Blog, Conductor

Online publications don’t have quite the same needs as other websites.

These sites require special considerations to best meet the needs of the site’s audience. With content changing daily or even hourly, it’s vital for online publications to have fast, well designed sites to beat out their competition.

Most of these sites struggle to find the perfect balance of profit while building a larger loyal reader base. It’s up to the design and development agencies they work with to anticipate these struggles and create the ideal online home for their client’s publication.

1. Page Loading Times

One of the biggest struggles is page loading times. It’s nothing new that people in general don’t have patience. It’s even worse online.

One study found 47% of visitors expected a site to load in two seconds or less. When visitors are searching for the latest breaking news, they don’t want to wait 10 seconds for a site to load. They’d prefer to spend that time finding the story on a competitor’s site.

This could mean those visitors become loyal to the competition. It’s vital to shave off every second possible to increase traffic.

2. Balancing Information And Advertising

Most online publications make money through advertising. Some also have subscription programs. The problem is some sites go overboard with ads. The ads overshadow everything else.

A large part of this has to do with design. For instance, if a WordPress theme is designed to have large banner ad, a visitor might only see the ad and a headline for the first story. They’re not enticed to go further. Online publications must have a layout that places content front and center.

Ad areas should be visible, but unobtrusive. This leads to happier readers, more traffic and more ad click through rates.

3. Mobile Compatibility

Despite the popularity of mobile, many online publications still don’t have a mobile friendly version of their site. Visitors only see a crowded, tiny image of the site’s desktop optimized publication. This makes it nearly impossible to use, leading to visitors abandoning the site.

Plus, Google is factoring in mobile optimization in its search algorithm. Online publications need a responsive design to deliver their content to a wider audience, no matter what device the visitor is using.

4. Updating Site Layout Quickly

The average website doesn’t need design changes on the fly. They can wait for their designer to make tweaks, such as adding a full width story element to the top of their page.

Online publications are usually competing to publish a hot story first. Obviously, they want to make sure their visitors see this story first and foremost. They don’t have time to wait.

The solution is Conductor plugin. Our WordPress plugin gives the site owner the ability to make page layout changes in minutes without complicated code. Adding this plugin to your client’s site gives them control and saves you time later.

5. Choosing The Optimal Layout

Layout is another major struggle. Most online publications want to fit as many stories on a single page as possible. The problem is too many stories create a cluttered page that’s difficult to read.

Headlines blur together and visitors leave to find a better designed site. Design and development agencies have to consider the layout carefully. You have to have some white space while still making room for numerous stories. Using small amounts of white space along with a grid based design and hierarchy helps make the site more pleasurable for visitors. Plus, it gives your client ample space for content.


With your help, online publications don’t have to struggle nearly as much. Consider these issues when designing and developing sites for your clients. The end result will be a beautifully designed and optimized site perfect for online publications.

Ready to learn more about how to give your clients more control over their site? Learn how Conductor can save you time and please your clients.

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