The Fence

New monthly magazine, bringing a humorous touch to its social commentary, short stories, investigations, cultural essay and fiction. Committed to nurturing young writers and providing a platform to new voices.

The Challenge

Built on a platform designed for a smaller, simpler site, with problems selling and managing subscriptions. A need to introduce digital subscriptions so that more content could be presented. Design to support the unique art style. Integration and styling of Snipcart to sell products and back issues.

The Solution

Migration to Standfirst Web. Unique design and a clean typographically led layout to make the most of The Fence's unique graphic style.

Redesign and Subscriptions

The Fence needed to redesign their site to be more usable for both the editorial team and the users, whilst facilitating subscriptions and providing a paywall. Performance is a critical requirement due to the strong viral potential of the content on the site. At the same time, being a relatively new publication and focussing on quality content created a tight budget requirement.

Editorial tools

The Fence required advanced editorial functions to manage their diverse content lines from cultural reviews and humour through to investigations, fiction and features. It was important that content that related to magazines could be sorted into issues and viewed that way from behind a paywall whilst still being accessible and easy to read.


To scale effectively, a publication needs a platform designed to handle large amounts of traffic. Scaling isn't just traffic, but the ability to bring in new subscribers. Standfirst's record at handling many tens of thousands of subscribers, logged in and using the system, made it a simple choice for a magazine focussed on growth.


To succeed, a magazine needs a reliable system - one that works consistently in the back-end for the editorial team adding content, and one that allows the business to function no matter how much traffic spikes on a good day. Standfirst by default is monitored 24/7 both for uptime as well as for application errors, meaning that problems can often be dealt with before the client and the general public are ever aware of it.

The Fence logo

SEO Enhancement

Prior to adopting Standfirst, The Fence hadn't paid much attention to SEO. The new platform gives them a range of tools making it easy to create search engine friendly page titles, descriptions and social media meta data to improve the sharing experience. The Fence has dramatically improved their search engine position and display.

I have really enjoyed working with the team at Standfirst. They have been professional to a tee, responsive, but more importantly, imaginative and bold in their conception of a new website for The Fence.

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