A multitude of websites that utilize Google‘s Blogger content management system (CMS) exist but few have the polish that creator and editor-in-chief Andy Page has accomplished with SpoilerTV. The would-be editor-in-chief and neophyte with a freshly purchased domain name would be wise to look at SpoilerTV’s above-the-fold navigation system and the velocity at which new information is published (remember: content is king) on-site. If you wish to be regarded as relevant and efficiently shuttle site visitor’s to the information on your site they are seeking quickly, the aforementioned elements and those mentioned below regarding SpoilerTV will help you to that end.
Interview with SpoilerTV’s Editor-in-chief Andy Page
What sparked the idea for SpoilerTV?
I started in 2005 with a site for the TV Show LOST. When ABC announced an end date for the show I decided I wanted to continue what I’d started for LOST and to extend it to cover all major TV Shows.
How long did it take for SpoilerTV to be built and when did it launch?
Took about a day to setup but it’s an ongoing process that has constantly evolved over time. It went live in Feb 2007
Who built SpoilerTV? You or a designer?
I built it myself.
What content management system (CMS) do you use?
Google’s Blogger system.
Do you use any type of content delivery network (CDN)?
Not in addition to Google’s Blogger CMS. That is already built on a huge CDN.
How was SpoilerTV financed?
The advertisements fund the running of the site. Google’s Blogger CMS is totally free. We pay for additional sites like our image gallery and our own custom bespoke PHP development on stvplus.com.
Was your experience or lack of experience an issue when you launched SpoilerTV?
How does SpoilerTV generate revenue?
Purely through advertisements.
How many people work at SpoilerTV and how are they compensated for their contributions to your site?
Around 80 people volunteer on the site to provide content.
Do you have assigned work shifts at SpoilerTV?
No, but as we have 80 people who are scattered all over the globe, we’re pretty much covered 24/7.
How do you acquire new employees e.g. writers?
We typically put a call out twice a year for people to submit their application, we normally choose 4-5 new writers from out of around 150 applications.
How many hours per day do you personally dedicate to SpoilerTV?
During busy times around 15 hrs.
How many page views does SpoilerTV generate per month?
During the main season around 8 Million per month, during the summer between 5-6.
How did SpoilerTV achieve that page view number?
Years of hard work, dedication, and slowly building a loyal community.
How important is Google News to your monthly pageviews?
We don’t use it.
How important is Yahoo News to your monthly pageviews?
We don’t use it.
How important is Bing News to your monthly pageviews?
We don’t use it.
How important is Flipboard to your monthly pageviews?
How important is IMDb to your monthly pageviews?
How important is mobile version of SpoilerTV to your monthly pageviews?
Mobile is currently running at about 27%.
How important are your web browser extensions to your monthly pageviews?
How important is organic search engine traffic to your monthly pageviews?
Which social network brings in the most traffic per month into SpoilerTV and why?
Twitter, then Facebook. They are the 2 big ones. Then comes Tumblr and G+.
What does SpoilerTV do for search engine optimization regarding its website?
None. Just use the CMS default setup.
What does SpoilerTV do for search engine optimization regarding its single articles?
None. Just use the CMS default setup.
What is SpoilerTV approach to social networking for its website?
We use Addthis to allow users to share our content. Our content is automatically syndicated to our Twitter, Facebook, G+, and Tumblr channels.
What is SpoilerTV approach to social networking for its published articles?
How has the use of Polls affected user engagement on your site?
Yes, they are great way to get our community engaged and to give the users a voice.
How far in advance do you plan articles and Polls?
Polls are typically scheduled 2 weeks in advance. Articles vary but we have some articles planned as far as 3-6 months in advance.
How has per-preparation affected the frequency of publication on SpoilerTV?
None to be honest. We still post news/spoilers as soon as we get them for breaking news.
How has SpoilerTV gained access to so many press releases, images, and advanced screeners?
Again years of working with the networks and slowly growing to a size that the Networks now recognize us as a great way to publicize their shows.
What is the most important aspect of a website’s design?
IMHO. Simplicity. Keep it simple, remove all the fancy gadgets/widgets that no one users. Make navigation simple. Stick to a small number of colours and fonts.
What computer program do you use to watermark the TV show images that you publish?
Automated by our photo gallery. Zenphotos
You said you use ZenPhoto photo gallery. When a person clicks on one of your photos and is taken to another screen with ads and a gallery, is that Zenphoto?
Yep, that is Zenphoto.
How has the use of Zenphoto effected the SEO of your individual post images?
I don’t track anything regarding SEO on the image gallery so I have no idea sorry.
How important are TV show images to the traffic level of SpoilerTV?
Very hard to say. The large header images are designed so that when shared on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, G+ that they display nice and large and clear. How that affects click through is hard to say but it’s certainly better than not having images.
How important is page load time to SpoilerTV?
Very and it’s a constant battle/tradeoff between useful scripts/gadgets and load time.
What should a would-be webmaster learn from your navigation system?
Not really sure what to say apart from making navigation clean and easy and putting all your key links in the menu along with easy to access help and contact links etc.
What are your top ten favorite Blogger Plugins (back-end site options you installed)?
I don’t use any Blogger Plugins. Mine are all coded myself or from external services like Addthis, Addsearch etc.
What mistakes (if any) did you make in the beginning with SpoilerTV?
Overloading the site with lots of gadgets/widgets that no one used and slowed the site down. Not having a good mobile site. Not caring about page load times. Not having my own domain name.
If you had it to do all over again, with everything you have learned and been through, how would you launch a new website?
I can normally launch a new site in about 4 hrs. All our code is very re-usable and most of that 4 hrs is just configuring everything and creating accounts for Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and G+ to syndicate the content.
What is the best advice you can give to an aspiring webmaster?
Start small. Get your friends to help and find like minded people to help. Don’t spend too long on the look/feel of your site. Get some great content and then worry about the look later. And ask your readers for suggestions, as they are, after all the ones using your site.
If someone wants to read more about your company, where can they find you?
Many ascribe to the belief that WordPress is the top choice when deciding on a CMS for start-up websites and blogs. I believed this as well. SpoilerTV gives these opinion-holders pause to reconsider and re-evaluate. SpoilerTV is a clear indication of the benefits of the Blogger CMS, benefits that the outsider looking in does not see.
Andy does not do what he does alone. As you read, he has assembled a team. Consider the same if you want your site to be a quickly updated information news source (and accepted into Google News) but keep the outside elements on your site as lite as possible. They slowdown your page-load speed which can have an adverse effect on how your page or site appears in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Finally, success takes time, years in fact. It will not happen over night. Be patient, plan thoroughly, and in advance.