C-Ville Weekly Relaunches Website

Charlottesville Tomorrow isn’t the only local media outlet with a new websiteC-Ville Weekly has also had a total overhaul, complete with a new CMS. The weekly long had a custom CMS that had become awfully restrictive, but they’ve replaced it with a WordPress-based site (that’s what cvillenews.com has run on for many years) with Disqus-based commenting. Using a standard platform will make it easy for them to add new features, stay current with emerging technologies, and ultimately integrate it into their document workflow. (The Bangor Daily News has a famously amazing document workflow, which is entirely open sourced, that makes it a snap for their articles to flow both into their print layout tool and their WordPress-based website.) WordPress is liable to serve them well for years to come.

The one catch of the new website—and it’s a big one—is that they’ve failed to redirect their old URLs to their new URLs. That is, all of their old stories are still on the website, but every link on the web to every one of those stories is now broken. Here’s hoping that they have a plan to deal with that. There are some other bugs and oddities still to be resolved, but that’s just how it goes with a new website.

13 thoughts on “C-Ville Weekly Relaunches Website”

  1. I spoke with Giles Morris about the URLs on Friday and he introduced me to the programmer who is working on retrofitting all the old links to the new ones. They wanted to get the site up and running first.

  2. Oh, that’s great news. I’d assumed that if they hadn’t done it yet, they wouldn’t do it at all, simply because I’ve never seen that done as a retrofit, not because it’s in any way impossible.

    I do think their new URL structure is going to bite them in the ass (and I can see that it already is). The URLs don’t include anything other than the site name (c-ville.com) and the article’s slug (e.g., new-c-ville-weekly-website), which is based on the article’s headline. The problem with this approach is that it assumes that an article’s headline is globally unique, that they will never use the same headline twice. But they always have sections entitled “Mailbag” and “News in review.” The standard solution to this is to insert the year, year and month, or year month and day in the URL. (You can see that I employ the final solution here, which is the default for WordPress.) By not doing this, they have crazy pages like News in review which is every “News in review” ever, stacked atop of one another, in one hugely long page. (Warning: It may overwhelm your browser.)

    They’ll solve this, no doubt, because they’ll have to. :)

    (A discussion for another time is about what their recurring “We love this town” feature says about how thoroughly C-Ville Weekly has overhauled their outlook from just a few years ago, when “We despise this town” would have been a more likely feature.)

  3. Waldo,

    I would like to hear what you base this conclusion on. I have read all this paper for a long time and am not sure what you are referring to.

    “We despise this town” would have been a more likely feature.)

  4. Well, in brief, they seemed to revel in finding reasons to mock Charlottesville, probably for at least half a decade or so. Remember their annual “Cheap Shots” feature, in which they’d level the most base insults that they could summon at anything that Charlottesville holds dear? They established their position as the Gawker of Charlottesville, trading in snark in every issue, and I guess it served them well, in the sense that they kept it up. I have no doubt that’s why The Hook adopted their “We Love This Place” motto, to set themselves up in opposition to C-Ville Weekly’s dark outlook. Which, incidentally, had the effect of changing editor Hawes Spencer’s outlook, which had been decidedly snarky even through the first year or so of The Hook’s existence. I think he needed to present a contrast between his new paper and the newly reformed C-Ville Weekly, and the “We Love This Place” motto set a strong new direction for the paper that certainly seemed to serve them well, too.

    Anyhow, C-Ville Weekly’s was decidedly not for me, and I’m cheered to see that their new outlook is pro-Charlottesville.

  5. This website doesn’t appeal to me. I far prefer the new cvilletomorrow site and the Hook.
    I don’t like the term paper format and find the adds and print far too large. It doesn’t allow for an organized way to view content.

    I agree with the previous poster – who reads CvilleWeekly – too little hard news and too much advertising.
    Boosterism is okay, but I prefer real journalism which sometimes requires the reporting of our town warts and all.

    I’d like to see the weeklies be a place where the peoples’s voice can be heard and officials actions are held up to the mirror of truth.

  6. I never could find The Rant online. Only in print versions. I would look at their website more if they had The Rant online. I don’t want or need the actual print version.

  7. “I never could find The Rant online.”

    Its over on craigslist, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Everyone over there is high on chromosomes, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

  8. While on vacation recently, I had occasion to wear socks with my sandals. I was glad to be out-of-town, lest I find myself the object of an ongoing C-Ville rant.

  9. Thanks Waldo for the heads up. I would have been terribly confused. Thanks for the links also, especially to the Bangor Daily.

Comments are closed.