Canadian Magazine Industry News
3 June 2009, TORONTO
Mags U Review, part four: Nine steps towards a better website
1. While a small, agile team (3-5 people) is best for a website redesign, it's essential to get buy-in on the project from stakeholders early in the process. "They can make your life difficult if they feel like you haven't heard them," Gold said. Invite stakeholders to a meeting and discuss what you're planning to do and why you're planning to do it.
3. Content-management systems need to be designed for the people who use them most often, usually editors and/or writers. Make sure the Web designer is aware of this when he/she is developing the CMS.
4. When you've redesigned your site, keep tweaking. Consider creating a beta section of your site to allow readers to test out new features.
5. Make sure you're pushing your e-content out through e-newsletters (daily, weekly, or monthly). Not only do e-newsletters drive traffic to your site, they also offer opportunities to sell advertising.
7. If banner ads aren't working, consider selling full sponsorship for your site on a monthly basis, as Salon52 does.
8. Put the important stuff up front. According to research cited by Beghetto, most people reading Web news only read the first three words of a headline and only 20% of readers scroll below the fold.
9. If you require readers to register in order to comment, realize that it's probably going to drive a lot of them away. Today's Trucking is currently eliminating the registration requirement on its site.
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