Huntington News: A regional newspaper in West Virginia
Huntington News were using old style html editing to update and maintain their local news website. This posed problems as staff had to submit changes to a webmaster and wait for the results, creating a bottleneck that was impacting their ability to deliver timely and accurate news updates.
In trying to remove this stiffling bottleneck, Huntington News realised they needed to switch to a content management system (CMS) where staff could post their own stories and make their own changes. Yet at the same time, they didn't want to shock their readership with too much change at once. It was highly desirable to keep the appearance of the website unchanged as much as possible, despite it being a design from several years ago.
In other words, Huntington News wanted the transition from html editing to a modern web-enabled CMS to be as painless, seamless and transparent to the readers as possible. After the transition, then they would consider a site redesign.
Huntington News found ProsePoint Express and after a couple of weeks of evaluation and email discussions, they signed up and prepaid for six months. They were convinced that ProsePoint Express was the way forward.
At the time, some features that Huntington News needed were not yet available in ProsePoint Express (having only just recently launched). We re-prioritised our development schedule in order to meet their needs as soon as possible. Specifically, we expanded the ProsePoint Express layout manager from 24 to 48 columns (to accommodate the ad sizes used by Huntington News) and wrote the beginnings of the Ad Server component for this.
Next, we helped to setup the appearance and layout of their site.
Huntington News wanted to retain their existing legacy look and feel, but it was very different from the default ProsePoint Express theme. Fortunately, thanks to the power of CSS and the flexible markup produced by ProsePoint Express, this could be done without having to resort to creating a new unique custom theme. We used the custom css feature to dramatically change the appearance of their site to suit.
We created a simple layout for their site's front page, being a list of headline news followed by four sections: News, Sports, Editorial and Entertainment. Five channels were created: A Lead Story channel and a channel for each of the four sections. The front page was laid out with a channel widget of Lead Stories at the top, followed by lists of stories from the four sections in a 2x2 arrangement (also with channel widgets).
After the initial site setup, we don't hear from Huntington News much anymore, so we can only presume they are humming along nicely. Doubtless they are revelling in their new found freedom and concentrating on what's important to them: Providing news to their readers.
We did, however, contact them whilst preparing this post, and this is what they had to say about their move to ProsePoint Express:
The ability to post content "at will" is something we have been waiting ten years for... The ability for writers to update/correct the content has had a gigantic impact on the quality of the news content we provide.
The Huntington News website is at http://www.huntingtonnews.net.
Thank you for reading.
(This article was first posted at http://www.prosepoint.net/showcase/190-huntington-news. Permission is given to reproduce and redistribute as long as this article is unmodified and proper attribution is given.)