Have you been asking yourself whether shawneemissionpost.com looks a bit different today? Well, you’re quite perceptive, aren’t you!
We’ve made a few tweaks to the site in an effort to declutter the navigation area and make our homepage calendar easier to scan. Here’s what’s changed:
- We’ve eliminated some of the graphics on the right side of the top navigation bar and replaced them with an easier-to-find search tool. One of the most frequent complaints we’d been getting about the design of the site was that it wasn’t easy to find the search bar if you were looking for an old article. We’ve still got a search tool baked into the footer and in the right sidebar — but we hope putting it up top will eliminate the frustrations people had been having.“But where are the pioneers!?” you are surely demanding. Alas, we have decided to put the image of Zeke, Anna and little Jed out to pasture. When we first started the site back in June 2010, we set out to cover just Prairie Village, Mission Hills and Fairway, and so the pioneers statue at the intersection of Tomahawk and Mission Roads was a good landmark for the center of our coverage area. When we added coverage of Mission, Westwood, Westwood Hills, Mission Woods and Roeland Park in 2012 our nucleus shifted north a bit, and the pioneers statue wasn’t quite as representative of the entire northeast Johnson County area.
- The calendar that runs on the homepage under the top story has been redesigned, with date icons that we hope will make it easier to scan upcoming events. We’ve also more prominently incorporated the “Submit Your Event” button so as to encourage people to, you know, submit their events. (If you want to know whether your group’s event is eligible for the calendar, check out our calendar submission policy here).
- And, finally: The ads. They are bigger. “Nice move, sellouts!” perhaps you a thinking. Well, just hold on a second there, Judgmental Judy. We had gotten some feedback that the top banner ad size we were using had tendency to get lost amid the hubbub of the navigation elements — all of the copy was about the same size. The same issue was present with our other premium ad spaces (the marquee space that runs at the top of the right sidebar and the calendar ad the runs next to the community calendar on the homepage) so we have expanded those ad availabilities from 300×250 to their current 300×600.The goal is to make sure the local businesses who support the site with ads have a solid platform from which to communicate with our readers. This is important. Because happy advertisers mean we get to keep producing truly local news for northeast Johnson County. Besides, readers actually tend to like bigger ads. So…we did it for YOU!
Speaking of you — there are a lot of you lately. We passed 100,000 visits per month for the first time in site history in June. We figured we might dip back down to around 90,000 visits in June…but instead we smashed the record again with 115,000 visits. And as of today, we have 5,000 followers on Facebook. It’s been a huge year for traffic growth, and we want to thank all of the readers who are turning to us for their local news!
Let us know what you think of the new design tweaks in the comments section (which we’ve also moved up so as to make it easier to find!)