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C-I updates website, moves to metered paywall

Will allow visitors to view up to eight free stories per month

Posted: March 3, 2016 5:39 p.m.
Updated: March 4, 2016 1:00 a.m.
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A portion of the C-I website’s homepage, showing the new section “blocks” containing headlines from different portions of the website. In addition to this cosmetic change, the C-I is also allowing visitors to read up to eight stories per month for free, effective immediately.

The Chronicle-Independent updated its website, www.chronicle-independent.com, this week in an effort to make it easier to find and read stories for regular and casual visitors alike.

A revised homepage now features section “blocks” containing the latest headlines from the News, Viewpoint, Obituaries, Sports and People & Places portions of the website. The headline blocks can be found immediately below the website’s “Featured Stories” picture window and include up to eight headlines from each section of the website.

“While we’re keeping our existing navigation menu in place, we feel this will allow subscribers and other visitors to find exactly the story they want to read more quickly, directly from the hompage,” Editor Martin L. Cahn said.

The website has also dropped a number of features no longer in use in order to give the home, section and story pages a cleaner look.

In addition, the C-I’s website has moved to what is known as a metered paywall. Before, in order to read all content except obituaries, visitors would either need to be print subscribers who have opted to turn on their free online access, or be online-only subscribers. A metered paywall allows the C-I to grant all visitors to the website access to a certain number of stories at no charge before being asked to subscribe.

The C-I has chosen to allow visitors to view up to eight stories each month for free.

“From the data we’ve collected during the five and a half year history of the website, we know a lot of people visit our site in an effort to read one or two stories, but choose not to spend the money to view them,” Cahn said. “This will give people a chance to sample our content, see that we are the best source of local news about Kershaw County and its communities, and, hopefully, decide to subscribe. This, in turn, should be very appealing to our advertisers, allowing their campaigns to be seen by more potential customers.”

Cahn said the changes will also assist those who follow the C-I through its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ChronicleIndependent) to read stories promoted each publication day and throughout the week.

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