The South Pittsburgh Reporter’s website, www.SoPghReporter.com, has been around for more than ten years now.
Over those ten years it hasn’t changed much. The website carried the same stories, photographs and classified ads as the print edition, and sometimes additional stories that weren’t able to fit in the hard copy of the paper.
Everything was laid out in the open on the home page of the website: links on the left, news sections on the right and current stories in the middle. Although it had a search engine, it was difficult to use and often necessitated knowing the exact headline in order to find a story in the files.
Classified ads could be placed through a form online, but it required a call back from a Reporter staff member for payment. Those attempting to submit news items online took a chance the information wouldn’t be received through the use of the online form.
A lot of that changes as of today. The new SoPghReporter.com is now online with a new look and new capabilities.
Gone is the old home page and the familiar sections such as In the Neighborhood and News From Your Elected Officials. In its place is a new interface that features a slide show of current photographs and drop-down menus of news sections.
Stories are still featured in the main section of the webpage, broken down into sections and displaying the first portion of each story before being continued. Readers will also be able to comment in blog form on the content of the stories.
In one of the biggest and most useful changes, readers will be able to search the archives using keywords dating back to 2002 when SoPghReporter.com first went online. In addition, select keywords will be already highlighted in stories. Clicking on the highlighted keyword will result in a list of all stories containing the keyword.
SoPghReporter.com also has room for more photographs than can fit in the print edition. In future weeks, when there are additional photos, they will appear in the Photos section menu in the upper right-hand corner of the webpage.
Readers who place and use Reporter classifieds on the website will also notice changes. Those placing classified ads will now pay for the ads when they are placed. In addition, only ads placed online can add pictures to their ad for an additional charge. The first photo will appear in the print addition and up to three additional pictures can accompany the classified ad online.
Classified ads with photos will only be accepted online. Classifieds with photos sent through the mail or brought to the office will be returned.
There are more changes planned in the future for both The South Pittsburgh Reporter and SoPghReporter.com.