Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Virginia Media News vs. WJMA - one's here, one's not

If you're thinking about revamping your business website, hopefully, you'll avoid the scorched earth solution of WJMA-FM. I've talked before about how they pulled down their site and replaced it with an unhelpful "under construction" sign, and recently replaced that with a simple placeholder.

End result? A single page site that says virtually nothing about the business. And as some have pointed out, by having no information, the page either suggests a broken website or a business that's gone under.

There's a better way. Check out, the Virginia radio, and television news website. Here's a screenshot of their current (as of this posting) website.

Notice the top story. The site's getting an overhaul, but it didn't disappear like WJMA's. Rather, the editor chose to alert readers that updates will continue, but not at the same rate while construction's going on.

I can handle that. Now when I see glitches on the site, or slightly stale news, I know why. VARTV's protected their reputation while they work on their improvements. The site's still functioning, and I don't expect traffic to decline significantly (if at all).

And that means that whatever ad revenue VARTV generates from said traffic will continue throughout the construction period.

Now that's how to retool a site. Not by going incommunicado the way Piedmont Communications did.

- Ralph

Day 25 of the WJMA Web Watch.

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