The Express & Star, one of Britain’s biggest regional newspapers, has launched a new responsive website to enhance the digital user experience for web visitors across PC, tablets and mobile devices.
Posted on: 20 September 2012 07:30
Publisher the Midland News Association believes it is the first UK news company to introduce state of the art technology which resizes the layout according to the size of each user’s screen.
With one of the fastest growing online regional audiences, the MNA has unveiled the website to provide visitors with an improved experience and increase response rates for advertisers.
Rather than creating apps for iPad or iPhone, the websites are published using a single layout, which automatically changes according to the user’s device.
The move means that instead of booking individual adverts for each platform, advertisers can take out a single campaign to appear on all devices.
The sites also feature enhanced features including swipe functionality for pictures galleries, increased image sizes and improved navigation.
The Express & Star site went live on Tuesday (18 September) after the successful launch of the responsive website for sister title the Shropshire Star last month.
Managing director Phil Inman said: “We believe we are the first publisher in the UK to launch a website that responds to the way that the user is accessing it, reinforcing our desire to be customer driven.
“The MNA’s audience on mobile devices and tablets is growing so we wanted to ensure that users got the same excellent experience, matching that of desktop visitors.
“The new website will mean we can give digital advertisers the best possible response across all platforms.”
Head of digital William Beavis said the launch was the culmination of nine months of work by the in-house MNA Digital team, led by digital development manager Mark Cadman.
William said: “Our mobile audience has doubled in the last year, with almost a third of visits now coming via handheld devices.
“No matter which platform users visit, they will get the same experience and be offered the same advertisements.
“We are expecting to see an increase in response to advertising on our sites because we are able to serve them in a more user friendly way to all platforms, which is a positive message to take out to the market place”.
Last month’s ABC audit showed the MNA's online network continues to be one of the fastest growing among the leading regional publishers, with monthly unique users to the company's websites during January to June 2012 up 33.8 per cent year on year.
Across the whole of the regional press, the website for the Shropshire Star – the fifth biggest selling regional newspaper - had the second highest rise in average monthly unique users, up 41.8 per cent to 469,827. Expressandstar.com also performed strongly with a 33.5 per cent rise in average monthly uniques to 913,334.