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BBC redesigns website; adds social media sharing

Posted by Danny Whatmough on 6th July 2010

It looks as though the BBC website’s long awaited redesign is about to be unveiled on the public – you can see a gallery of screenshots on the site.

When the UK’s most visited online news portal makes significant changes, those involved in PR need to sit up and take note. The benefits of getting coverage on the BBC are pretty obvious – a link alone can do wonders to your SEO – and it remains the holy grail for many companies.

One of the most interesting developments from the screenshots seen so far is the addition of social media sharing links including Facebook like and tweet this as well as options to email and print articles. My initial reaction to this move by the beeb is “about time”, but it’s still significant and demonstrates the importance of social media for traditional news sites.

Is a new lick of paint necessary?

We’ve work with a number of design agencies and so are well aware of the time and effort that a new website requires. We are also in the final stages of redesigning wildfirepr.co.uk and while we don’t suggest our project is anywhere near that undertaken by the BBC, it has still been a complicated and time-consuming process.

So is a regular refresh important and necessary for businesses? Has the rate of refresh for websites increased in recent years?

The BBC seems to have put the emphasis on making user experience improvements to the site and this I guess must be the main driver for any business. While the actual conversion point for the BBC might be different to a more commercial or ecommerce-focused site, it all amounts to the same thing; a new site needs to work harder to achieve its ultimate goals.

I imagine there will be some nervous people when they decide to flick the switch later this week!

What do you think? Is it an improvement?