Website updates in the works at The Lansing Journal

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by Melanie Jongsma, Managing Editor

LANSING, Ill. (September 30, 2020) – After a series of server errors, site downtime incidents, and interminable tech support phone calls this summer, Josh Bootsma and I agreed it was time to invest more seriously in our website.

The initial decision was an emotional reaction to the hours we had wasted on tech issues rather than journalism. But even after we cooled down, we realized this investment was in the best interest of The Lansing Journal community. Not only would it provide a more reliable platform and more responsive tech support, but it would allow us to enhance the online experience for our readers and advertisers.

Leaving well enough alone

Some of you might not want your online experience enhanced. Thelansingjournal.com has remained largely unchanged for the past three years, and you know where everything is. Redesigning it will probably move things around, which will be inconvenient for a while. The first time you visit the updated site, you might think, “Why couldn’t they just leave well enough alone?”

That’s an understandable reaction—I felt it myself the first time I visited the in-progress redesign. “What is that?” “Why are those stories over here?” “Where’s the search bar?” “Shouldn’t the type be bigger?” These were all notes I wrote to myself and to the designers.

At the same time, there were new features that I liked—larger photos, being able to find other stories by the same author, and seeing news by category. Those are enhancements I think will be useful.

The fact is, leaving well enough alone is not an option. “Good enough” is not good enough. We are not satisfied with where we are. We want to keep growing.

The newspaper our community deserves

We think Lansing deserves a newspaper that is the best it can be. We think our surrounding community deserves local news that is delivered professionally and reliably.

We think our advertisers deserve a site that will attract even more visitors—from Lansing and beyond.

And we think our readers deserve a site that makes it easier to see stories they might have missed, a site that introduces them to the journalists who are writing each day’s news, a site that is as attractive and readable on a mobile device as it is on a desktop screen.

Stay tuned

We met this morning with the project manager of the redesign, made some more changes, asked some more questions, and put a timeline in place. Sometime during the evening of Monday, October 12, we will be migrating all our current content into the new design. When you click on your Daily News email on Tuesday morning, you’ll arrive at the new site.

Stay tuned for more information….


In the meantime, if you’d like to support the work of The Lansing Journal, and invest in our infrastructure as well as our journalism, we welcome your personal contributions or your advertising investment: