If you have visited our website over the past few days you may have noticed a few exciting changes. This is the first time we have updated our website since it was launched nearly eight years ago and was long overdue, at least in my mind.

First and foremost, you will notice a new and sleek design to our homepage. There is a scrolling set of images that includes everything from sports to news and more. You will also notice the buttons have changed at the top of the page, as well as how to log into your e-edition. 

One of the biggest changes you will notice concerns our e-edition. In the past our e-edition was hosted by a third party and you were required to sign in through another website. That is no longer the case anymore, but that being said, the first time you log into your e-edition on our new website you will need to reset your password. In transferring all of the information from one website to the next we were unable to see your password, just your username and email address. 

In order to log in for the first time, click the sign in button and insert your email address. Click the forget my password button and a temporary password will be emailed to you. If you have questions, or issues logging in for the first time, don’t hesitate to give us a call. 

            Those of you who subscribe to more than one of our publications, which includes the Citizen’s Advocate in Henning, New York Mills Dispatch and the Frazee-Vergas Forum, can also toggle between the three websites as there are buttons on the top of the page to do so.  

Another change is the optimization our websites now have for your phone and tablet. The websites were designed to make it easier to read on a smart phone, which is the way many of us search the Internet today. 

  You will also notice a lot of changes including how the pictures are placed within the stories and even things like pull out quotes. Our hope is to give the website a more updated look and make reading the articles on our website more visually appealing. I like to compare our new website to that of aggregate news pages that can create a unique feel to reading news online, rather than just seeing the text and pictures placed in the same places.

Our new websites also features an expansive photo gallery with the option to purchase pictures and products directly off our website. The pictures can be mailed right to your doorstep or downloaded from our website. 

Over the next few weeks to months we are also hoping to unveil some more exciting features on our websites. Check back as we continue to update our online presence, while also making sure to provide a quality print product that you have become accustomed to seeing in your mailbox each week. 

  Unlike some publications nationwide, we still view print as our dominant medium and our websites are simply an arm of our print product. You will need a digital subscription to read all of the stories, but small previews are available throughout the website. We are a small mom and pop operation and rely on subscriptions to help fund the news you read in this publication each week. 

That being said, we hope you are patient with us during this transition. As I found out Friday afternoon, even with the most careful planning, rolling out a new product comes with a set of unforeseen circumstances and issues. I think I spent a good portion of my Friday afternoon banging my head against my desk as we hit a few snags launching a website we have been developing since last summer. 

I guess all the planning in the world doesn’t mean things will go off without a hitch when you deal with technology. 

I’m not much for changing technology, which is probably why I am in the newspaper industry, but that being said, we are excited for you to check out our new websites. Let us know what you think and if there is anything we are missing or need to add.