Back in March 2013, we were excited to announce the launch of our newly redesigned website. The goal was to create “the best resource for information exchange among builders, retailers, service techs and related professionals on the Web.”
That goal remains the same, but in just three short years, we’ve outgrown our site.
So it’s my pleasure to announce that we’ve done it again. Welcome to our newly redesigned website — a sleeker, high-performance version of its former self. Its many improvements include:
• A more robust and engaging home page, designed to showcase the latest news and cutting-edge content relevant to your business
• A new architecture to our site navigation, organizing our abundant content in a way that reflects the multifaceted nature of modern-day pool and spa firms
• A responsive web design that offers optimized viewing on computers, tablets and smartphones
• New online manufacturer and distributor directories
• An online calendar of industry events
• A faster, more efficient search engine to explore our archives
While I’m excited about all of the features above, I’m particularly keen to explain the first two.
You see, we’ve made some major changes to the way we display and organize our content online. First of all, we’ve devoted a prominent section of our home page to what’s called “Today’s Stories.” In it, you’ll find all the latest news stories in one convenient spot. The selection includes the 10 most recent articles, with the option to see the entire list by clicking “View All."
Another thing you’ll notice is the change to our navigation tabs at the top of the screen. Because news is conveniently on our home page, there’s no need for a separate news navigation tab. We took this opportunity to really rethink our approach: Web analytics revealed that our old way of dividing content into Builder, Service and Retail groupings was not effective. What could we do to help our readers?
The answer lay in recognizing the fact that many of the companies that comprise our industry today are multifaceted — builders often have a service or retail arm, if not both; a service company also can have a retail location, or vice versa.
That line of thought led to an epic brainstorming session of our entire editorial team that resulted in the following:
A How-To tab with subcategories of Design & Construction, Maintenance, Codes and the Ultimate Tech Manual.
A Business tab with divisions for three topics: Retail Management, Legal/Regulatory and Sales/Marketing.
Companies, which also would include articles about people and organizations. There are two subcategories: People and Top 50 Builders, which showcases our builders’ firm pages.
A Projects tab, featuring Masters of Design winners.
And finally, a Products tab, which also houses our two new manufacturers and distributors directories.
I invite you to explore our new website as well as the redesign of the print magazine. I'm eager to hear what you think and welcome suggestions for improvement.