A Website Redesign Case Study: Transforming a Blog into a News Magazine

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How and Why Launch Brigade Revamped the Santa Cruz Tech Beat Website

by Judith Wellner

Remember newspapers? Those awkwardly huge, printed things with a distinct scent of fresh ink? Remember the ritual of opening up your favorite section while sipping your morning coffee?

The world of news has been changing fast. Who needs print when we have Twitter? Who has time for rituals?

Sara Isenberg, founder and publisher of Santa Cruz Tech Beat — the go-to source for all things tech in Santa Cruz — found a perfect time to modernize the site and combine the fast-paced world of the web with the familiar rituals of reading well-written news. While she still creates buzz around featured news items by publishing articles online throughout the week, and sending out a weekly email news digest every Tuesday — and thus, keeps the ritual alive — she also decided to update the look & feel, as well as modernize the architecture of the site. We are glad she chose Launch Brigade for her website redesign project.

With web technology evolving and reaching a point where it’s not about the medium but the message again, readers want hard news back. They want real, established, verifiable sources. They now realize that while you can find pretty much anything on the Internet, you have to be selective about who you trust.

And this is where Santa Cruz Tech Beat comes into the picture. An old-style, tech news source that chooses to reinvent itself.

corporate website redesign case study

Santa Cruz Tech Beat started out as a blog. “The first website was a simple WordPress site that I put together myself so I could start up quickly,” Isenberg says. “As I approached the one year anniversary of Santa Cruz Tech Beat, I realized that the website needed to look and feel like a real news site. In addition to news, the website needed to enable visitors easy access to jobs, events, resources, the business catalog, and also provide better visibility and information for sponsors.

After going through an extensive website redesign process, the site is now responsive (mobile-friendly) and rich with new visual elements, such as a 3-column magazine-style layout, modern color scheme, modern fonts and call-to-action buttons, a well-structured footer, an inviting Sponsorship area and a clean header section.

We also wanted to make sure to emphasize the social aspects of the site and place the newsletter sign-up and social media feed sections prominently.

The site is still content-driven, but now, in an easy-to-digest, new form.

Working with Sara has been a very rewarding experience. It has been a collaborative process in every aspect.

If you don’t read Santa Cruz Tech Beat yet, I highly recommend you start the ritual. Subscribe for free at https://www.santacruztechbeat.com/

If you have any questions about this case study or want to speak to us about our services, feel free to contact us. We’re a website redesign company based in Santa Cruz, CA and we’d love to hear from you!

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