Canadian Magazine Industry News
13 September 2012,     TORONTO
The Walrus magazine redesigns website on Wordpress platform
The Walrus magazine's website has been revamped, with the goal of being more responsive and interactive for readers, while also being more accommodating for advertisers.

Nic Boshart, manager of digital for The Walrus, said the redesign goals were two-fold for the site, which has moved from walrusmagazine.com to TheWalrus.ca. "First we wanted the Walrus reader to be able to access our site from anywhere, on any device," he noted. "The responsiveness of the site is the key feature, although there are plenty of other goodies."

 


The site is designed by Walrus online editor Matt McKinnon and web developer John Piasetzki. Boshart said McKinnon developed CSS sheets for five basic sizes that cover tablet, smartphone, and desktop environments, while upgrading his HTML skills to HTML5 to streamline the project.

"Our second goal was to make it easy for us to work with," said Boshart. The updated site is based on a Wordpress platform, "a completely adaptable, well-supported, free back end that we could grow and expand on just as the Walrus web footprint grows. It's just so much easier to do simple things — reader polls, photo galleries, you name it."

  The responsiveness of the site is the key feature, although there are plenty of other goodies."
- Nic Boshart
The basic layout of the landing page has changed, as the header (with the Walrus logo) is static, and the sidebar is static to a point as well. The footer is where the site's Facebook feed, Twitter feed, and store are located. On content pages, the site allows users to share via social media (including Reddit.com, a user-generated news site) and create a PDF to print out each article, said Boshart.

Regarding ad spaces, the new site loses the top banner, but now offers two IAB big-box 300x250 ad spaces and the all new 300x600 sticky big box — all on the sidebar along with three footer ads, he explained.

Walrus TV also finds a new home on the landing page. "While we'll be working on embedding TV with any relevant article, we'll also be keeping Walrus TV in a central location," noted Boshart. "This page is also the best example of the responsiveness of the site, as you can resize the page and play the video at any size, even while it's playing." Visiting the Walrus's former stand-alone TV site will now redirect users back to the main site.

"We're thrilled to take The Walrus to the next level, and provide a dynamic, interactive digital planet where a range of Walrus content is available to all, integrated and designed for readers," noted Shelley Ambrose, co-publisher of The Walrus. That also means a new suggested reading feature and filtered searches.

The new site, that took about five months to develop according to Boshart, officially launched for the public today.

TheWalrus.ca, Walrus magazine, Walrus TV and the brand's other collateral are under the umbrella of The Walrus Foundation, a non-profit organization with an educational mandate.

— Jeff Hayward
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Anonymous says:
John, can you explain why it is not a problem?...
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Tracie Berardi says:
This is a really helpful overview Marty. You touch on good points in your blog. -- Tracie...