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Johnston Press unveils first new-look website

Regional publisher Johnston Press has launched its first new-look website as part of its plans to revamp all its sites.

The News in Portsmouth is the first of the company’s websites to be redesigned with new sections and a new navigation to help users find their way around.

The new site also includes an improved player for videos and tweets being more prominently displayed on its homepage.

Plans to redesign all the company’s websites were announced by the company last spring when it announced that five daily titles would move to weekly publication and all 170 of its paid for titles would be relaunched.

The News’ new website was unveiled on Monday morning following research with local people about the previous version of the site.

The new website is currently just available on its desktop version but further changes will be made to the site in the coming months which will also benefit those who view it on mobile devices.

In an article about the new look, editor Mark Waldron said: “I’m delighted to be able to offer this significantly improved experience for our desktop website users.

“I really believe our new-look site will help our audience to find and enjoy our great online content and services.

“But to make sure we’re doing the best possible job we can, I’m keen for as much feedback as possible. So please do let me know what you think by commenting online or responding to our survey.”

Tweeting about the launch of the new-look site, Alex Gubbay, Johnston Press’ director of digital platforms, said: “A mix of satisfaction and relief at seeing our first Johnston Press local website relaunch go live!

“We plan to do a few more sites initially to get feedback and ensure everything working well, then roll across JP titles over next few months.”

The News’ new site includes a new What’s On section and a ‘Picks of The Day’ slot on every article as well as the homepage.

Contact details for staff at the paper are also displayed more prominently.

The website can be viewed here.


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  • March 18, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I think this sums up the state of the industry. Yet more meddling with the result essentially the same … a WordPress-a-like website.

    The regional press industry is simply moving the furniture round the same room. When all is said and done, it’s the same furniture.

    I have not read of a single innovative idea which will arrest the fact that the papers – for all their branding straplines – have lost touch with the communites and are involved in a sprint to irrelevance.

    I equate it to a man with a critical illness. The doc says he has two options … a few aspirin every day to make him feel better but it won’t stop the illness and the inevitible. The alternative is a new, possibly unproven medicine. It might not work but it is bold and brave and could save him.

    Choice A is definite death.
    Choice B is possible death.

    I know which I would choose.

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  • March 19, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I thought the same: looks just like WordPress. It does look a bit messy too. Your eyes go all over the place. Ashley – you worked for the BBC. Did you not look at its website? Why not just go for clean and simple. Direct readers to stories, not throw them all in their face.

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  • March 19, 2013 at 11:04 am

    1,300 jobs axed last year and savings of £37 million plus. Yet this is the best that JP can do by way of a new website. It’s a mess! A forest of signposts.These people know nothing about design. This site looks old fashioned and dull. When will they learn that inviting readers to let them no what they think during the design process is a pointless and self-defeating exercise. Pay an expert to do the job properly then pay attention to the feedback you get.

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  • March 19, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I dunno, it looks very smart and easy to navigate to me. Some deft touches with web typography for headlines and plenty of white space.
    It does go on a bit though. Not sure I’d want to keep scrolling down to get to the various sections.
    At least JP didn’t go down the route of the ITV News website and its never ending ride of news.

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  • April 2, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Shame it doesn’t load, or I’d be able to comment.
    Wake up JP people, your advertising is screwing the site up, it may be because I’m behind a proxy, but I don’t get past Grapeshot. All the JP sites are the same. If it is a proxy problem it won’t be just me, it will be the many many people trying to view the site from corporate networks.

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