The company plans to redo about a dozen sites by the end of this year, said Alec Dann, general manager-business media online.
All of the sites will use the CMS platform from SDL Tridion. âThe new content management system will change the game for our portfolio of sites and be the catalyst for aggressive audience growth,â said Andreas Schmidt, Hanley Woodâs e-Media executive director, in a release.
One of the main ways the system will build the audience is with technology that automatically makes content easier for search engines to find. For example, it generates URLs that include keywords in plain language, such as âbuilder-confidence-shows-slight-signs-of-stabilizationâ rather than 48 characters with question marks, numerals and no apparent meaning.
Another goal of the redesign of all the sites is to provide more advertising and sponsorship opportunities, Dann said. âWe have limited inventory, and itâs hard to grow that. But we can get higher CPMs for what we have if we organize differently.â For example, the new navigational structure opens up more sections and product categories for sponsorship.
The CMS platform also empowers the editorial team to make a variety of changes to pages that previously would have required programmingâand long waits for programmer attention. âThe system is really easy to use,â Dann said. âMy team had to build 150 Web pages before we relaunched Builder Online, and we were able to do it in two weeks with three people. Thatâs fast.â
Dann said more new elements are still to come on BuilderOnline.com, such as Most Popular stories and a feature that will enable editors to click on a story and see how many times it was viewed. âSince we bought the complete package from Tridion, we want to make sure we use all the features. If we donât do that now, before we move on, Iâm afraid we never will,â he said.
The redesigned BuilderOnline.com is not only physically wider than its predecessor at 1,024 pixels, it provides even more usable space because the left-hand navigation column was removed. The eight tabs across the top of each page have drop-down menus that organize the content more efficiently than previously yet take up less space, Dann pointed out.
The extra width enables the siteâs editors to use larger photographs and type sizes, while it also provides a wider advertising well on the right side of each page for display ads and
âOne of our goals was to provide larger photographs because the commercial building and architecture markets Hanley Wood serves are very visual by nature,â Dann said.