Independent launches redesigned website

The Independent has redesigned its website independent.co.uk for the first time since 2007.

The news comes after the paper introduced a metered paywall for overseas visitors to the website – charging readers who access 20 stories or more a month – which it said was a strategy for 'generating monthly subscriptions from loyal users without dilution of advertising revenue".

The Independent is also set to launch a new iPad newspaper application this week as part of its 'international digital strategy", which it said will extend the 'hybrid subscription and advertising commercial model".

Earlier this month the paper scrapped its international print editions.

The new site operates on the content management system eScenic (version 5) and according to a statement on independent.co.uk changes include:

  • "Greater flexibility in our use of images. This not only means a homepage and channel pages that can better reflect the variance of our daily coverage, but also a more dynamic use of images in articles.
  • "Smoother and more flexible integration of video that better matches the Youtube and 24-hour TV world.
  • "There are clearer ways to express yourself – comment on an article, share it with your Facebook friends or Tweet your view about it.
  • "A new tagging system for the site.
  • "Dynamic pages for all of our writers.
  • "More intelligent automated system for related content."

The Independent said it approached the redesign with 'humility and some trepidation, not least because we know we must be doing some things right - the site has seen eight consecutive quarters of growth, rising from 22.8m unique visitors in the summer quarter of 2009 to 39.8m in the same quarter this year".

The latest ABC figures show independent.co.uk had an average 14,675,273 monthly visitors in September, up 22 per cent on last year.

This compares with the Guardian on 52m global unique browsers for September, the Mirror group on 12.6m, Telegraph.co.uk on 38m and Mail Online on 68m.

Independent digital managing director Zach Leonard said: 'The new independent.co.uk showcases The Independent's brilliant news, features and opinion with enhanced video, graphic and social media capabilities.

'Our strategy is to engage users – and in turn advertisers and sponsors – with this enhanced interactivity. Because we cannot dictate which media our readers and users prefer, we are pursuing a strategy to serve the best experience and to monetize our audience in different ways.

'Providing our readers the highest quality, multi-media, multi-device journalism is key to our success, both in the past and in our future.

Editor Chris Blackhurst said: 'The new site represents significant step in The Independent's already impressive digital journey. The paper has paved the way in high quality newspaper innovation and the new online offering mirrors that quality. The ecommerce opportunities that the new developments bring only serve further to strengthen our offer.'

The Independent said the redesign was a result of chairman Evgeny Lebedev's 'ongoing investment in the title's digital future".

The Independent launched its first website in 1999 and redesigned the site in 2005 and 2007.

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