The Dallas Morning News on Thursday relaunched its website, which the publisher says now loads three times faster than its previous iteration.
Mike Orren, DMN's Chief Product Officer, claims it is now the fastest news site in Texas.
“We’re hoping readers will find what they want, stay with us longer and see the value in subscribing,” Oren told Maria Halkias, a Dallas Morning News staff writer.
Its other news sites — DallasNews, GuideLive, SportsDay and Al Día — which operated on separate sites, have now merged into DallasNews.com. Existing content from those sites has also moved to the new site.
SportsDay and SportsDayHS are now located on the main DallasNews.com site. All of the events and stories from GuideLive are now in the "Arts" and "Things To Do" sections of DallasNews.com.
The site also has improved search functionality, according to Orren.
In a post explaining to readers the changes to DallasNews.com, Orren said the team “embarked on the biggest research study we’ve ever done in order to understand what you wanted from us,” a little over a year ago.
“Overwhelmingly, we heard that the design and usability of our digital products did not meet the expectations set by the quality of our journalism,” he wrote. “We heard that you want a digital news subscription to work as seamlessly as Netflix, Google, or Amazon — a pinnacle far-off from most digital news experiences.”
DMN licensed The Washington Post’s content management system, Arc Publishing. The team hired Alley, a firm specializing in modern digital news design, and started collaborating with ThePhiladelphia Inquirer, “to leverage each others’ technology to speed both of our software development," he noted.
DMN also built out a team of a dozen product experts in design, product management and software development. Previously, it had only one product-focused developer.
The new site helps reduce the company's website costs.
The Dallas Morning News will launch and enhance features every two weeks going forward.
A branding and marketing campaign will debut soon, emphasizing the value of locally produced journalism, Dan Sherlock, DMN's head of digital and brand marketing, told Halkias.