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Letters from the Editor: Website makeovers to emphasize mobile readers

Our readers are increasingly going mobile.

So are we.

Times Community News, which publishes the Daily Pilot, the Huntington Beach Independent, the Coastline Pilot and Weekend, is launching all-new web pages Wednesday morning.

Sites will be optimized for mobile phones and tablets, as well as social media and search engines. iOS and Android users will no longer need to fuss with their screens just to read a story. Pages should load faster and are built for scrolling.

Desktop users should feel welcome too. The cleaner layout emphasizes the navigation bar and critical categories — news, sports, opinion and features. Less-read categories have been dropped.

Content won’t change. Story archives will be transferred.

But the user-generated online calendar will be replaced with staff selections. And article comments will move from Facebook to a new system. (Old comments cannot be archived, as they belong to Facebook.)

The Los Angeles Times will host the sites, making our work far more visible to search engines, news aggregators and one of the nation’s biggest newspaper audiences. The technology behind our previous platform is being phased out by our parent company, but the old URLs will still get you to the new pages.

Our content will remain free — it’s positioned in front of The Times’ pay wall — for the foreseeable future. The Times Community News products in Los Angeles County are also making the move.

We’re not quite done transferring all of the data — and some staffers are still learning the content management system — so expect temporary hiccups in the user experience.

This closes the loop on a year of change. We launched our first countywide product, Weekend, which is getting a dedicated web page, and completed redesigns of all of our print editions.

As always, thanks for reading — be it on phone, tablet, desktop or newsprint — and supporting local news.

Our old web addresses, or URLs, still work and will redirect users to the new sites. In the meantime, for fast access, bookmark these pages:

www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot

www.latimes.com/socal/coastline-pilot

www.latimes.com/socal/hb-independent

www.latimes.com/socal/weekend

JOHN CANALIS is the editor for Weekend, the Daily Pilot, the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot and the Huntington Beach Independent. He can be reached at (714) 966-4607 and john.canalis@latimes.com.


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