New look pipes|drums!
pipes|drums today unveiled the latest major revision in the not-for-profit online magazine’s 14-year history (screenshots from 2010, 2008, 2002, 1999 and 1996 accompany this article), with a new homepage design that brings its worldwide audience more content, improved features, additional information and better overall accessibility.
The magazine’s thousands of daily readers will now enjoy a revamped user homepage interface, with more graphics and images, and access to a larger number of stories across the major sections of the publication. Significant is the addition of an article “above the fold,” marked by a large photo of a highlighted News, Feature, Interview or Results story.
There are now more stories visible and accessible via the homepage, with between four and six of the most recent stories in each section present. This increased homepage content is designed to ensure that readers don’t miss any new stroies, especially during the most active news cycles.
“pipes|drums has come a long way since we first launched a web presence in 1996,” said editor and publisher Andrew Berthoff. “We’ve always kept several steps ahead, and this most recent iteration we hope makes your experience that much better.”
Also new to the homepage is a “Top Stories” feature that brings the most popular articles – as determined by registered readers through a more prominent gracenote voting system. Listing in order the 10 most popular pieces will highlight recent or archived articles that readers should not miss.
pipes|drums now brings a new Classifieds feed to the homepage. Readers can see the latest classified listings without having to go first into the Classifieds section, thus bringing improved visibility and value to those posting to the free service.
The homepage features an Upcoming Events area, showing readers the world’s piping and drumming events on the horizon, also augmenting the more comprehensive Events section – another feature free to registered readers.
Under the Music section of the site, readers can continue to access the prodigious eight years of Dr. Willie Donaldson’s Set Tunes Series, and also enjoy an improved “TuneShare” feature. Composers and arrangers can upload pdfs of their work, as well as sound recordings – all now listed and searchable by tune-type.
Those going through the simple registration and/or subscription process will find a more streamlined experience, with improved graphics and functionality. Stay tuned for additional improvements to the process.
For sponsors, banner ads remain prominently featured and now display ads that previously were seen with articles are in rotation also on the homepage, providing dramatically more visibility and impressions.
“We’re constantly looking to improve the magazine, and, as always, we look forward to feedback and suggestions from our readers,” Berthoff said. “It’s all about bringing value through balanced and objective reporting, and, like the vast majority of you, our readers, we strive to produce a professional-quality product, even if it’s still just a hobby.”
In the last year, pipes|drums has been visited by more than 200,000 unique visitors. More than 85 per cent of readers come to the site repeatedly, and more than 20 per cent have visited the magazine more than 200 times in the last year alone. In 2009, pipes|drums counted more than four-million page views of its 3,000-plus archived articles.