This week MLS Digital finished migrating 20 Club sites plus MLSsoccer.com to an all new fully responsive web system. This new system is a huge step forward for MLS fans, and for the League's digital business.
The new system was built for the future of digital fandom. Over 60% of MLS content consumption now happens on a mobile phone so we designed the system starting with phones in mind. Gone are the old m. sites replaced by a single site that automatically scales to fit the size of your screen. This allows our editors to manage one site, but ensure the content will look great on any sized screen. We also invested in HTML5 video technology to ensure our video content would work seamlessly across any device.
We also had to build a system that would serve 21 different brands, this is always a challenge as every Club wants their site to reflect their individual values, goals and content. Our solution was the build a system rather than 21 sites. This allowed us to create a flexible system of modules that can be placed in different combinations to provide Clubs with different looks and capabilities. This also allows us to efficiently continue to add new features and functionality going forward as we can develop new modules that are available for all 21 sites. We then turned the system over to our Clubs and asked them to arrange the modules as they saw fit. One of the other key things we created as part of the system are content buckets that can scale from 1-4 pieces of content automatically. This allows our editors great flexibility to adjust the look of our sites, as well as the content available for fans in real time without the need for developers to make any changes. This is key, the more power we can put in the hands of our editors and club services team the better as this frees our engineering teams up to continue creating new or improved experiences rather than constantly having to tweak existing sites.
Finally we moved all of our hosting operations to the cloud, and specifically to AWS. This allows us to run at a significant savings to our old physical servers, it also allows our web operations to be significantly more scalable. One of the very cool engineering pieces we added in the migration was the ability for our system to auto-scale. This means that as our traffic spikes (And sports traffic in general is very spiky) our system responds by automatically adding server instances to our cloud. Similarly as traffic dies off, we kill servers. This ensures that we can serve our fans without having to always carry a peak level of capacity, this saves us significant money.
The initial results have been impressive, the sites have led to increases in traffic and on the League site a 50% increase in videos viewed per user. Importantly this is just the beginning, our teams will continue to evolve the system with new features and functionality for our fans.