by John DerrPublisher We are excited to announce a new, redesigned, more user-friendly chestnuthilllocal.com. We plan to launch the new site next Monday and we invite all of you to go online and …
by John Derr
We are excited to announce a new, redesigned, more user-friendly chestnuthilllocal.com. We plan to launch the new site next Monday and we invite all of you to go online and check it out.
Tens of thousands of people from our area and beyond visit chestnuthilllocal.com each month to find news and features specific to Northwest Philadelphia and eastern Montgomery County they won’t see anywhere else. In July, the site registered nearly 60,000 users. That is an increase of 31% over last July, and it is consistent with the percentage audience growth year to date. Combined with the print edition being read by nearly 10,000 adults every week, the Local’s reach is expanding and our readership is growing.
Our great content deserves a great platform. The current chestnuthilllocal.com is a nearly 15-year-old Wordpress site with a clunky mobile presentation. Almost 60% of our site traffic is from a mobile device/tablet. Our continued growth is dependent on our improving the mobile experience.
For our new iteration of the site, we turned to a vendor that specifically creates newspaper websites. So, even though you’ll be visiting an all new website, you will likely find it familiar and easily navigated if you are in the habit of visiting other newspaper sites.
We were fortunate to receive grants from Google’s Journalism Emergency Relief Fund and from the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association that were specifically earmarked for this upgrade to our digital presence. Those funds were critical to our being able to make this improvement for our readers.
A new feature of the site for our subscribers will be a digital replica edition (or E-edition) of the newspaper, plus an archive of past editions. Within the digital replica edition, there is functionality to download, enlarge, print, etc. The reader can scroll through the pages on his or her tablet, desktop or phone.
At the start of the pandemic, the Local lowered the paywall on the site to allow everyone access to pertinent information and news we were producing. The paywall will go back up on September 15. If you are a subscriber, we will be getting your sign-in information to you well before then. If you are a print subscriber, you will have full access to the site and the digital replica edition and the archive of past editions. If you are not a subscriber, why not?
Now is a good time to become one or join the CHCA and receive your subscription as a benefit of membership along with a Passport to the Chestnut Hill Experience. Non-subscribers to the Local will be limited to 5 stories a month, and access to the homepage, classified advertising and a new Marketplace feature.
We hope you will visit the new chestnuthilllocal.com and that you will like the new format, clean appearance, and the new features the site offers. And, as always, we would love to hear from you, and we invite your feedback.