Mugo Web main content.

Open Book Canada

Mugo partner since 2016

Open Book Canada showcases Ontario’s literary scene, with a focus on books and events produced by the province’s independent, Canadian-owned publishers.

The story of Open Book’s evolution starts with three separate websites: Open Book Toronto, launched in 2007, followed by sister site Open Book Ontario in 2010, and then Open Book Explorer. All three brands were designed to showcase and celebrate books and book culture in Ontario, each with a slightly different angle and approach. But all three had been built on Drupal-based sites, which, over time and with every addition, had become unwieldy, overly complex, and were failing at their objective to manage and showcase great content.

The Organization of Book Publishers of Ontario (OBPO) contracted with the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) and its 49th Shelf team to leverage to work they had done on 49th Shelf and its eco-system of book publishing websites, to consolidate the three existing sites into a single, reimagined Open Book site.

The new site needed to enable to Open Book Canada to achieve its goals to:

  • Increase the profile of Canadian authors and publishers
  • Increase the readership of Canadian books through more retail sales
  • Increase awareness of, and accessibility to, Canadian writing, in all its diversity of region and genre


The resulting website is a widely read and highly regarded online magazine with a robust editorial program that supports multiple posts per day, a writer in residence, and an active events listing service to promote readings, book launches, and other literary events throughout Toronto and the rest of Ontario. The site is supported by book data from 49th Shelf, a linkage that will eventually see Open Book evolve into the largest-ever online platform dedicated to Ontario books and authors.

Open Book is now part of a community of major literary websites in Canada all maintained by the same systems and technology, including the eZ Publish CMS, that enable us to leverage and publish content, including rich ONIX publishing data, with ease. Its relaunch in fall 2016 was received with great enthusiasm by the literary community.

Learn more about our ecommerce websites for book publishers.

Case studies

Read more

Read more

A line art robot, split in half. The left side has a black background and white outline and the right has a white background and a black outline.

Managing "bad" bots is not always black(list) or white(list)

Managing bot access to your website is one of the least sexy tasks a site manager handles. You just identify the bot’s user agent, edit robots.txt to allow or disallow access, and you’re done. Right?

Of course, nothing’s ever quite that simple when it comes to safeguarding your web identity. Sure, robots.txt is still the industry stalwart – it’s a tactic we often use for our clients here at Mugo Web when we want to block a specific bot for some practical reason.


a golden envelope floating above a stand with a number 1 notification attached to the corner

Email authentication's time has come: implementing SPF, DKIM, and DMARC

With Gmail and Yahoo now requiring bulk emailers to implement authentication protocols, making sure you understand the differences between SPF, DKIM, and DMARC and how they work together is essential for your email marketing efforts. We'll walk you through how to set these up in your email provider of choice. 

stylized browser tab open to a page with embedded video showing a loading screen

Optimizing page load time with a YouTube facade

While YouTube embed options are powerful and effective, they are not always the most efficient use of resources when it comes to bandwidth. Using a facade can help decrease page load time and increase site performance without sacrificing any of the utility of the native YouTube embed options. 

a caution sign featuring a gear and a circuit with AI on it over the image of a highway

GenAI for developers: your mileage will vary, so drive carefully

Generative AI is shaking up every category of knowledge work, and professional software development is on the front lines of the revolution. With new advancements on the horizon, what does that mean for developers in the here and now? Our team experimented with a few of the leading tools and shared their impressions, along with suggestions on best practices for navigating AI usage in web development.


Terminal Input Broadcast

Typing the same instructions into multiple terminals at the same time is a great trick when you have a group of servers that have the same or similar configurations. 

Women looking happily at the screen of the laptop she is holding, while fanning out money

Getting down to business with professional WordPress development

WordPress has a flexible and robust ecosystem for creating a wide variety of websites. But when your site needs to grow and expand functionality, having a dedicated, experienced development team to support and build out new features is essential. Learn about Mugo Web’s best practices when it comes to developing in a WordPress environment and see how we’ve helped save clients thousands of dollars with innovative solutions.