The inside story of a new website

We are confident that you will find your way around and that you will share your experiences with us. After all, it's you we are doing it for! Your ideas are welcome at any time!

For those who are curious about what happens behind the scenes in the lead up to the launch of a new website, we continue! What does it take to launch a new website for the Eurovision Song Contest?

Codename E11

Preparations for E11 - that's our internal code name for this new website - started in mid-June last year. We analysed the statistics of the previous website, to see how our dedicated visitors use it on a day-to-day basis, and started to look into the many suggestions we received to make the website better. We also asked ourselves: "How can we prepare the underlying structure of for the years to come?" After all, the online world changes quickly and the way people use the internet continuously evolves. This resulted in a first draft of what you are looking at in October 2010.

Meanwhile, our developers worked on a more flexible version of our in-house built Content Management System. This system, which we coincidentally called Heartbeat, was made in 2008 to serve,, the portal and the Eurovision Family Accreditation System (EFAS).

In November we started to build the so-called front-end. This is the visible part of the website. It's where the design comes together with the technology behind it. In the weeks prior to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, we had to drop our efforts to fully dedicate ourselves to the preparations for that show. As soon as we headed back from Minsk, many hours went into the further development of the website, the design and of course the content.

Late December, we received the first theme art items from Germany, so we could start working on a custom design in the lead up to the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. It is always challenging to fit in the necessary content, prominently feature the theme art, find the best spot to promote our sponsors and be flexible enough for ad-hoc changes, but that's also the fun part.

More social features

Instead of launching the website in late December, at which we aimed originally, we decided to put more effort into the MyEurovision community. We strongly believe that platforms like Facebook and Twitter facilitate your social network very well, and that is the very reason why they are implemented in the new website. Nevertheless, we also believe - and see! - that more and more people want to be part of a dedicated community of Eurovision Song Contest fans from all over the world! Tens of thousands of people have joined MyEurovision since its launch, and we are welcoming new members every single day.

We are currently doing the last testing of the completely revamped MyEurovision community, and expect to launch this new portal in the days to come. Meanwhile, you can help us by looking around on the new, to see if you can spot errors, mistakes or functionality that's up for improvement. With your help, we can not only continue to make the #1 Eurovision Song Contest portal on the web, but also bring you Europe's best entertainment site on the web!

Testing 1, 2, 3

In early January of the new year we started testing the new site, and made many more changes and improvements. We also aimed at making the site ready to be used on other screens than your computer, such as on your iPad.

Last week we decided to launch the new website on this very day, shortly after the Semi-Final Allocation Draw. The draw, as well as the Host City Insignia Exchange, marks the clear start of a new season, packed with national selections and exciting announcements about the upcoming running of Europe's favourite TV show.

In the days to come, we will also launch the revamped MyEurovision community. In the next weeks and months, in the lead up to Düsseldorf 2011, we will launch new features to help you promoting your favourite contestants, get in touch with other Eurovision Song Contest fans and get an insight on what's happening behind the scenes within the Eurovision Song Contest organisation. This inside story is just the beginning..!

Who make our heart beat...

Despite all the hard work of the EBU's core Eurovision Song Contest team, would have never become what it is today without the commitment of a team of some 10 volunteers, that contribute to 365 days a year. They are our eyes and ears across Europe, to pick up the latest news about the national selections, to travel around to visit some of the many fan events that are being organized across the continent and during the event weeks, they help to make sure that no matter where you are, you will actually feel as if you are right there with us. They make our heart beat!

On behalf of the team that worked on this new for the past months and will continue to do so with continuing passion... Enjoy!

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