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Pierce County Herald launches new website

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news Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

The Pierce County Herald relaunched its website today with a new, cutting-edge design.

Users first will notice a fresh, open look that will allow for larger photographs, related story links and more efficient navigation.

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Most important, Division Manager Steve Messick said, is that the changes accommodate how people want to consume news and how advertisers want to deliver their message in today’s world.

“People expect information at their fingertips. Smartphones, iPads and other digital devices mean readers are more mobile and they want immediate access to local information,” he said. “That’s what drove the changes.”

The new design on www.piercecountyherald.com focuses on consumer demand and uses adaptive technology. No matter the size of the screen — be it a smartphone, tablet, laptop or home computer — people will view the same website, Messick said. The site will shrink and expand, adapting to the device.

The new design puts www.piercecountyherald.com and its 10 sister news outlets in RiverTown Multimedia at the forefront of the digital media industry.

“We are in the first wave of publishers across the country moving to an adaptive website design,” said Roger Sievers, RiverTown Multimedia producer.

Currently, www.piercecountyherald.com receives as much as 25 percent of daily traffic from mobile devices.

“That will only grow,” Sievers said. Retailers sold nearly 1 billion smartphones and tablets last year. Analysts expect that 2013 sales will top those.

On average, www.piercecountyherald.com exceeds 230,000 pageviews a month. RiverTown Multimedia as a group has 2.5 million pageviews. RiverTown is a division Forum Communication Co., which reaches an audience of more than 2.2 million each month.

In May, the Pierce County Herald site — Goodhue County’s No. 1 news website — had more than 45,000 unique visitors.

Sievers and Messick said the new website provides news and sales staff with new tools and opportunities to grow those numbers.

“The decisions we made in developing the websites will help ensure that we continue delivering local news to readers for generations to come,” Messick said.

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