Soft Launch: Welcome To Our Newly Redesigned Sites

No, you haven’t landed on the wrong site… this is our newly relaunched and redesigned site, though as you will see as you navigate through it, this is probably a soft launch, or as they say in Silicon Valley lingo, a beta launch. This was what we tried last week, and as opposed to last time, we landed well this time.
A lot of effort has gone into it, but the biggest problem we faced was the content migration. One of the big things we learned, even though it was obvious even before, is that the blogs CMS systems suck…all of them. Interoperability is nonexistent in the blog or CMS industry… plus they are built with no thought to structured data, or if they are, they are completely optional and an average blogger would never be able to adhere to it. And oh, we have moved again from WordPress to Expression Engine, and if you are counting this is our third blog system (Movable Type being the first one).
Anyway back to the new sites… the big idea behind the site redesign is to become more contemporary, in terms of design, usability, and ad units. Also, we have three sites now and a fourth one ready to launch, and we had to make them part of an overall network, and hopefully we have achieved that with this redesign. On the backend side, as we add more journalists into the system we will see the added benefit of a platform which is more robust and scalable.
We have a lot of new features, half of which won’t be functional the first day, but we will transition into them over the next week or so. By the end of this week, I will do another post listing all the new features that we have built into the new system.
Some credits are in order: first, the excellent design and development team at Airbag Industries and the allied team: Greg Storey, Ryan Irelan, Ethan Marcotte, and Jesse Newland. Once we get finished with this (and dare you try to snatch them away for the next couple of weeks…), I would recommend them in a heartbeat for a Web design/development project. Also, big up to the EE team for their help in the platform migration.
From our side, our executive editor Staci who came into the project late but has been working nonstop for the last two weeks…and then, the rest of our team, specifically Jeff, Michael and James. After this experience, things will only go up, I promise.
Thanks everyone for being patient.
Rafat Ali
Editor & Publisher, ContentNext Media (, and ContentSutra)


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