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Out With the Old. In With a New Website Experience

Welcome! If you’re a regular visitor, you’ve probably noticed how different things look around here today.

I’m dropping in today to give you a quick overview of what’s new, what we said goodbye to, and why.

What’s in and what’s out

Hello, mobile-optimized mega menus that guide your experience. 

The screenshot shows how the Stories navigation item opens to lead you through your options:

The previous navigation bar (shown below) served some visitors well enough. But others found it hard to read and “overwhelming.”

Hello, streamlined reading experience that lets you focus on the resource you chose without trying to draw you into something new. On the new website, this recent article, How To Strengthen Your ‘Change Muscle’ for Your Content Team’s Success, doesn’t share the page with anything.

Articles on the redesigned CMI website don't share the page with any additional resources, providing a reading experience that lets you focus first, then move on when ready.

Goodbye, loud widgets, sidebar ads, and how-to guides distracting you from the page you’re viewing. The same article on strengthening the change muscle fought for attention next to a big orange subscribe box and colorful “Current Hits/All Time Hits” widget.

Articles on the old CMI website fought for attention with the bright promotional boxes and widgets in the right sidebar.

Hello, standard blue underlined links in copy. Goodbye, hard-to-read orange. Don’t worry – you’ll still see plenty of CMI’s signature shade on the site (orange is the happiest color, after all). Now we’ll use it as an accent to draw your eye around.

Whether you loved or merely tolerated the old Content Marketing Institute website, you might wonder why we made these changes. Here’s the short version:

You asked us to do better

When we asked earlier this year for feedback about what CMI could do better, you told us (very clearly) the site needed work:

  • “Make the website feel more modern.”
  • “I would go back to the website; it is a little uninspiring.” 
  • “The website can be overwhelming and hard to navigate.”
  • “Tone down some of the graphics. The orange is loud enough on its own and the graphics sometimes feel like they are yelling at me.”

Message received!

The site needed a modern infrastructure that loads faster and improves the mobile experience

The CMI website hadn’t gotten a major refresh in many years. It couldn’t keep up with speed and mobile performance expectations. And that made it hard for visitors to find and consume the helpful content on the site.

You won’t see every change we made because they’re built into the content management system. But you’ll benefit from a content presentation that’s better organized, more frequently updated, and easier to browse from all devices.

CMI education and events become easier to find

Until today, visitors landing on the CMI homepage saw only that overwhelming navigation bar, a recent video, and a long list of the most recent articles we’d published.  

Today, the home page showcases everything CMI offers. Our most popular and most recent articles are still there, but the home page now also includes information about our educational events and curated resources around a featured topic that changes each month. (The focus in August: audience building.)

This section of the CMI homepage showcases upcoming events, including Content Marketing World, Marketing Analytics & Data Science conference, and a webinar. The section below features articles on this month's featured theme: Audience building.

Tell us what you think, so we can keep improving

We know there’s more work to do, and we’ll roll out a few new features soon. We also know you’ll likely find a few glitches (does any website upgrade ever go off without a hitch?).

Consider this phase one. The new site’s modern, flexible underpinnings will let us keep changing and evolving to meet your needs.

So come on in and have a look around. I’d love to know what you think.