Engaging. Flexible. Cost effective. Those were three of the goals The Connecticut Mirror was looking to achieve with a complete website redesign earlier this year. The CT Mirror serves a sophisticated readership, and an enhanced design was just one of the upgrades Publisher Bruce Putterman was looking for in order to showcase his reporters’ in-depth work.
In addition to an overall design that was more contemporary and engaging–both geographically and organizationally–Putterman was interested in finding better ways to display evergreen stories. Integrating CT Mirror’s opinion section into its main site was another important change that could ultimately reshape the way readers engage with the publication.
As a nonprofit, non-partisan, and digital-only publication, CT Mirror relies heavily on reader donations for financial sustainability. The site’s publisher was in search of a more effective platform for generating newsletter signups and donations, with the understanding that any platforms being used by CT Mirror should be cost effective to utilize and maintain.
Working with CT Mirror gave us a chance to flex our creative muscles and implement best practices in digital news publishing. We’ve been able to showcase evergreen stories more effectively by adding an “in-depth” evergreen story carousel to CT Mirror’s main site. Keeping user experience at the forefront throughout the website redesign process, we opted to provide additional flexibility in managing how and where evergreen stories display on the home page, as well.
The CT Mirror’s new website gives the publisher the ability to execute sponsored content programs. CT Mirror can now place “trigger ads” on its home page and story pages, linking to separate sponsored content websites for each client or client campaign. CT Mirror’s sponsored content website was intended to live in a CT Mirror-hosted environment, while also clearly communicating that it is for special content that is separate from the publication’s editorially-produced work.
Through enhanced web design and utilization of best practices in web development for digital publishers, we have given CT Mirror a way to showcase its in-depth work and differentiate itself from other news organizations. We were also able to integrate opinion into the main site to encourage more dialogue among readers and generate more cross referral between CT Mirror-produced content and opinion submissions.
FROM THE CLIENT
CEO and Publisher
Our website allows us to showcase our in-depth work more effectively – which is critical because it’s this kind of work that differentiates us from other news organizations. A more contemporary design also makes the brand more accessible and innovative.