Farmers Weekly

Website and CMS redevelopment
Testing & Review
Editor Training
Maintenance & Support
Ongoing monitoring

New Zealand

Digital Publishing

About the client

AgriHQ proudly acknowledge they are New Zealand’s most innovative agrimedia company, publishing significant and relevant content, market reports and insights through a range of digital properties. Farmers Weekly is one such outlet and is considered New Zealand’s most respected, trusted, and reliable source of agricultural news and information. Every week it’s delivered to the farm gate of every New Zealand farmer and, every week, farmers choose it first for news, opinion, analysis, market updates and even their own advertising in the Livestock, Noticeboard and Real Estate sections.

Our agricultural newspapers, magazines, digital media, weather services, educational resources, market analyses, and community platforms are respected and trusted by hundreds of thousands of Kiwis...We see AgriHQ as the home of New Zealand’s largest agricultural community. Every day, we are working to co-create the future of New Zealand agriculture with the people and businesses who drive it. —Farmers Weekly


Partnering with Sensemap, Australasia’s leading organisational linguists, Cerebrum was approached to support AgriHQ in the redevelopment of the Farmers Weekly website. The Content Management System (CMS) used for this site was not delivering the outcomes required. User engagement and interaction had also dropped significantly. We were asked to redevelop the site with a more appropriate CMS to meet current needs, improve user engagement, as well as provide a framework to support additional future functionality. Our task was to:

  • Migrate approximately 32,000 tagged/categorised articles to the new site
  • Support the injection of advertising from external vendors
  • Support existing integrated third-party systems
  • Reestablish user experience, look & feel
  • Setup stable, fast hosting to support the sites current and growing pageviews/month and pages/visits [at the time of this project, on average, the site had been experiencing 60,000-70,000 pageviews/month and 1.8 pages/visits]
  • Allow for the addition of new features via existing plugins/extensions and/or custom development as required
  • Offer ongoing maintenance and support beyond the development


This first phase of the development was required to be completed within a six week period. Working to this timeline it was essential all stakeholders were fully engaged in the project and in delivering the outcome. We worked closely with Sensemap and AgriHQ providing technical expertise and consulting.

While there are a range of reasons for a drop in user engagement, we expect improvements around the user interface and user experience will have a large impact on this. Taking into account the thinking and research Sensemap and AgriHQ had already done in regards to users and their needs and how to increase engagement, we provided guidance to ensure it was possible to technically implement the requirements.

Based on requirements we recommended WordPress configured appropriately would provide a robust base for the site development. Not only would it meet initial requirements but also have the ability to be added to in order to meet future needs.

The elements of this project included:

  • Design and development of information architecture, look and feel, UI/UX
  • Setup and configuration of WordPress, implement select themes and plugins to meet functional elements identified
  • Content creation of pages and posts
  • Development of a custom import script for content migration export from current CMS
  • Undertake user training to show editors how to use the system
  • Provide secure, stable, enterprise-level WordPress hosting
  • Undergo testing, review, and refinement based on stakeholders feedback
  • End-to-end testing and review in the final stages of development and preparation for go-live, including checking functional elements and processes, running audits for accessibility and SEO compliance
  • Ongoing support and consultancy


  • Redevelopment of new website with a robust and self-managed CMS
  • Refreshed information architecture design look and feel
  • Improved customer experience, user interface and navigation
  • Ongoing support and maintenance
  • Optimal hosting infrastructure