By Lauren Brown
As the new year dawns, the Burns Times-Herald would like to point readers to its re-designed Web site with new features and a more user-friendly design. Zack Jenks from Litehouse Technology LLC, a new Burns business, helped the newspaper design the site. He believes readers will find it more streamlined and will enjoy using some of the new features.
When readers log onto www.burnstimesherald.info, they’ll find an inviting blue page featuring a landscape of Steens Mountain. Articles will be listed in blog format with the featured story at the top of the page. Categories such as local news, sports and obituaries and classifieds are listed on the right, and the Community Calendar feature allows readers to click on a date to see the events listed for that day.
A picture gallery of the newspaper’s “Photo of the Week” feature has been added, as well as a weather icon that provides the current temperature. Other convenient links include newspaper contact e-mail addresses and subscription information, as well as local business, community and Google Maps links.
Jenks noted that as more articles are added to the new site, readers will be able to search the paper’s archives for recent stories. However, one of the most notable differences in the new Web site will be the opportunity for readers to respond online. Thanks to the blog format, readers can post their responses on local stories for others to see. Advertising on the site will also be offered. For example, the Desert Historic Theatre icon allows readers to find out what movies are playing that week on the big screen.
“The site is much more user-friendly, professional and accessible,” said Jenks, who opened Litehouse Technology in November. Jenks’ focus is to “help small businesses shine online.” He provides Web hosting and support as well as Web design and development. In addition, he specializes in Web marketing and search engine optimization and serves as a Web consultant, giving small businesses and individuals advice on how to improve their Web sites to attract more visitors. “It can be as simple as arranging your site to get the clients where you want them,” he said. Jenks considers Harney County his hometown even though his family traveled through most of his childhood. He has lived in Philomath, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and England. “Where didn’t I grow up?” he joked.
Jenks went to high school in Crane and went on to college at Oregon State University. While he initially majored in marine biology, he has always had a knack for computers. His dad is an engineer and owned some of the first Apple models. Jenks grew up playing games on those computers. Part way through college Jenks decided the Web was the wave of the future and switched his focus. After graduation, he worked as a Web developer for the Umatilla/Morrow Education Service District in Pendleton and then went on to work as a Web developer for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission in Portland.
After five years of experience in the field, Jenks felt it was time to return to Harney County and strike out on his own with Litehouse Technology. “I’m not just tech-oriented. I like working with people,” he said. Litehouse Technology will give him the opportunity to work one-on-one and face-to-face with small businesses in Harney County, and Jenks likes the idea of helping people optimize their Web presence. “I’m looking forward to serving the community,” he said.
For more information on Litehouse Technology, call Jenks at 573-1204 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.