New and improved on the way

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It’s been just over six months since I re-launched, and I am excited to share with you that a new and improved site will be making its debut next week.

The response to the relaunched site has been wonderful. It proves the point that readers want a site that is easy to navigate, reliable and beautiful, all hallmarks of WordPress. You don’t need to take my word for it, though. The numbers tell the story better than I.

Since the site re-launched in late July, traffic has increased dramatically. Visits are up 12.3 percent, which is great, but consider these two items:

1. The bounce rate for — meaning how many people come to the site, read one thing and then leave (or bounce) — was 54 percent with the old site. With the new site, the bounce rate plummeted to a smidge over 5 percent.

2. Paralleling the drop in bounces, the number of page views soared dramatically. Visitors read more things, and I credit the changeover to WordPress. The number of page views from the old site to the site re-launched in late July soared a jaw-dropping 81 percent. You read that right: 81 percent, and the number continues to climb.

Despite the success of the new WordPress site, the amount of material on cried out for a larger, more nimble framework. That’s what you’ll see when we finish with the transition.

The new site — still built on a WordPress frame — features a more sophisticated look and gives me more flexibility to display and promote all’s great content.

The switchover is a big project, so I ask your understanding and indulgence this week. There may be times when the site looks kind of wacky or isn’t accessible. While I am not anticipating any big problems, there will be unavoidable growing pains in tailoring the new site from the old.

I hope that you share my excitement. Let me know what you think when the transition to the new site is complete.

In the meantime, thank you for your readership. Starting a new venture is never easy, but the numbers support my faith that this community is ready for something entirely new and different.

About Maria Stuart 211 Articles
Journalist Maria Stuart lives in Howell. She worked at The Livingston County Press/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus as a reporter, editor and managing editor from 1990-2009. She is often spotted holding court at Uptown Coffeehouse. You can check out her website by clicking here.