Chase Charaba, Online and Social Media Manager
When readers visit this website, they see a full homepage, content sections that link to articles, a sidebar with video widgets and many sharing options. Things appear to work as they should, but that’s not without hours of effort on my part to make it that way.
It is so exciting to be innovating on a news website in a time where news medium is shifting. It seems to be common knowledge that traditional journalism is dying, but there are always other methods to storytelling and reaching out to our readers.
Last quarter The Puyallup Post introduced it’s new website format using the theme Colormag Pro by ThemeGrill and a variety of new plugin features. This much needed facelift transformed the website into something modern and much more suitable for our needs. But that theme wasn’t enough. By the end of the quarter it became apparent that there needed to be a few more innovations to really be on top of our game.
So, starting in early January I spent a few hours each week devoted to improving this site one plugin, article and feature at a time.
During the first week of winter quarter I rearranged the homepage and menu, adding a new multimedia tab that allows readers to watch videos in one convenient place. By hovering over the multimedia tab, users can choose a variety of subsections to visit, such as a page dedicated to hosting previous print editions through issuu. There is also a new section that showcases current and past student submissions. Hovering over this new option will display a dropdown menu with an option to submit creative writing or letters to the editor through a submission form. This was perhaps the most exciting change because now students have an easy way to make their voices heard.
On the backside of the site every category was reorganized and many were renamed to erase the inconsistency in category naming from each year the website has been around. This should make finding articles much easier.
There is now a rotating poll located on the homepage’s right sidebar as well as an option to like us on Facebook (and you totally should if you haven’t already. There’s some exclusive content and photos on there.)
Every section has been recolored red for consistency, replacing the feature where every section had a unique color code.
Articles are now printable. Before adding the print button at the bottom of each article, readers would have to use ctrl + p (for Windows) or use their browser’s printing features, which would not print entire articles and photos.
Another exciting new feature is the SwiftyBar plugin at the bottom of each article that displays the headline, writer, time to read and sharing options.
Our most recent development is the inclusion of the ResponsiveVoice plugin starting Feb. 3. This allows readers to have articles read to them using text-to-speech technology.
Some features we are considering adding this quarter include interactive and fun quizzes for students and more multimedia content, such as photo slideshows and weekly or bi-weekly videos.
On behalf of us here at The Puyallup Post, I hope you enjoy the new features. Thanks for reading.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
Other than being involved in journalism I write epic/high fantasy novels (book one is sitting at 230 pages), continuously add to my growing collection of 500 vinyl records and make videos on YouTube. I am planning to transfer to University of Washington -Tacoma to earn my Bachelor’s of Science in IT, but my dream is to one day publish my novels.