The Press Democrat's redesigned website is now live, and we welcome your feedback about the changes.
The site was rebuilt to allow easier navigation of key topic areas, better display of our stories and photos, and much faster load times.
We last redesigned our website five years ago, and this new design is aided by the many advances in technology since then. It also reflects what you, our readers, have been telling us. In your emails, letters and calls, you've asked for a website that is more stable and less prone to technical problems, that delivers news faster and makes it clear what the big local news stories are, that better showcases our award-winning photography, and that is easier to get around.
We're grateful to the many community members who helped shape the direction of this new site with their candid feedback and insight.
Our former site had literally thousands of links, sections, features and buttons scattered across it – the legacy of us adding to the site for years instead of doing a fundamental makeover.
This new site is designed to have less clutter and more clarity. It is built for modern browsers (our readers use more than 30 different browser versions) and is optimized for desktop, laptop or tablet display. As you hover over different elements or mouse around the homepage and the various site sections, you'll find ways to see what else is available on our site without forcing you to click around so much.
You'll find more connections to social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc.) as well as prominent ways to access our e-edition, the electronic PDF-version of each day's newspaper, displayed in the top-right corner of every page of our site.
This website makeover is only possible because of what happened in November 2012.
The return of The Press Democrat to local ownership has meant many things for our new company – locally-based customer service representatives, the return of several features to the newspaper, and more local news coverage. Also, it has meant the opportunity for us (staff based right here in Santa Rosa) to rebuild our website locally, apart from any corporate directives. Our various tablet and mobile sites and applications are also critical to our digital strategy.
In the coming weeks and months, watch for many more improvements in our current desktop, tablet and mobile platforms as well as the unveiling of new digital products and features.
We hope you find the new site easier to navigate and that you are able to find your favorite sections, columnists, bloggers and everything else that you've been steadily viewing at pressdemocrat.com. It's all here, but possibly arranged slightly differently than it has been.
A major change like this doesn't happen overnight and you'll see some tweaks and updates (and yes, even some bugs and errors that pop up) while we adjust to the new website design, just as you may need some time to dig in and notice all the improvements.
As always, we welcome your feedback, so let us know what you think by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org