A new online abode for Home magazine

  • Didge
  • August 7, 2014
  • Damien Venuto
A new online abode for Home magazine

Bauer-owned Home magazine has updated its website, giving it a slick new online abode that's more befitting of the stylish print publication.

"We thought the update was well overdue," says editor Jeremy Hansen. "The old site had gotten to the stage where it was embarrassing."

The internet doesn't stand still. And this meant that a website designed in 2008 no longer had the aesthetic appeal to effectively house content of an aesthetically-driven nature. So, to bring about the necessary change, Hansen turned to the team that has until now given the print version its distinct look.        

"Fortunately, these days it isn't too difficult to produce a beautiful website," he says. "We worked with the team at Inhouse Design to customise a WordPress template, which meant it wasn't too expensive. We knew that they would bring the same level of quality from the magazine to the site."

Hansen says that the website has also been updated, with a view to dedicate more time to covering more daily news stories that are difficult to include in a bi-monthly magazine.  

He says that the team aims to upload at least one news story a day on awards winners, important architectural events and anything else that might interest the readership.

As a magazine that has showcased architecture for the last 77 years, Home also has an extensive catalogue of imagery and stories that could still be reworked into engaging content today. "Architectural content doesn't really date," says Hansen. And this makes sense given that tourists still make annual pilgrimages to historical sites to see structures that were made thousands of years ago.

Hansen does however say that this back-catalogue of evergreen content won't necessarily be uploaded to the website in its entirety, but will rather be tapped into when necessary.          

The Scrubby Bay Farmhouse on Banks Peninsula by Pattersons, a finalist in the HOME magazine Home of the Year 2014. Photo by Simon Devitt.
Eyrie, the twin cabins that won the 2014 Home of the Year by Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects. Photo by Darryl Ward.
Inside one of the twin cabins that won the 2014 Home of the Year by Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects. Artwork by Julian Dashper. Photo by Darryl Ward.
Under Pohutukawa by Herbst Architects, winner of the 2012 Home of the Year. Photo by Patrick Reynolds.
   

Interestingly, Home is already something of an online success story, because while many print publications rely significantly on Facebook to drive online engagement, the Home blog, which existed prior to the new website, previously accumulated a loyal following among web-based readers.

And the audience doesn't only consist of older investor types. According to Hansen, last year's release of his book titled 'Modern: New Zealand Homes from 1938 to 1977' saw high levels of interest from younger readers who were intrigued by the design elements of the buildings. And he says this is also being replicated online.

"There's a huge appetite for this type of content among younger people," he says, and this makes it important to have an online identity that not only features good content but also looks good.

Since its launch, the website recently ran a story that took a look at what Karen Walker did behind the scenes while serving as the guest editor for the August/September issue of the magazine. This type of content entertains the online community while simultaneously linking to the print edition of the magazine by featuring snapshots of pages that featured in the various stories.      

       

The website also includes significant use of video footage—something that obviously isn't possible when relying solely on print.  

"We’ve been doing short web films of our Home of the Year winners for four years now, and this year’s version (shot and edited by Jeremy Toth) was the biggest yet, with over 44,000 views," says Hansen.  

And Bauer's decision to invest in the update already seems to be paying off. Since the new site launched, Hansen says that the Home sales team has already penned a sponsorship deal with one client and "five or six" other customers have also expressed interest in advertising on the site in some capacity. And he adds that the best part about this interest is that it comes before Bauer has even promoted the new site.        

As a side note, Bauer also recently updated the Woman's Day website. But rather than adopting the slicker elements on show on the Home site, the publisher has opted for a simpler iteration when it comes to the women's magazine. StopPress contacted the team at Woman's Day to chat about the changes, but we are yet to receive a response. 

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