OBJ has officially lifted the curtain on a new website that will better serve readers with an improved mobile experience, richer multimedia features and new content.
“This is our most important digital project in 15 years,” says OBJ publisher Michael Curran.
“I don’t think you can overestimate how important it is, especially for a news media company, to properly serve readers on mobile. Right now, about 30 percent of our overall traffic is on mobile, but that will soon grow to more than half our traffic.”
Mr. Curran says readers should expect to get fast and easy access to the latest in local business news on smartphones and tablets.
The new OBJ.ca was created by Ottawa-based enterprise Drupal developer OPIN.
In addition to featuring a fully responsive design, the new website dramatically improves how content is organized. While readers can still easily find stories on specific industries, such as technology and real estate, a new tagging system and search feature makes it easier to search through thousands of archived stories.
Elsewhere, a new events page allows readers to customize their searches for upcoming networking functions, galas, seminars and other business events happening around Ottawa.
The new website also gives more prominence to OBJ’s speciality publications, such as the popular Book of Lists, the digital newspaper, awards programs and events held in partnership with the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce.
“The other big trend that we’re addressing is multimedia. And by that I mean social, video and data. Our new article template will allow our editors and content creators the ability to embed video, social media, charts, photo slideshows and more,” says Mr. Curran. “These days, news isn’t just about text and photos.”
The launch of the new website also opens up fresh and engaging marketing opportunities through display advertising and sponsored content.
The website rebuild was led by digital editor Peter Kovessy along with OPIN, which has previously worked with the Office of the Prime Minister, the Government of Bermuda and the Canadian Paralympic Committee, among other clients.
“OBJ is a pillar in our business community. We rarely get the opportunity to work on an organization that has such a large, positive impact,” says OPIN chief executive Chris Smith, who is also a past Forty Under 40 award recipient.
He adds that OBJ.ca demonstrates the power of open-source development tools – and Drupal in particular – which offer secure, cost-effective solutions that are constantly being improved upon by a worldwide community of users.
“Drupal’s flexibility and ease-of-use have made it a popular selection for publishers such as the Economist and Time magazine,” Mr. Smith says.
“The Ottawa Business Journal has become another excellent example of how Drupal, a modern open-source content management system, can be used to meet the complex requirements of Canadian publishers.”
With almost two million page views annually, OBJ.ca is the most important digital platform for local business news and has published original and exclusive online content daily since the late 1990s.
With its regional focus and niche audience of business decision-makers, OBJ.ca attracts 65,000 to 85,000 unique visitors per month, as measured by third-party analytics.