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London Evening Standard’s Web Re-Launch: Is That It?

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imageLast week the Evening Standard promised us some “significant, innovative” changes on Standard.co.uk. What do we get? A new logo, a spring cleaned homepage, a mobile site and a new Twitterfeed. It’s part of new editor Geordie Greig’s re-launch of the title in print and online but longstanding observers of the almost constantly changing Standard site should feel a little underwhelmed by the new regime’s attempt at change online. The site has been redesigned to “provide clearer navigation” but at first glance it looks more cluttered than the old site, which was loosely based on the Thisis template of DMGT’s Northcliffe Media local newspaper sites (indeed, it still has the Thisislondon.co.uk URL, despite all the re-branding…)

The frontpage now has a ‘most read’ section and a new entertainment channel. A new mobile site, iStandard, is also launched today, essentially as a version of the main site re-formatted for mobile browsers that will also provide roundups of travel, weather, sport and City news on the site and via text message. New owner Alexander Lebedev is celebrating by giving away 650,000 copies to Londoners on Monday only. It’s not a long-term strategy — the paper goes back to £0.50 from Tuesday. But the paper was already inching towards free status under previous owners DMGT and in April gave away an average 120,000 copies a day of its headline 263,000 circulation to airlines, train companies and hotels.