Magazine: Lynchburg College Magazine
WordPress Site: http://magazine.lynchburg.edu/
Lynchburg College, a small private college based in Lynchburg, Virginia is another great example of an college that publishes a magazine that’s taken its print version and created an additional web version in a user friendly, fabulous way. Their 50+ page alumni magazine, according to their editor, focuses on “how the college and its alumni make a meaningful impact on campus in the local community, and around the world.” Editors have taken great care to make a statement with this new site. Online articles are not new to Lynchburg College, but this style of magazine with articles organized by issues and an updated look and feel, is.
At first glance the site is streamlined and easy-to-read with great visuals and a simple navigation (only 3 links on the top navigation bar). It’s stunning photography is highlighted in the scrolling slider on the homepage.
The navigation shouts, “less is more”. With only 3 links at the top, decision making for the reader is fast and easy. Also – what a great way to show off the latest issue’s content but with a “Table of Contents” link. Why reinvent the wheel, when we know this type of listing works. The site also has a great search function, but for a straightforward list of what’s in the current issue, this is genius. Even though the homepage lists many of the current articles with teaser text and thumbnail image, a person may prefer the old fashioned “Table” to scan through to see the latest stories.
By using the WordPress platform and the issueM publishing plugin, articles are organized by issue so that the latest issue content is on the homepage and past issues are available by clicking on “PAST ISSUES”. Simple. Each article category is also listed on the footer for a fast search by category.
As you scroll down on any web page, a smaller (skinnier, and slightly transparent) version of the top navigation hovers at the top of your browser (the dark gray bar at the top of the page) – so that their logo and the navigation is always visible. Smart. Again, this layout makes it easy to navigate the entire site.
Authors are highlighted with a short bio and photo on the bottom of each article – utilizing the Avatar Manager plugin to pull the author’s image.
As is the norm, readers can share content with social media channels and/or comment about articles (JetPack plugin) on every article.
The online magazine has left all of the other content: alumni news, events, alumni directory, donations, and other content in the printed version of the magazine and on the main Lynchburg College site to keep the magazine’s main articles’ impactful and valuable to alumni.