The Town Line launches new website

Following months of development, The Town Line is ready to unveil its new web portal, www.townline.org.

Though The Town Line has offered .pdf downloads of the print edition at its website for several years, it has long been a goal of the board of directors to offer a true online version of the popular local newspaper in addition to the print edition.

The initiative was made possible by the generous support of local residents Doug and Rita Sukeforth, which also allowed The Town Line to upgrade a severely outdated computer system and the software suite it uses to produce the weekly paper.

Experienced technical consultant, Eric Austin, eldest son of longtime China residents Ann and Lee Austin, has led the development of The Town Line’s new web portal.

Eric Austin and Roland D. Hallee

Technical consultant Eric Austin, left, and The Town Line’s managing editor Roland D. Hallee, put the finishing touches on the newspaper’s new website which was launched on August 4.

“The goal was always to leverage the awesome content that The Town Line already generates on a weekly basis, while also taking advantage of the unique flexibility and power of the web,” Austin explained. “Readers who wanted to read The Town Line on their phones or tablets or PCs, didn’t have that option. Now they do.”

The new site has been developed using the popular web platform, WordPress, used by many news sites on the web, including the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal website, www.centralmaine.com.  This technology offers a responsive web design that adjusts automatically to provide a comfortable reading experience on a variety of devices and screens.

“The website is something we’ve been wanting to do for a while,” says Roland Hallee, managing editor of The Town Line. “Thanks to the Sukeforth’s generous grant, we’ve been able to modernize The Town Line by upgrading equipment and expanding into the web space. We’re positioning The Town Line to continue meeting the needs of our communities in the 21st century.”

Eric Austin will continue to support the web site going forward. “We’re just getting started,” says  Austin. “The web offers us so much potential, and so many opportunities for The Town Line to grow in new directions. We want to add a discussion board to the site, and bring classified advertising online as well.”

Banner advertising is already available on the new website, and those interested are encouraged to call Kathy Duhnoski at 691-2332 to discuss pricing.

Web content will be updated on the site by end of the day on the Friday following the release of the print edition of The Town Line.  Please come visit us at townline.org, the new web portal for Central Maine communities!

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