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Putting user experience and streamlined processes front and centre for Positive News


Media organisation, Positive News, is dedicated to producing good journalism about good things.

The team needed a WooCommerce shop to sell printed magazines and manage subscriptions as an extension of the editorial content being published on the site daily.

Screenshot of the Positive News WordPress and WooCommerce site showing the online shop

What the client wanted

  • Bespoke WooCommerce site with custom functionality
  • Migrated membership system and full integration with Mailchimp
  • Utilising the WooCommerce subscriptions add-on to sell subscriptions to the printed magazine
  • Tagging customer types to end blind communications without audience segmentation
  • Automatically processing cancelled subscriptions
  • Custom export functionality to manage magazine issues being sent to readers

The story

About Positive News

Positive News is the magazine for good journalism about good things. They needed a new website to deliver their inspirational content, sell supporter benefits and integrate with their online store.

We started working with Positive News more than half a decade ago. At the time, they had a WordPress site that was very slow and didn’t feel very stable, as well as a separate platform that managed their subscriptions.

The brief was to bring everything together through a website that could handle supporters, manage subscriptions, take donations and allow people to access vast amounts of digital content.

Using WordPress and WooCommerce, we created a flexible site that allowed Positive News to build out rich editorials. We migrated customers over from their old custom platform and streamlined their processes with integrations to their fulfilment house and marketing tools.

Screenshot of the Positive News WordPress and WooCommerce site showing the homepage with an advert promoting gift subscriptions


Complex membership migration

Migrating the user base from an old, bespoke CRM system into WooCommerce was a challenging and complex task. All choices were thoughtfully-considered to help streamline processes for Positive News and better engage their customers.

In addition to using WooCommerce as the CRM moving forward, we also heavily integrated Metorik to deliver detailed analytics and functionality to run all of the reports they needed. This has equipped the team with data they can interpret and use to cater their ongoing efforts to meet audience needs.

Atomic Smash colleagues looking at print outs and strategising using analysis of conversion data

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Powerful integrations and automations

Significant functionality and full integration between WooCommerce and Mailchimp was achieved through the Ultimate Mailchimp Plugin, developed in-house and available for implementation on other clients’ sites.

Automated tagging determined by customer behaviour on the site contributed to improved audience segmentation, giving Positive News the data they need to create personalised customer communications and always keeping the end user in mind.

Screenshot of the Positive News WordPress and WooCommerce site with a pop-up encouraging newsletter sign ups

Integrations to other services were also high on the priority list, contributing further to streamlining business processes and for a smooth end user experience.

This included an integration to their fulfilment house, Newsstand, to streamline processes and deliveries, as well as Stripe for recurring payments.

Piers looking at camera in front of an industrial backdrop

Let’s chat

Connect with Piers Tincknell via our contact form to learn how we can support you.


Driving support and magazine sales

Funding streams are crucial for any organisation, and Positive News is no exception. Driving more monthly supporter contributions through the site and increasing magazine sales were two important outcomes.

The team at Atomic Smash are experts at responding to strategic aims with design, development and conversion rate optimisation.

When we were approached to design a new website for Positive News, we ran through our exploration process to fully understand their end users’ needs and uncover strategic goals from the Positive News team so that this could be incorporated into the development of the website.

We devised an interactive support slider and intuitive online basket experience, helping to achieve their goals with conversions across both magazine sales and recurring contributions.

The fully customised WordPress platform and WooCommerce shop allows people to become subscribers, supporters and also purchase one-off magazines.

Echoing the look and feel of the physical magazine

Our design team brought a fresh new look to the site, brightening up their colour palette and adding some print-inspired touches to echo the look and feel of the physical magazine.

The addition of drop caps, ‘top-5’ lists, author profiles and bold pull quotes have helped carry across the typographic details that readers are familiar with.

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Ongoing support after site launch

Following the launch of the new Positive News site, we have continued to provide ongoing support and Spike Projects to build out additional features and make improvements to the site. This included custom export functionality to manage magazine issues being sent to readers.

Powerful reporting and close collaboration with the team at Positive News enabled us to analyse and understand where and how the site could streamline even more business processes and better engage their customers.

Visit Positive News’ website

What we achieved

Bespoke WooCommerce shop for customers to sign up for magazine subscriptions or purchase single issues

Audience segmentation with automated tagging, determined by customer behaviour on the site

Various integrations to other services such as their fulfilment house, Newsstand, to streamline processes and deliveries

Full integration between WooCommerce and Mailchimp

Targeted customer communications using audience segmentation data

In numbers


page views in the first year of working together


increased turnover from subscriptions within first 2 years of working together


increased web visitors over 4 years of working together