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Macmillan moves to a subscription model

Set up by Macmillan Education in 2000, was launched purely as a marketing site for the company’s English language teaching coursebooks.


The site was an immediate success. However, the need to provide significant new facilities, combined with the desire to commission large amounts of new content to meet the needs of onestopenglish registered users, prompted the decision to redevelop the site, as well as moving to a subscription model.

Preserving and growing

The new site is based on Abacus’ content management solutions. According to Emma Shercliff, then Managing Director of English Campus, the Macmillan company responsible for

“We ran the very real risk of alienating our users and destroying what has become a unique resource for worldwide English language teachers.

However, despite the short timescales to get the new website and content management system up and running, it has been a huge success, both from the point of view of our users, and as a role model for a subscription-based internet publishing enterprise within the Macmillan Group.

We were concerned that there might be a hostile reaction from our users when the new site went live, but feedback to date has been overwhelmingly positive.” is now able to upload lessons (based on our partnership with Guardian Weekly) on a weekly basis, rather than monthly, because the whole process is so much more straightforward and efficient. This combined with the powerful back office management capabilities of the Abacus solution means that the potential for errors has been dramatically reduced.

This vibrant community site hosts more than 250,000 English language teachers around the world, offering free access to more than 2,000 pages and 7,000 PDFs of lesson plans and other invaluable English teaching aids.

Site traffic has increased to in excess of 3 million page accesses each month, and Macmillian has had to upscale their hosting environment to handle the increased usage, and to support the increased use of e-mail to drive traffic.

The success has prompted Macmillan to launch a number of similar sites on the Abacus platform.

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