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I'm a happy subscriber to Kiplinger's Personal Finance – I enjoy checking out their commentary and coverage on personal finance. While I had checked their site from time to time, I found it a bit boring. I actually preferred grabbing my personal copy of the magazine.
Kiplinger: New Look, Same Great
However I found out that last month they launched their redesigned site and I love it. I had a few questions about their redesign and was fortunate to have an opportunity where the Director of New Media answer them this week.
What motivated Kiplinger to do a redesign?
We hadn’t done a top-to-bottom overhaul of the Web site in 11 years. So we decided to re-imagine Kiplinger.com, rebuilding the content management system from the ground up to better serve our growing audience. We wanted enhanced elegance, look and feel, and more simplicity of design—the ultimate sophistication. We wanted an improved user experience—better organization of content, more ease of use, better onsite search, more engagement, and quicker load times.
We strove to improve our revenue model with best practices in ad design and placements, better integration of Kiplinger product marketing, and onsite partnerships. And we wanted to expand our reach through use of social media, tablet and smart phone delivery, and improving our feeds and content delivery to digital customers. It was a big project—10 months in the design and execution. Just glad it’s done; I think it looks great.
What was the process behind the redesign?
Once we established our overall goals, the team broke into five development groups: design, editorial, revenue, social media, and a “backend” group, focused on making the CMS work better for everyone. Each group developed a blueprint for “quick wins” and longer-term projects guided by our overall goals. We decided against a “Phase 2” after re-launch, putting our efforts instead into getting our top priorities done before going live. It took longer, but it was worth it, I think. Great work across the board.
If a newlywed couple wanted to get started with their finances, what tools can they used on the new site?
There are several tools that newlyweds can benefit from. At Kiplinger, we urge folks not to over-withhold on their taxes. Many young people, especially starting out in their careers, can give themselves an immediate pay raise simply by calculating how much in taxes they actually will owe the federal government every year, rather than asking employers to withhold too much from their paychecks and getting a refund check. That’s like letting Uncle Sam hold onto your money interest-free.
- To estimate how much you should be withholding, try our withholding calculator. It’s one of the easiest-to-use tools of its kind on the Web.
- It’s never too early to start saving for retirement. Try our retirement savings calculator. It allows you to put in numbers for both you and your spouse—one of the few such tools on the Web to do that.
- Need a new car? Check out our 2013 Best Car Values sorting tool
And newlyweds, please try our quizzes, everything from “How Smart of a Home Buyer Are You?” to “Do you have what it takes to be a Millionaire?” These are both fun and immensely informative. I’ve learned so much at Kiplinger by taking these quizzes myself.
What about a couple approaching retirement – what guides and tools can Kiplinger provide them?
Our comprehensive guide to how each state taxes retirees is one of the most popular sections of our site. Great information, and great exchange of information from visitors in the comment area. Another hugely popular quiz is “How Well Do You Know Social Security?”
What part of the site are you most proud of with the new design?
I really like our “What’s Happening Now” box on the home page, where we are featuring live, newsy tweets from our Kiplinger writers and editors. This helps bring alive our home page in a fresh and interesting way. Credit goes to our managing editor Robert Long, and Amanda Lilly, our social media coordinator. I also love the crisp, updated look and feel of the site, thanks to our digital product and design manager, Jenny Cohan.
Thanks again to Doug for taking time out of his busy schedule and keeping us updated on all the new features on Kiplinger. If you haven't had a chance, please check out Kiplinger today!