Why did the website change?
It’s been nearly four years since our previous website was launched, technology has evolved and digital design has changed. And the volume of our content has increased. It was time for an upgrade, so that we could give the best user experience possible.
What is unique about this change?
Well, it is a responsive website. Sections and navigation has changed. Everything is intuitive, including the content we are bringing.
How quick is the new website?
Quite literally, the blink of an eye (which, if you’re interested in timing your eye blinking, is around 300-400 milliseconds). In testing we clocked some pages loading at less than 400 milliseconds (less than half a second). But that will depend on your internet connection reliability, speed and device. On average it is three times faster than the previous site. We’re still tweaking it to be even faster.
What does responsive mean?
Over 60 per cent of our website traffic is from people using smartphones, at some peak hours this can be over 80 per cent. Being responsive means that our content can adapt far more easily to any device and screen in the future. And that means no matter how technology changes, our content can adapt, and we can deliver it to audiences whatever platform they use.
What technology did we use?
We built the site using AWS and an open source CMS (under licence). Using micro services means the site is fast, scalable and highly efficient.
The site returns pages at an average speed of 400 milliseconds on a page weight of around 6Mb. We think this might make it the fastest news site in the world, but we haven’t benchmarked it yet.
Where are sections like Guides, Xpress and Friday?
We have some great sections that get a lot of highly engaged traffic. Every week it brings readers amazing things to do in the UAE, tips on living here, travel guides, restaurants and a lot more. But these were very broad and content was not always easy to find, so we’ve put it into more intuitive sections such as Travel, How Tos, Video, Food and Going Out. All the best content from Xpress, Property Weekly, tabloid! and Weekend Review is still there, with content under their brand name across the site. Friday also have their own site at fridaymagazine.ae
Can it be personalised?
In four months’ time readers will be able to manage their own newsfeed and even have their own section on the home page. Not only that but you’ll be able to save articles and the information that is important to your life in the UAE. When that information is updated, you can select to get an alert. For example, if there’s a change in visas, property law or gratuity payments.
Very soon you can also download our new app, wherein you can personalise your newsfeed.
What does this mean for advertisers and brands?
Across desktop, mobile and a new app about to launch, we offer advertisers a better experience than ever before. Faster loading ad units, more visibility, or opportunity to sponsor and a huge array of rich media inventory form video to lead capture, audio and music, interactivity and even microsite and live chat units.
Please go to our online media kit for more information.
How can I give feedback on the new site?
You can go to our Contact Us page on gulfnews.com (found in the footer or menu), where there is a form you can fill in to tell us what you think. Soon we’ll have an onsite survey. And of course, while we can’t please everyone all the time, we do our best to listen and implement constructive feedback.