For a few years now, when readers have gone to bocabeacon.com they’ve found the top news stories of the week, the fishing report, the web cams and a scattering of photos. The old, trusty coconut telling you that you’ve come to the “Bocanut Telegraph” has always welcomed you.
But what we have in store for you now is above and beyond the tired, broken coconut.
As of Friday, Dec. 2, when you go to bocabeacon .com you will find the original news content, the web cams, the fishing report and the weather. You will also find a lot more features and options that will help bring us into the new year with a bit more creativity.
We have been working for months with a company called Sandpaper Marketing. Sandy and Nic have been more than patient with us as we have explained exactly what it is we want, and they’ve created a whole new site for us from scratch.
When we first sat down with the idea for a new site, we knew there were a few things that needed to change. In our old format, which was Word Press, we were unable to post large galleries of pictures and movies correctly, we were struggling with creating ads that would fit on the page, and the whole process every week ended in frustration and dead ends.
Sometimes we had so many hits that it almost shut down our local server system in Port Charlotte. We’re really grateful for those hits (many of them unique, meaning they were from different computers, not the same computer clicking on and off different pages). But we didn’t feel we were getting the appropriate bang for our buck, considering we were still limited in our posting capacity and paying more for the monthly server service.
It’s especially frustrating when we would get 200 shots of an island event, and we were unable to post them anywhere but to our Facebook account. Or when we were only able to put two or three movies on our home page.
As of December 2, what you are going to see when you type in “bocabeacon.com” in your URL browser is a lot more color, a lot more clarity as to who we are, lots of new options to start or change a subscription, and, eventually, the doorway to a whole new “e-edition” of the Boca Beacon.
We did a poll last year and asked our readers which they would prefer: Getting their paper delivered in the mail; getting their paper online; or both. The overwhelming answer was “both.”
We’re going to soon be ready to accommodate those readers who want their Beacon on the go, which will be compatible with smart phones. The paper that you will pay for online will be in what is called a PDF format, which means that the pages you will be viewing on your browser are the exact same as what you will see in the hard copy edition. The ads are the same, the columns are the same, even the classifieds will show up now.
We will also have information on our web site for those that don’t pay the additional cost for the “e-edition.” You won’t get the same view as those who subscribe, but we won’t leave you hanging as far as news, the fishing report, web cams and our other features go.
There is more to come, too. We have several different plans in the works for other special deals and discounts if you become a Beacon subscriber, but we’re going to surprise you with those a little down the road.
So when December 2 rolls around, make sure you take a moment to get familiar with our new site.