Holliston Reporter Transition Update #3

Monday, September 30, 2019, was as planned, the ‘end of life’ (computer lingo) for the original version of HollistonReporter.com.  Knowing that deadline (pun intended) was looming, we contracted with a vendor to build a new site that would be operational on October 1, 2019.  And indeed, when the sun rose this past Tuesday there was an operational Holliston Reporter – with one primitive post signifying that we were up and running (more like a toddler’s first steps)!

To say that the transition has been exciting for us may be an understatement.  The excitement came from many sources:

  • That the original web server was REALLY going down on September 30th
  • The web designers ‘paused’ our project twice during the contract period (not our doing)
  • We did not see the basic new site until 3:30 pm on September 30th!
  • On September 30th, the existing 14,500 articles on the old host had to be archived for future retrieval
  • The domain name HollistonReporter.com had to be attached to the new site.
  • Of course, the fact that we all could access the site on October 1st (we actually knew before going to bed) was the most exciting as it allows us to continue to serve Holliston in this way

All that happened with special thanks to Phil Saulnier (Paul’s son) who set up the original site and domain name.  He accomplished the archiving and domain name link items on the list above – literally in the 11th hour so the site would be available to all of us on October 1st.

If you visited the site Tuesday morning, you saw familiar sights – that didn’t seem to move.  Our first challenge was learning how to make sure all new posts go to the top of the page and push the older content down – since late Wednesday that has been updated.  Early yesterday morning we learned how to create the more familiar look that has the headline, a picture, and some text BEFORE clicking the Continue button.  We can’t wait to see what we learn next!

When we learned that ‘the end was near,’ we were open to exploring the opportunity that a new site might provide.  What were the design elements from the original site that we should retain?  What new features / looks could we add?  What do other news blogs look like today?  The Holliston Reporter does not aspire to look like the glitzy news sites published by major news outlets.  We do want to deliver a clean look that makes it easy to catch up on the happenings in Holliston. One noticeable change that will appear shortly will be a new masthead.  While the official web address will remain HollistonReporter.com, we believe the name of the blog is simply the Holliston Reporter.  To make that more visible the new masthead might look something like this:

We will continue to work with the site builders and expand our learning about all the new toys that come with this current technology (think cars from 2009 vs. 2019) – except we don’t see this becoming a self-driving site. To that end, we are always looking for new contributors of content and photos. 

Please let us know how the site works for you as we continue to make tweaks. Pubs.holliston.reporter@gmail.com

Thank you for joining us on this journey.  Chris and Yvette

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The Publishers


  1. John Losch on October 7, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    Congratulations to the Cains for keeping the “Holliston Reporter” alive. I think we will easily adjust to the new format. It is orderly, and puts most recent subjects at the top of the presentations. In your interest, publishers, I am concerned about one thing. There are almost no advertisements interspersed with the news. I hope that is not because they have abandoned you because of the new format. Regardless of the current facts, it must be evident that readers do not go looking for advertisers unless they are looking for some special need. While I am no fan of being flooded with advertisements, I realize that advertisers are the sustaining maintainers of a “paper” like this. If their messages are not displayed along with the articles of the page, they have no reason to spend their advertising money here. I think it is necessary that their messages are distributed throughout the text of the publication.

    • Chris Cain on October 8, 2019 at 6:49 am

      John – Thank you for the congratulations. As you point out, one noticeable glitch is that all the ads do not get time on the reading pages. We have that as a top priority with our site developers. In the meantime, all the Advertisers (who we call supporters) are displayed on the Support our Advertisers page.

      Thank you for your support of our efforts to maintain this public service for Holliston. Chris and Yvette

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