Clarion Web site gets brand new fresh look

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2008

If you've not already signed on to the Clarion's Web site this morning, you're going to experience a very different site when you do.

As of late Wednesday morning, what you'll see at has an entirely different look and feel relative to the online experience you've previously had.

Our purpose in redesigning the site is, ultimately, to make it easier to use and navigate, and to allow us to provide better organization of content and new innovations, such as community commenting and better site-search capability.

Each time you bring up our Web site, you'll see at the very top a photograph that gives our readers near and far the feel, flavor and color of the central Kenai Peninsula.

Photos will be placed in that feature window and they'll rotate each time a page is launched. Perhaps the best feature of that window is readers are encouraged to submit their photos, too.

At the upper right of our home page, just under the photo, is a search box that will be much faster and far more complete than you've experienced before. This particular search function will be similar to that of Google.

Site-search results displayed will come from all Clarion pages mingled with directory links from our partnership with Yahoo!.

As you navigate to the results page from the search box itself, you'll see a number of "sponsored" results on the right-hand side of the page, just as those of you who are familiar with Google tend to see.

You'll still be able to search our site for local results (content for and about the central peninsula, for example) or you can head straight for the World Wide Web itself and cast a much wider net. This particular function will be a vast improvement over our past and limited search capabilities, as it will provide much cleaner, better, beneficial results.

Our site directory may be the most complicated and certainly comprehensive feature on our new site. Beside the Clarion logo and search box you'll see a row of tabs. From these tabs you can go to myriad areas of content within each.

The Clarion's Web site has been evolving rather rapidly for the past few years in terms of daily users and in innovations such as the additions of Associated Press video links and now better search function and commenting.

The innovations will continue to develop at a brisk clip, as will the number of users, which are now at 43,000 each month.

Perhaps the most important thing about our new site is that it represents a way for us to bring more and more visitors to the central peninsula each day.

It's mattering less and less that many who use our Web site aren't in the Kenai-Soldotna area. In visiting by way of the Web, they're getting to experience more of and about this community than ever before.

We know we'll be hearing from a number of you in the days and weeks to come. Many will like what they see and experience with our new site, and for others, the change will be a little less palatable.

We hope you'll keep in mind that what you see will continue to evolve relative to new and different content and how it is presented.

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