Our publication’s website is The Friar’s Lantern.
In May 2015, we rolled out a brand new site. Working with our adviser to develop this site was one of my first goals as Editor-in-Chief.
I really love the how the homepage looks, and some of the features: suggested articles when the reader reaches the end of an article, our social media widgets, the bar signifying how far they are down the page, and the ease of it on the back end of WordPress.
I have been involved with publishing stories online every month since I joined the staff. One of the benefits of learning WordPress in the process of keeping up the Friar's Lantern website is that I have learned about WordPress hands-on, and have been able to apply these skills to developing other sites - including my own.
By strategy, we publish all of our content online. Every story that appears in our monthly print edition is posted on the Lantern, and additional web stories help us to cover the news between print deadlines. Any article we have written in recent history can be found with a few clicks, and all of our content is shareable on social media. We think it’s important that all our stories are online, and the reporters like it that way too. I enjoy showing a younger reporter what happens when you Google his name to find some very professional stories on the Lantern on the first search page.
In summer 2015, I worked with our Managing Editor Chris Bunn to develop a step-by-step process for posting stories online. This job is time-consuming at publication crunch time, so it has been helpful to train more of our staff on the process. Click the image at right to view our guide.
Sharing our Publication
We used to publish our print edition on Issuu for our page, but some readers told us they would prefer a classic PDF. So now we always include a PDF (linked up to the articles on our site), and an Issuu.
Click the images on the left to see these formats. We have used these formats to create an online archive from 2011 until now.
Every month, we announce the new issue to the school via email with links to many of the feature articles and the full publication. It is exciting and rewarding to see site engagement increase almost instantly after sending the email.
Once an issue is released, we decide which stories to feature on the front page and change this several times in a news cycle. Our Social Media Editor helps to share stories, monitor hits from social media, and assess our publication’s reach.
Sharing site stats with reporters has proven a great way to show our staff how valued their writing is. We get basic information – date, referrers (Twitter, Facebook, Malvern Communications, other websites, email clicks, etc.), links clicked, visitors, clicks – and we regularly use that information to analyze our progress. We use it for constant feedback with our social media strategy.
We also see some clear trends in dates and times when users are on the site most often, so sometimes we will time the release of a story to match high traffic.