Yesterday marked the start of my eighth month as editor of Sporting Classics Daily, and it’s been an exciting eight months to say the least. Readership has jumped more than 33 percent in that time period, with an increase of more than 30 percent in the number of pageviews. That growth has afforded us a number of new opportunities, one of which we took yesterday.
Regular readers may already notice that the site looks slightly different. That’s because we transitioned overnight from our previous web provider to WordPress, a platform that allows us a greater degree of customization and creativity with the site. We can now update the site with new articles, new layouts, and new media capabilities that we previously could not.
Included in the changeover is a new server system, enabling us to handle a larger amount of traffic at any given time. Gone are those irritating “Heavy Workload” error messages that cropped up from time to time. You can now explore the site to your heart’s content without waiting.
We’ve also made it easier to navigate to older articles. Archived articles can be accessed through the “More Articles” tabs at the bottom of the home page. We currently have 12 pages of back articles, with more to come as we continue to populate the new site. Also, clicking on a main tab like “Hunting & Fishing” now brings up every article under that general header; any article listed as “Hunting,” “Fishing,” Big Game,” and so forth will appear under the “Hunting & Fishing” tab, as well as under their more-specific categories. The same goes for “Knives,” “Firearms,” and the rest of our great content sections.
Not only that, WordPress allows us a greater amount of mobility: Articles can now be totally constructed from a smartphone, meaning content can be created and uploaded in the field. The quicker composition time means you the reader will get the great articles, videos, and photos you’ve come to love from a wider range of locations — the deer stand, the bass boat, the expos, and more. No longer will we need to rush back to the office to bring you breaking news.
And no longer will mobile users have to search around for the Daily on their smartphones. A new feature allows readers to save the site as a home screen button; simply click on the icon and the browser will automatically bring up SCD.
For now, Sporting Classics Daily will feature the same sections, layout, and content categories as the previous Daily. But as time goes by we will begin adding more audio/visual content on the home page, along with new content categories on the subsequent pages. I don’t want to say too much about what we have planned, but two areas are too good to keep under wraps.
The Daily currently features its gundog content under the generic “Wingshooting” tab. We include dog articles with the hunting they are associated with (e.g., duck dogs and waterfowl hunting both go under “Wingshooting;” ditto for pointers and upland bird hunting, and so forth). We will soon feature a section entirely devoted to gundogs — more features on health, training, and the like — while the general tab will focus on the hunting aspects of wingshooting.
Another area we will be able to branch into is audio. WordPress allows the site to be customized with plugins, sections of coding that can be dropped into the site without extensive code writing on our part. One type of plugin allows the site to play audio recordings, which we hope to put to good use with some exciting new series we are planning. More on that in the near future.
The Daily went live in 2012, with its first newsletter sent out Sept. 12. Some 1,000 newsletters and countless articles later, we’re bringing more unique content to our readers than ever before — all while supporting our parent publication, Sporting Classics. The two cover the whole spectrum of modern media and offer content that you won’t find anywhere else on the market. With the changeover to WordPress, the Daily will continue to up the ante on what digital publications can do.
If you have any questions or comments, please email me at email@example.com. Enjoy!