The Spectator

The Spectator is one of the world's oldest continuously published magazines and a leading UK political and lifestyle magazine.

We first started working with The Spectator back in 2013, undertaking a full site re-design. Within six months of engaging with interconnect/it, The Spectator had their two busiest days ever.

Visit the site at to take a look for yourself.

Image shows The Spectator Home page


  • Traffic capability for over 1,000,000 page views per day and viral content
  • Custom WordPress theme development
  • ‘Leaky’ Paywall using Dovetail subscriber management
  • Partner with PugPig for tablet applications
  • Automated Mailchimp Newsletter integration via API
  • Issue handling for periodical publishing online


  • Site migration to WordPress
  • Full site redesign
  • Full time web development and support
  • Custom plugin development
  • Kindle for Periodicals support
  • Huge range of functionality
  • Numerous workflow enhancements
  • Ongoing platform management and support
  • Hosting
  • Consultancy

Project Background

We have been working with the team over at The Spectator for a number of years now. As well as designing, developing and supporting the main UK Spectator website, we have also developed The Spectator Health and the 2015 election microsite, in addition to The Spectator Australia site.

Image shows The Spectator Home page

A Broad Function Publishing Platform

As publishing moves towards a digital first outlook, it’s important that providers such as ourselves understand the many complex needs of the mixed format publisher. A website alone isn’t enough. Consequently the site also publishes to Kindle for Periodicals, Apple Newstand, Kindle Fire, the web, and via daily newsletters delivered via email and application.

All this means a lot of work for The Spectator’s production team, so it’s important that we build everything with their time in mind. The Kindle plugin we’ve developed has the simplicity of drag and drop management. The newsletter functionality means that editors need to enter copy into one place and one place only, with a web version available for use within the Spectator’s iOS application. Simple, quick, efficient and cost effective too.

Image shows a Spectator article

Traffic Boosts

Within six months of engaging with interconnect/it The Spectator had their two busiest days ever. The magazine has since had many other busy days. Handling, at times, a million or more page views a day hasn’t been a problem and uptime has been maintained even after featuring prominently on Reddit and The Drudge Report.

The traffic improvements have continued and, although we can’t divulge figures, we can say that due to improved SEO and the ongoing commitment from the magazine’s digital team, the website has more than doubled traffic since they joined our client list.

Image shows the Subscription page

Paywall Technology

The paywall is a ‘leaky’ paywall designed to allow through search engines and ‘browsing’ visitors. A human visitor will, after an editorially decided number of visits, be presented with an offer to subscribe and won’t be able to read more content.

This allows the magazine to benefit from the positive marketing affects of social linking whilst still being able to protect the perceived value of the website’s content.

Since the successful implementation of this feature, The Spectator has continued to invest in its platform – this has resulted in Press Holdings as a group, making further investments digitally through us – expanding the website as well as designing and building sites such as Apollo Magazine’s new website.

Image shows the paywall pop-up

Post Launch

We have continued to work with The Spectator since 2013, refining, developing and supporting their sites. We look forward to the next phases in the development of the site and our continuing relationship with The Spectator team.

You can read about the 2015 site redesign from a front end design perspective here.