTML code in the texts prevented the editors from repurposing the content in a new way. In addition, visitors didn’t have the opportunity to participate in the life of the site.

We were assigned tasks:

  • Adapt the site for any kind of devices based on Bootstrap 3
  • Organize the structure of existing content
  • Optimize content creation and editing interface
  • Optimize the loading time of website pages
  • Expand search capabilities and speed up search
  • Implement an editor for creating a newsletter based on site materials
  • Set up a system for managing ads from users
FYI Music News
Features page

Our solution

Following the client’s site structure requirements and technical equipment wishes, we have released a Drupal site that includes a unique set of custom modules, libraries and third-party services linked into a common system.

The new content sections and filtering system allowed editors to quickly get started with posts and easily place articles in the necessary blocks.

Thanks to close cooperation with the customer’s representatives, we managed to optimize the content placement system. We used Media Browser to manage media files, Plupload library to load images with simple drag and drop. We also used the WYSYWYG editor and CKEditor, which allow you to properly structure the text on the page with one click. The feature is made possible by predefined markup templates.

Third party services like Disqus and Solr have been used to reduce the load on the site during peak traffic. The site visitors now have the opportunity to easily find the article they are interested in, leave a review about it or ask a question and get a quick answer. And of course, adapting the site for mobile devices made all content available to visitors with any gadget type.

FYI Music News
Chart page
FYI Music News
Music page


НInitially, we were faced with the following requirements for creating a newsletter:

  • Convenient materials selection for inclusion in the mailing list;
  • Advertisements Integration into the mailing list;
  • Drag-and-drop preview function of selected materials for sorting;
  • Access to ads should be limited to active, published and formatted mailing list entries;
  • A unique name (subject) for each mailing that will reflect the content.
  • Email reliability and marketing statistics tracking system.

To ensure the reliability of email delivery and tracking marketing statistics, we chose to integrate with the SendGrid email delivery service. The service can handle large e-mail volumes while providing detailed and customizable reports as well as scalability and increased availability.

Using the Views + VBO bundle, we have created a solution that allows us to make all published content available for inclusion in the mailing list. For active advertisements, it is now possible to sort by various parameters. For the convenience of creating a mailing list, we have also developed a new option for creating a future letter based html-markup on the marked articles.

Mailing list creation takes place in several stages:

  • The editor selects the articles to be sent to the mailing list.
  • By dragging and dropping teasers, the articles order is determined
  • The editor sees the mailing list content as it will be shown to the user.
  • Now he has the ability to add a subject and make changes to the articles titles or their teasers in real time. Important: These changes will only affect the generated email and will not affect the original content.
  • After saving all the changes, the editor should send a test letter to the service e-mail for verification. If the template does not require editing, you can send the newsletter to the entire subscriber list.


In addition to the constantly updated news feed, the site shows current data on all the popular Canada music charts. The data is provided by third-party services: Billboard API and Nielsen API, for integration with which an API call is implemented with saving and caching the results obtained.

To speed up the chart pages loading and display information, we used the Entity API capabilities to the maximum and created a unique solution: Charts that store information about the current position of a single in the rating and, moreover, are easily integrated with queries. This allowed us to quickly implement a filtering system for charts by type and genre.

Advertising management system

We were given the task of implementing a system for submitting advertisements by site users and adapting these advertisements for display on any type of device. The contrib module SimpleAds was chosen as the core for managing ad units.

Together with the client, we determined the location of the ad units, as well as the anchor points at which the unit sizes should change and adjust to the screen size. We have created a multi-step form: a constructor for submitting an application for placing an ad, in which the user specifies his contact information, and also selects the type of ad display and the desired areas. Then it becomes possible to load prepared required size graphic elements for each anchor on the selected advertising areas.

The initial display template has been significantly redesigned to ensure that ad units are displayed when the ad blocker is enabled. Also, it involves the css content classes dynamic formation , which allows you to bypass the created advertising filters and always display active advertisements.

To search the site, it used the proven and reliable bundle of Search API + Search API Solr + Views modules. Search results are easily customizable using hints and keywords, and we used the Solr search engine boost features to make the search relevant by coincidence and publication date.

With the help of the created setting form, the optimal parameters were selected for the issuance of the most recent and reliable search results.


For convenient and simple site administrator monitoring, we have implemented a reporting system that allows you to receive data on work. What the modules we used can do:

  • Creation of tables based on sales reports filtered by order status and date range. The report can show sales statistics for the day, week or month.
  • Creation of tables with the most active customers, the most sold products and ranks the demand for payment methods.
  • Plotting for all of the above reports.
  • Export data to CSV
FYI Music News
Search page
FYI Music News
New song page


As a result, after launch, the new content structure and responsive design opened up more options for editors, visitors and investors of the site. It is now possible to promote important news or the most discussed article to the main page in a few clicks. Sponsor and investor advertisements are easy to place and always visible to visitors, no matter what device they use.

We managed to make all the initial requirements of the client come true and do even more! What used to take a couple of hours of painstaking editorial work can now be done in a couple of mouse clicks.