Newspapers, Now Time to Move to Mobile

Newspaper publishers have had some tough times over progressing towards online mode recently. Some did well while many went wrong and were hit hard before getting the act right finally. Companies woefully underestimated the digital opportunity, reacted slow and therefore squandered the opportunity. Publishers who could evolve with time and gather digital revenues stayed sailing while rest struggled to swim across or sank. 

Newspaper publishers

Newspaper publishers have had some tough times over progressing towards online mode recently. Some did well while many went wrong and were hit hard before getting the act right finally. Companies woefully underestimated the digital opportunity, reacted slow and therefore squandered the opportunity. Publishers who could evolve with time and gather digital revenues stayed sailing while rest struggled to swim across or sank.

Perhaps, one of the most prominent challenges in this digital progression has been genuine consultancy and approach in technology selection. Small publishers struggled to develop and run the custom websites with high costs and dependency on large technology teams to run the show and keep pace with ever changing trends. Those who took the CMS route could do it more efficiently, matching the trends quickly, and engaged better with the audience. 

These days, almost all publications have websites. If you think that having a decent desktop news website is enough, it’s just not enough. The shift to mobile has been so massive and fast that many newspapers are facing similar situations again:

a.    Right approach,

b.    Technology decision, and

c.    Fretting over how to move to mobile efficiently

 

This is probably a critical time/phase, in which no one can afford to be left behind and commit the same mistake again by underestimating the challenge. The fact is that number of users searching and accessing sites from mobile devices, is growing tremendously than those accessing from desktops and laptops. The latest estimates from Pew Research Center suggest that 95% of Americans own mobile phones and 77% of Americans own smartphones. Devices and smartphones’ usage will continue to rise all over the world. Satista forecasts smartphone users to reach up to 2.8 billion in 2020. According to Ericsson Mobility Report, 70% of world's population will be on smartphones by 2020. So, the time to progress to mobile is now. Mobile doesn’t mean abandoning or discounting the desktop versions. A good size of the audience is still on desktops and laptops, as it is expected to remain crucial to businesses. But certainly mobile will be the future for its own advantages. So, it’s time to redefine the web strategy and set up right priorities too.

The notion of dealing with loyal consumers needs to be abandoned. Discoverability on top search engines is crucial. The importance of better SEO ranking in current times just can’t be denied. Recent changes in the Google algorithm require websites to be mobile optimized for better viewing on mobile devices. The impact has different implications for different businesses, but if the news website collapses on the search results and page doesn’t get delivered on the device then there is a serious trouble. A loyal reader will have reasons to switch to alternatives instantly. Mobile optimization is one thing but doing it efficiently is even more significant. It’s a  well-known fact that users leave the page if it’s not rendered on their platform timely and correctly. The fact is that website has to be global and accessible with fast loading speed.

Considering all potential options, Drupal 8 does it the best as it has been developed with a mobile first approach ensuring content is delivered on any screen resolution efficiently. It has a vast range of modules to manage SEO activities and track analytics. Migration to Drupal 8 means meeting the needs of highly responsive websites to engage the audience on any platform. No surprises, some of the best in the business are running on Drupal and many are on the verge of moving to Drupal 8 to cater to the higher demands and setting the course up for the future. Besides the obvious advantages of the proven system, it is the massive community and overall cost ownership as well as future readiness.

Despite the trends and reading patterns, the message from Google is very clear, Global website and content will be sharing the center stage without any doubt. So, make no mistakes.

While mobile is imperative, it’s time and opportunity to reach out to a larger audience, increase digital revenue fast enough to compensate the declines in print revenue.

Get it right, embrace the future and leave behind the ways things were done earlier.

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