From the Editor: Steamboat Today launches new website | SteamboatToday.com

From the Editor: Steamboat Today launches new website

If you pulled up SteamboatToday.com on your smart phone or laptop this morning, your display of local news looks a little different. At midnight, we launched a new Steamboat Today website that is designed with our readers' news consumption habits in mind. All the content you expect to find on our site is still there but our new design now places more of those stories, photos and videos top of page, top of mind.

On the redesigned SteamboatToday.com, news stories appear on the top portion of the homepage, and you no longer have to scroll down to find our top headlines, which were often buried on our old site that listed content chronologically.

Research shows that most news consumers won't scroll down very far to find information, so we have displayed our top stories in an easy-to-use carousel design that allows readers to click the "next" or "previous" button to navigate through a slideshow of stories, which include breaking news stories as well as a sampling of sports and feature stories.

In addition, the rest of our top headlines will be listed next to the carousel on the home page, giving you a quick view of our latest stories. The top of the home page also includes links to some of our most popular online content, including webcams, videos and photo galleries.

If you're looking for a particular section of the paper online, you will find a series of categories in the main navigational bar on the top of the page right under the Steamboat Today logo. Just click on News, Opinion, Explore Steamboat, Sports and Outdoors or Magazines to access that curated content. And under each of those main categories, content topics are even more specific with subcategories of stories like crime and courts, obituaries, real estate and business.

The new website also features a series of square tiles under the main news section that readers can click on to access other website features like our e-edition, events calendar, weather report and Twitter feed. There is also a tile that will take readers to the e-editions of all our magazines, including Steamboat Living, Adventure, Explore, Colorado Hunter and the bike and rodeo guides.

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The new SteamboatToday.com also eliminates some of the features on our old site that were the source of reader complaints. Gone is the video that auto-plays with sound on every article page, and comments displayed prominently under each news article have also been moved to a separate tab.

Our videos will now auto play without sound, and they can be easily minimized if you don't want to watch them immediately. We also have the capability to remove videos from select, more sensitive, stories.

Because videos remain a popular online feature, our entire collection of videos, including our Wish You Were Here 360 video collection, can be accessed by clicking on the video button, predominately displayed on the right side of our home page.

Instead of having to create a user account to post a comment on a story, readers will now comment using their Facebook account, and comments will no longer appear directly underneath individual articles. To view comments, readers will click on a "Comments" tab above each article. Another added benefit of the new site is that comments will be moderated through built-in moderation tools, which will save valuable staff time that I believe is better spent generating news stories rather than patrolling our comments section.

On page 22 of today's newspaper, we've published an info graphic that further explains how to navigate the new SteamboatToday.com site. As you explore the new site, please don't hesitate to offer your feedback by emailing me at lschlichtman@steamboattoday.com. I value your input and look forward to receiving your reviews of our new site.

Check out this graphic for additional information on navigating the new Steamboat Today.

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