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Signal soft-launches improved website

CNPA’s ‘Best Website’ gets better

Posted: May 27, 2010 4:49 p.m.
Updated: May 28, 2010 9:13 a.m.

The-Signal.com has a new look and new, more interactive features.

 

The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, which recently earned "Best Website" accolades for its online version in the 2009 California Newspaper Publishers Association awards for papers of its size, has soft-launched a new website.

The first substantial upgrade of the Santa Clarita Valley's top online news source since February 2008, The-Signal.com's redesign features a new header plus improved front-page access to all the paper's exclusive local content, as well as the latest regional, state, national and world news headlines from The Associated Press.

"We invite our visitors to test-drive the new site and let us know what they think - what they like and don't like, and how to make it even better," said Stephen K. Peeples, The-Signal.com's online editor. "We'll take all that feedback into account as Joe Choo, our IT director, and I work with our corporate developer, Morris Multimedia, to finalize the new layout and functionality over the next few weeks."

New features at The-Signal.com include convenient tabs above the top header graphic for The Signal's exclusive Dining Guide, the "Ask the Expert" feature and the site's Community section on the left side, and for Classifieds and Homes on the right.

The Community section, where visitors can register and contribute content to the site including text and images, features a new Java-based photo uploader that makes it much easier for visitors to post individual or multiple images.

The top header includes icon links to sign up for The E, The Signal's daily e-edition, and the Santa Clarita Valley Business Journal, published monthly by the paper, plus links to visitor registration and log-in; subscription information for the newspaper and The E plus the afternoon Qwik-e e-mail news blast; details on how to advertise for print and online; contact information for Signal departments and staff; a site search field; and The Signal.com's social media accounts and RSS feeds.

Just below the top header, the site's main navigation menu is now a bright red band running horizontally across the page, with links to sections for local news (including business, schools, kids and archives); Associated Press headlines; Sports, Lifestyle, Opinion, Escape, Obituaries, Interactive (including the afternoon Qwik-e newsletter and photo contest), Marketplace, Contests, 1/2-Price Fridays, Info (about The Signal and staff) and Traffic.

Below the top banner ad position and to the left of the top tower ad postion, a new, larger media window displays the day's lead photos, plus top story headlines and the latest weather, with featured video clips and other still images from articles throughout the site displayed in the rows beneath.

Below those rows are widget blocks displaying top headlines and links for Sports, Lifestyle, SCV Raw, "Ask the Expert," Opinion, Local Columns, SCV Kids and Escape, plus a tile ad position, the most recent blogs created by registered users, and The-Signal.com's latest Twitter posts.

The bottom row of the front page is devoted to the Reader Meter poll, the daily Community Events calendar, more social media links and another tile ad position.

The-Signal.com's redesign extends to second-level interior section index pages and individual article pages, where text, images and multimedia are also displayed in a more aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly way.

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