Announcing beta.themiamihurricane.com

It’s finally here! beta.themiamihurricane.com

We want to hear your thoughts and suggestions, so please be sure to visit our feedback page.

Check out the introductory video by Editor in Chief Matthew Bunch on the homepage. Also, read his welcome letter.

The main goal was to create a more user-friendly site that is clean and easy to navigate. In addition, we wanted to best serve our online audience by including new features.

Some features to note:

  • Increased prominence for multimedia on every page with a SlideShowPro player on the right widget bar.
  • A video player on the homepage and the ability to embed a video or slideshow as the lead item, in place of the standard photo.
  • Increased prominence for blogs in the right widget bar, which displays the latest posts.
  • The ability to easily change front page layouts to one of several templates.
  • Web forms to submit a letter to our advice columnist, a letter to the editor and general feedback.
  • A SlideShowPro player to display front and section covers in the right widget bar.
  • Easy-to-find e-mail and RSS subscription links displayed graphically and textually in the top right corner.
  • Text message alerts.
  • A tag cloud.

We have 100 percent control over everything since we are hosting the site on our server. This not only allows us enormous freedom for content but also for the business office to sell ads online.

This site not only represents a huge shift from College Publisher to WordPress, but also a shift in the direction of The Hurricane to an even greater emphasize online. For instance, the Web site will no longer be updated and categorized by issue — it will be updated as news develops.

It all began with a goal I made as the editor in chief-elect in late spring 2007 to completely overhaul The Miami Hurricane site.

While this new site has been my initiative since the beginning and I have overseen the entire project, this beta site would not exist without the hard work and dedication of Webmaster Brian Schlansky. Brian has done everything technical on the side, from setting up the server to installing WordPress to importing the archives to designing and coding the site.

Special thanks for working on this beta site also goes to Editor in Chief Matthew Bunch, Visuals Editor Shayna Blumenthal and Business Manager Nick Maslow. I’ve drafted up a full list of people to thank — there are many — that I will post when the final site launches.

Weigh in: What do you think? Please share your thoughts on the ease of use, design, colors, features and anything else you see.

Or, if you’d like to contact someone directly, visit the staff listing page.

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