The Western Producer has launched a new website. It has been a long time coming, but I hope visitors will find it’s been worth the wait.
The new producer.com is not a flashy or gimmicky website; instead, it’s functional and attractive. Our experience — both in print and online — shows that the easier and cleaner a website is for users, the more it will be used.
Visitors will first see what we call the “carousel” — the most visible aspect of our home page, which rotates three lead stories.
To the left of the carousel you’ll see daily news, where we place short-term markets stories and most of our Reuters news content.
Off to the right you’ll see a variety of what we call “widgets” — the weather, latest blogs and a spot featuring Glacier FarmMedia’s weekly podcasts, “Between the Rows,” which is also available for subscription on iTunes.
Above the carousel, users who “mouse over” the sections on the blue menu bar — News, Opinion and Blogs, Markets, Machinery, Livestock, Crops and Farm Living — will see the top five stories in those sections automatically pop up. It’s a quick way of checking out the lead stories in each of those sections.
Below the carousel is a space for four stories we call “Must Reads,” which showcase key stories in the various sections on the website. Below that are another couple of key headline stories.
There are two other features of our site that readers might find helpful for navigation. One is what I call the “ultimate scroll”: when you click on a story in any section — say, Markets — you can simply keep scrolling down endlessly to get to all the markets stories. You don’t have to click back to the Markets home page.
The second concerns the mobile version. While most of the website remains similar to the desktop version, readers can press on the two sets of three little bars to the left and right of The Western Producer masthead.
The one on the left produces a view of the Daily News section, while the one on the right produces a list of all the sections — akin to the menu bar on the desktop version.
We may yet tinker a bit based on your feedback. We encourage visitors to check it out and let us know what you think.