Oh sure, Controlglobal.com was named one of the top 10 business-to-business websites in the United States by the American Society of Business Publication Editors, but that was way back in July. As they say in the entertainment industry, "What have you done for me lately?"
Well, in the case of Controlglobal.com, the answer is plenty. Just a couple of weeks ago, our senior managing editor for digital media Katherine Bonfante, associate digital editor Sarah Cechowski and their colleagues completed the Herculean task of moving our website to a new SilverStripe content management system (CMS). By now, all the files are moved, many back-of-site improvements are finished, some bugs have been fixed, and we have a shiny, new website that's even more informative, useful and helpful than it was before. Sweet!
First up, just moving around and searching on the website is quicker and more comprehensive. I'm told that many of the back-end improvements to the website, such as more reliable interlinking between internal articles, will be seamless to visitors, but this one seemed pretty apparent to me.
Second, probably the most important new feature is visitors can comment directly on every single web page. You can add insights and criticize every article, news story, column or other piece of content right at the moment you think of something to say, or when you trip over some incomplete or outrageous statement that needs a response. Yes, you can also let me know immediately just how full of baloney you may think I am. Uh oh.
Third, Controlglobal.com's internal search engine is more user friendly. You can now search by date, content type or by 10 technical topics.
Fourth, one of my favorite new features is an independent "News" tab under the "Most Recent" category at the top of our front page.
Fifth, our blog entries now look very similar to regular article pages. The new system gives bloggers and audience members alike a better experience when participating in our online communities.
Sixth, our RSS feeds' directories have moved, but visitors can still access our new feeds via the old ones. Our previous RSS feed automatically redirect to the new ones, or users can establish new subscriptions when desired.
Seventh, the menu bar at the top of the front page is redesigned with a dark background and white lettering that makes it more readable.
Eighth, the process for submitting Wiki entries has been streamlined, so users can add to the Directory of Lost Companies more easily.
Ninth, the box listing whitepapers in the right column of every web page has been upgraded to a new format that scrolls through headlines about several recent papers, and also includes an informative description below each headline.