Clarion, Pa.- The Clarion Call website received an extreme makeover on Oct. 21, taking on vibrant new colors and becoming mobile friendly.
Senior computer science major and the Clarion Call’s web designer, Chris Gillis, has been working on a new web design for the online newspaper since becoming web designer his freshman year. Due to budget cuts, the Call decided to run two editions completely online this year, and with the new web design, Gillis believes, the decision to go strictly online for those two editions will pay off.
“My goals initially for the new website was for it to be sleek, modern, eye-catching and mobile friendly,” said Gillis, who stated that since the new website was launched in late October, it has seen 2,068 visitors.
“I re-designed the entire webpage to scale to fit on the screen of phones and tablets, playing across the device so that you don’t miss anything. I also incorporated the use of more pictures instead of words,” added Gillis. “Once readers click on and read an article on the website, tags for related articles appear at the bottom of the page to encourage further reading.”
Not only is the new website mobile friendly and interactive for viewers, users and advertisers, but it also allows Clarion Call editors and the current web designer to access statistics on how many hits, views, shares or inquiries are made on the website.
“Since the new web design was uploaded, the site has seen 970 different visitors, 459 accessing the website through the Facebook page and 280 accessing from a Google search,” added Gillis.
The increase in visitors could be related to the website’s new related tabs feature, connecting readers of certain articles with other related stories or topics, or the website’s direct connection to the Call’s Facebook and Twitter page.
Gillis described how when editors post new articles on the website, and are published the next day, they are automatically posted on the Facebook page with an excerpt. “Any followers of Facebook or Twitter will see the posts and then can access the website with one simple click,” said Gillis.
However, the new website design is not yet quite complete. Gillis hopes to add a comment section under each article, allowing viewers to voice their opinion or ideas about the article to the writer and other viewers.
“At this point in time, the idea just needs to be discussed and approved by the editorial board,” said Gillis, “but I think that by allowing viewers the ability to comment on pieces will help our writers to take and build up more investigative stories.”
Overall, the website is up and running and ready for visitors. The Clarion Call’s strictly online edition will be published on Thursday, Nov. 19.