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Posted 3/11/09 (Wed)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

If you have been a regular visitor to the McKenzie County Farmer’s web site, www.watfordcitynd.com, no doubt you were surprised last week to see a completely different appearance to our site. After years of the same old look, we decided that it was time to bring our web site up to date and add some new features to enhance the site.
We think that we have accomplished that goal, and from the comments that I have heard, the new look has been very well received and was worth the effort.
The first big change that you will notice when you go to the new site is that it is now much more user friendly. The top news stories, sports stories and columnists are easier to access and it is now easier to navigate to the pages or stories that you are interested in.
Beginning with last week’s online edition (the March 4 issue of the Farmer), all of the stories and obituaries that we carry in our online edition will be archived on the site and will be readily available to our readers. In the past, one of the biggest complaints that we received was that the stories were only available for one week. The archiving of the stories began with last week’s online edition and will continue into the future. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to go back in time and rebuild the archives.
One of the more noticeable changes on the new web site is the addition of a photo gallery that features many of the photographs that appear in the print edition of the McKenzie County Farmer. Obviously, the Farmer takes many photos that do not make it into our newspaper nor are included as part of our online edition. That is one reason that we have retained our photo archive section of the web site. As in the past, if you are interested in either just viewing or purchasing some of the thousands of photos that we have archived simply click on the “order photo reprints” tab. Photos are archived week by week and by specific events to help you find the photos that you are looking for.
What can you expect to see in the future on our web site?
Within the next six months, we hope to be able to offer online subscriptions to the McKenzie County Farmer. We know that for our out-of-county subscribers having to wait up to a week for the newspaper to be delivered to their home is a lot to ask. But since we are completely dependent upon the Postal Service to deliver our newspaper, there is virtually nothing that we can do to speed up the process. The next best solution is for us to offer subscribers the option of purchasing online subscriptions, whereby they will be able to have immediate access to the newspaper and be able to read it online at their convenience.
So if you like the McKenzie County Farmer, we know that you’ll love the look of our new web site, www.watfordcitynd.com.