New Messenger website set to go online Oct. 15
MANTI—A new, fully interactive Sanpete Messenger website, destined to be the most complete news website in and for Sanpete County, will go live Saturday, Oct. 15 at 10 a.m.
Besides the standard desktop browser version, the Messenger will offer a version optimized for smart phones and tablets. People logging on from their mobile devices will automatically see the specially formatted version.
The colorful new site at http://www.sanpetemessenger.com replaces a site the Messenger has operated for about six years containing a PDF of the newspaper, posted about a week after publication.
The existing site is rather balky and takes quite a while to load. And the PDF of the newspaper is not very high resolution. Even so, the site gets about 10,000 visits per month, a indication of the appetite for Sanpete County news, says Messenger publisher Suzanne Dean.
“We expect the new site will very quickly get many times that traffic,” says Robert Stevens, the newspaper managing editor, who built the new PC and smart-phone sites.
From the home page of the new site, a user can navigate to more than a dozen types of content, including news, opinion, lifestyle, school sports, society notices (missionaries, weddings and obituaries), the Sanpete Happenings calendar and the Crime and Justice log.
Also accessible from any page via a convenient sidebar will be the most recent editions of Messenger special publications (such as the Home and Garden, Scandinavian Festival and Mormon Miracle Magazines), the Sanpete County Telephone Directory, a directory of schools in the county and a directory of municipalities (including links to many of the town websites).
The site will be updated every Wednesday and Thursday, about the same time the printed Messenger is mailed. Major breaking stories will be posted as Messenger reporters cover them. Obituaries will be posted the same day information is received from mortuaries or the family.
The site features five rotating banner ads. The same rotating banner will appear on the home, news, lifestyle, school and sports section pages. In addition, about 20 box ads (about 2 inches by 2 inches) and double-box ads (4 inches by 4 inches) are scattered throughout the site.
Beginning in early October, the Messenger will be contacting businesses about advertising at low introductory rates.
Initially, probably for about a year, the site will be free. After that, the Messenger expects to set up a pay wall and charge modest fees, payable by credit card, for users accessing more than a half-dozen or so items.