Lessons from Relaunching a 50-year-old Magazine's Web Site
A Web site relaunch is an exciting project that requires long hours, countless meetings and some tough decisions. In the upcoming months, all of our sites will undergo not only much-needed redesigns, but will skip right past Web 2.0 to become online destinations and true leaders not only in the markets they serve, but hopefully all of business-to-business publishing.
Throughout the entire process questions come up that inevitably need to be discussed, but the hard decisions sometimes are the ones you wouldn't imagine spending much time on at all. Decisions like which content should open in a new browser window, how to sort search results, and what font sizes and line spacing to use should not be left to the last minute or to a developer to decide at 2 a.m.
Usability tests can help, but make sure you spend time reviewing all of the implications of making these and other decisions. You can catch a first glimpse of what we're up to by visiting one of Publishing Executive's sister publication's, Printing Impressions, which for 50 years has served as the most influential and widely read publication for commercial printing professionals.
It's my goal to build Web sites that offer unmatched benefits to both our readers and our advertisers, something that's very difficult to do. Although finding a compromise can be a struggle, collaboration among editorial staffs, salespeople and other members of our publishing teams has allowed us to keep the momentum from our very first planning meeting to now headed in the right direction.
Later this year, readers of Publishing Executive will be offered targeted content ranging from stories they may be interested in, to subscriptions, books and webinar recommendations, without registration. If you're an e-media professional, why should you see an offer for a webinar about Job Definition Format (JDF) instead of one on content management systems? If you work in production, I doubt you would want to read a story about e-mail deliverability, but recommending an ad portal case study would likely keep you around and coming back for more.
Advertisers will continue to be offered affordable opportunities to reach loyal readers, but the methods to get targeted messages in front of them will be greatly expanded. I should stop here, but contact me directly if you want to learn more.
I'm looking forward to what's to come and hope to get your feedback.