31 August 2014

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Welcome to your new-look HoldtheFrontPage

The online home of UK regional journalism news and jobs is boasting a brand new look today after the first makeover in its eleven-year history.

A year after celebrating its 10th birthday, HoldtheFrontPage has undergone a radical revamp in design and functionality designed to provide an even better service to readers and advertisers.

Improved job search is key to the new-look platform with all jobs now searchable by region, keyword and sector as well as category at our new jobs board, HTFPJobs.

And we have also built a dedicated social networking and blogging platform, HTFPConnect, where journalists will be able to link up with old colleagues and college mates, and write their own blogs for the site.

The entire archive of 20,000-plus HoldtheFrontPage stories has been migrated across to the new WordPress-powered site, which is packed with new features.

Each story has now been tagged with the names of the newspapers, organisations and people mentioned in it, showing up as ‘Related Topics’ on each individual story page.

As part of the changeover, CV listings on the site, previously £18 a year, will now be available free of charge to all jobseekers.

And as a special three-month introductory offer to the new site, we are also cutting our ad rates, with all jobs inside and outside the regional press now starting at £175+VAT for a week and guaranteed discounts for longer bookings.

Other new features include:

  • A bright new design which utilises the full width of modern computer screens, allowing more space on the homepage for both news and jobs.
  • Giving jobseekers the ability to apply for jobs online directly via the site.
  • New homepage slots for each of the main news channels, in the left-hand column under ‘Latest News by Category’
  • Editor’s choice, a round-up of journalism news and views from other media outlets and blogs.
  • New journalism forums on HTFPConnect where users will be able to debate the latest developments in the industry.
  • Take Five, a new weekly feature in which a leading industry figure answers five questions about his or her career.

HoldtheFrontPage publisher Paul Linford said: “The original version of HTFP which went live in February 2000 certainly stood the test of time but in the fast-changing world of digital publishing a redesign was long overdue.

“What we set out to deliver was a platform that provides a better showcase for our content, offers an improved service to jobseekers and employers, and introduces a new element of social networking and interactivity, and I hope we have managed to do that.

“Despite the contraction of the industry over the past ten years, HoldtheFrontPage has managed to grow both its audience and its revenues and I believe this new version of the site will enable us to continue to build on that success.

“However as is the case with any IT project, there will inevitably be teething problems, so if you spot anything wrong, or just want to give your feedback, please get in touch by emailing me at editor.htfp@and.co.uk.”

Among the biggest changes is the consolidation of information about daily newspapers and their companion websites into a single UK Media Directory.

The searchable databases containing static information about weekly and daily newspapers have gone, with this content now appearing on dedicated pages for each title alongside all the stories we have written about them.

The navigation menu has been reorganised into themes – news, jobs, features, training, awards, directory and resources – but most of the old top-level navigation menu items can still be found in the first or second level

In addition, some of the old nav menu items can be found in the ‘On this site’ links list in the right-hand column, while links to the About Us and Contact Us pages are now above our new-look masthead.

All of the news stories, story ideas and journalism course listings have been migrated to the new platform, but some of the little-used older content, including the database of website reviews and the ‘jargon-buster’, have been quietly laid to rest.

However the old site has been preserved as part of the National Web Archive so some of the old content is still visible there.

As ever, all HTFP news and jobs will continue to be available to be viewed by anyone, but in order to upload a job, post a CV, get job alerts, apply for a job online or search CVs, you will need to login or register with the Jobs platform.

It is also necessary to register in order to use the HTFPConnect platform, which is specfically aimed at building an online community around the site.

  • The publisher would like to take this opportunity to thank publicly the following present and former Northcliffe Digital personnel who each played a part in bringing the new site to fruition:  Robert Hardie, Julian Boardman, Darren Holden, Mary Harmon, Ste Ashworth, Ed Bates, Daniel Renshaw and, pre-eminently, Simon Delaney.

26 Comments

  1. stan, bahrain

    those moving cars in the adverts give me a headache!

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  2. Hilary, Neveryoumind

    Ooh, what a surprise! it was OK this morning and now look at it! Jury’s still out, I think

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  3. Bartman, Neveryoumind

    Firstly, l found you a problem – l dont live in neveryoumind!!!!!! as has automatically been put in the location block.
    But let me know if you are fit Hilary and l will be round at the weekend.

    Why have you switched from a user friendly site to this it looks messy?

    Report this comment

  4. Alan Ball, Birmingham

    Yes the Jury is out on the new site.

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  5. Adam

    It looks slick enough but I preferred the old navigation on the job page. Much easier to choose the category most relevant to you.

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  6. Hacked off

    Well I think it’s much better.

    The old site looked like something the NCTJ would show to its students as the acme of design, in other words old-fashioned, ultra-safe and – well – a bit dull.

    There’s loads more stuff to play with now, the colours are trendily retro and it’s generally a whole lot more interesting.

    Fine work.

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  7. Shuttleboy, Midlands

    Stan, use Adblock —no more ads anywhere… https://adblockplus.org/en/

    Like the new look BTW

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  8. p, London

    Great to see htfp in the 21st century. The old design was a bit of an embarrassment – although I must admit I do miss the blue tinted picture of people in a retro newsroom with big old-school computer screens.

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  9. Jonno, South

    HTFP what have you done?! My favourite, easy to use, no nonsense website has been left looking like a dodgy viagra wholsaling site concocted by Delboy’s Nigerian mate. It is awful.

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  10. Lensman, South West

    Long overdue for revamp but first impressions were ‘God what a hideous colour scheme’. IMHO It looks like you’re flogging chocolate bars. Better looking with the blue on the Connect pages, but overall a bit messy and too many ads flashing away.

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  11. gone fishing, Midlands

    Yuk, yuk, yuk. Why brown?

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  12. JonS, Midlands

    Really like the new look HTFP. One of the best web makeovers I’ve seen. Vast improvement. Congratulations.

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  13. Hacker, Not the Midlands

    What a jumbled mess.

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  14. emgee, Not the Midlands

    This is very brown. The old style was crisp and easy to navigate. Jobs page in particular was very easy to use and see what was out there at a glance every day. The new jobs section seems unnecessarily cluttered with options.

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  15. Paul Linford, HTFP Editor, Derby

    In response to Adam and emgee, I would just point out that jobs are still listed by category as they were on the old site. The list is directly underneath the search box on the Jobs homepage. The only difference is that categories in which there are currently no jobs do not show up on the new site.

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  16. KellyC, East Mids

    Really like it. Good job. However, I actually feel a bit nostalgic for the old format – it had been the same since the very first time I visited as a student back in 2001.

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  17. Alan Ball, East Mids

    The location East Mids has come up as my location which appears to be from the last comment from KellyC so this needs sorting………
    Not decided whether this new look site is an improvement yet. It does look rather messy with dull choice of colour

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  18. no one, East Mids

    hhmmmm this is different!

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  19. Kevin Ward, Newport

    Ah, a bit of change and the nitpickers and naysayers come out in force.
    The revamp looks great – modern, fresh, vibrant and easy to navigate.
    Well done, htfp!

    Report this comment

  20. Simon, Derby

    Like the new design. Vast improvement on the old site, will take a little getting used to though.

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  21. Ed, Derby

    Great design, fresh new look, a massive improvement on the original site. Well done htfp!

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  22. jbob

    The old one needed a revamp, but just a touch-up. Like someone else said, this is just a jumbled-up mess.

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  23. donnygator, Yorkshire

    The old site was looking very dated and the move to blog format is long overdue, but not sure about the template you’ve gone for here. Cluttered, horrible font, and what were you thinking with all the brown? There are much easier-on-the-eye layouts available in WordPress – sometimes less is more.

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  24. Paul Linford, HTFP Editor, Derby

    Lots of comments here about the colour scheme. We looked at retaining a light blue theme in keeping with the old site, but the consensus view was that we should go for something totally fresh. If it’s showing up in some people’s browsers as brown, it shouldn’t be: it’s maroon.

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  25. Simon, Derby

    Looks maroon to me.

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  26. the red postman, Behind the away dugout

    Will Mr Dyson be reviewing the revamp? There’s a massive amount of information on the homepage, almost too much to take in, while I’m not at all keen on the colour scheme. However, I like the industry links section, the Take Five feature looks interesting and hunting for jobs looks easier.
    Anyway, hacks always dislike revamps at first sight. Give it a month…..

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