The Portage County Gazette will celebrate its 13th anniversary Monday, July 2, with the launch of a comprehensive redesign and update of its website at www.pcgazette.com.
The site will go live at 9 a.m. Monday, July 2, with featured news content and a variety of ways for people to interact directly with the newspaper, including everything from renewing a subscription to submitting a classified ad.
“We wanted a website that was easy for people to read and understand, and that gave our readers more ways to engage the paper, whether linking to a story excerpt on their Facebook page or paying an invoice,” said Scott Steuck, Gazette managing editor.
The site will be open to the public and will operate with a teaser format, allowing readers to preview excerpts of the week’s featured stories and columns and view a selection of photos from the previous week’s paper. The printed weekly newspaper, delivered to people’s mailboxes on Fridays, will continue to offer the most complete community news and information available.
The website will continue to offer full obituaries within an updated interface and with a new name search feature that will allow easier accesses The Gazette’s more than 10,000 obituary archive.
People will be able to submit letters to the editor, classified ads, news tips, news releases, photos and comments through the website.
Readers will also be able to subscribe, renew subscriptions or buy gift subscriptions online for home delivery of the print newspaper.
“Like any small business, we’re always looking for ways to give our customers more options,” said Gary Glennon, general manager. “The more business we can handle online, the more time we have to cover the events and people in our area that our readers want.”
Other new web features include an interactive map of Gazette newsstand locations, a staff directory and pdfs of recent classified listings.
The site has a mobile-friendly design that adapts seamlessly to different devices, meaning no “apps” or other software are needed to view the site’s content. People’s phones and tablets will automatically reformat the website for easy viewing.
“It looks great on my iPad,” said Steuck. “I think people are going to really enjoy the experience they have with the new site.”
The site’s advertising space will not include any of the intrusive floating, expanding, pop-up, pop-under, trick banner, or transition advertisement that can sometimes spoil a user’s online experience.
“We know that our advertisers want to reach as many people as possible, but we know they don’t want to alienate people either,” said Glennon.
The new website will be updated daily for breaking news and obituaries, and weekly on Thursdays for most other content.
The Portage County Gazette was a weekly newspaper that started on July 17, 1878, but merged with another local paper in 1923 after the death of its founder, Edward D. Glennon. The Portage County Gazette returned as a weekly newspaper on July 2, 1999.
Through the mid-2000s, the Gazette maintained a comprehensive online news presence, but scaled back after noticing a dip in its print subscriptions. For the past several years, it has maintained a minimal online presence.
“We view this as a compromise,” said Glennon. “This is a way to give people a little something to sink their teeth into without giving away the farm.”
For more information, visit the website at www.pcgazette.com after 9 a.m. Monday, July 2, stop by the office at 1024 Main St. in Stevens Point, or call 715-343-8045 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.