If you’re a Montrose, Colorado local, then you are already familiar with The Montrose Mirror. They recognize that businesses are the backbone of communities. The Montrose Mirror supports the local businesses on the Western Slope. In fact, they are your main source for news and information on local businesses in the community. They have 10K+ Facebook followers, 6K+ Email Subscribers, and serve Colorado‘s Western Slope. We were excited when they reached out to discuss an updated News Website Design for the Montrose Mirror!
Initial Consult: Client Overview & Goals
The Montrose Mirror is an online PDF news blast created in 2010 by Caitlin Switzer. They focus on local government and community news distributed via multiple platforms.
As a local Montrose business ourselves, we were already familiar with the Montrose Mirror. In fact, Caitlin was kind enough to feature our Montrose location in the media on a few occasions.
The Montrose Mirror had 2 websites. The first one was an archive of all of her Issues, and the second one was a mobi site used as a back-up site because the main site would often go down and it was a nice alternative to use. She also enjoyed its functionality. Her goal was to create an elegant redesign and only have one website that is responsive (mobile friendly). We were able to identify the root of the problem of why her current website would constantly go down.
Website Design & Hosting for the Montrose Mirror
Caitlin had a clear vision of what she wanted for her website… and reasons for why she wanted it like that. We worked together with new ideas to incorporate into her news website design, including integrating her email marketing platform.
We added non-controversial items to her site that her readers would find valuable. This includes their weekly cartoon comic strip as well as the Xeriscape Guide, a complimentary PDF of recommendations for residential xeriscape for Montrose, Colorado.
We also took over the email hosting for the editor. Our email hosting is included in our monthly hosting, so there’s no additional fee if our clients decide to use it. This gives our clients the opportunity to cut costs by closing their emails through Outlook, GoDaddy, or Google’s Gmail for Business. This also offers our clients one company to go through for their website and email needs.
Before we redesigned and hosted on our high quality servers, the old Montrose Mirror website did not have a passing Google PageSpeed score. It took 5.6 seconds to load their website. After we redesigned their website and hosted it on our own servers, they now have a passing Google PageSpeed score and their new site loads in 1.9 seconds!!
What Makes the Best News Website Design?
The best news website designs need to cater around your readers and what they will find valuable. It also needs to be consistent with the “voice” of your newspaper and what you’re wanting to accomplish.
For example, the Montrose Mirror has always solely relied on a PDF format as opposed to online blog articles. Any blog articles they choose to post in the future will not be meant for controversy. Their readers can sign-up for their mailing list, and receive the most recent issue as soon as it’s released.
Our other client, My Hyperlocal News, is set up completely different as they run on a larger scale in a much larger area. EG Publishing (Eculeus Group Publishing) manages 8 newspapers (and counting) in Arizona, targeting different zip codes and a demographic for each one. Their newspaper web design incorporates different headers and menu’s within one website. For example, North Phoenix News‘ primary brand colors are blue and they have their own logo. So we created a separate “site” within their main site to give value to their readers who are only interested in their community’s news. They offer their readers Digital Editions of their issues in a flip book, blog articles that their news editors write, business networking opportunities, and more.
Epic Kids is a magazine that has been highlighting the achievements of local kids since 2009. When the new owners took over, they hired us to handle their new magazine website design. They provide a platform to help businesses and organizations connect with local families. They distribute their magazines to a large variety of schools in the North Valley, where they end up in the students’ backpacks and they can take them home. They also offer yearly subscriptions and will mail this fun publication directly to your mailbox. Their website offers free printables, cool contests, local events, digital editions of their issues, advertising opportunities for businesses who wants to get in front of families, and camp opportunities.
Ready to see why so many businesses nationwide are switching to our Website Design Company… and staying? Experience the difference for yourself. We have office locations in Cave Creek, Arizona and Montrose, Colorado – but we offer our services nationwide. Call us toll-free at 855-854-8007 or Contact Us Here.