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Tom Mix, Published April 03 2012

MSUM Dragons redesign athletic website

FARGO – At 9 a.m. today, the Minnesota State University Moorhead athletic department’s internet home will get a makeover.

The school conducted a complete redesign of its athletic website and hopes the new look continues to increase web traffic and help make the site user friendly.

“Websites and internet are a big part of collegiate athletics today,” MSUM athletic director Doug Peters said. “If you want to be part of the conversation you have to have a viable website and I think we have that.”

The redesign was coordinated by interim assistant athletic director of media and public relations Jon Wepking.

The new website will have larger photos that accompany the stories on its homepage, a clearly labeled navigation bar that sticks with the viewer on every page and new game-time features.

“One of the more impressive things about the new site is the larger images,” Wepking said. “The larger photos are eye catching and stand out. That in turn allows us to embed a much larger screen for video viewing.”

The content already published on the old site will transfer to the new site. Wepking hopes the recent spike in webpage views MSUM has experienced carries over as well.

MSUM’s web traffic for the month of March was 25,514 page views, with 15,604 of those coming from unique or unduplicated visitors.

The numbers are some of the best MSUM has seen, largely due to the school’s announcement of $2M in athletic scholarships donated by Sanford Health and the men’s basketball team qualifying for the NCAA Division II tournament.

“We had an amazing month of web traffic in March,” Wepking said. “This website is our department’s contribution to the change going on here at MSUM.

“The website is the heart of communication and we needed to revamp it to better accommodate people wanting to learn more about MSUM athletics.”

Interactive fan polls will also be added to the website. The polls will serve as a way for the athletic department to gauge fans interest in certain athletic events, game promotions and much more.

“We tried to keep the new site click based, which helps us gain more knowledge into analytics,” Wepking said. “That will help us make the website better in the future and better accommodate our fans.”

The game-time features of the new website include a Twitter feed in which live scoring updates and notes from athletic contests are filtered onto the website through the social media platform.

In addition to the larger photos, there will be a photo store in which photography taken by MSUM’s media department can be viewed and purchased by the public.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562