New year, new Web site

Posted on January 2nd in Feature Story,News

By Lauren Brown
Burns Times-Herald

Zack Jenks of Litehouse Technology holds up an iPod Touch featuring the Burns Times-Herald's newly re-designed Web site. Jenks was instrumental in helping the newspaper add new interactive features as well as make the site easier to navigate. (Photo 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 zack.jenks@litehousetech.org.



14 Responses to “New year, new Web site”

  1. Kelly (Wheeler) Atkinson Says:

    Wow, wonderful new look! Great job on your hard work and effort. I have most of the State’s Newspapers bookmarked on my computer and I can honestly say, this new look for the Burns Times Herald is top-notch State of the Art! Easy to navigate as well.

    Thank-you for providing such a nice website! Especially for those of us living in other parts of the State and Country!

  2. Mary Bailey Says:

    Great new look; much easier to navigate, thank you.

  3. Barbara Pearson Says:

    The new website looks very polished and professional. Please continue to include beautiful photos of Harney County. It makes us ex-patriots homesick and is good publicity for the area. We moved about five and a half years ago and though we still come to visit family and friends and have a subscription to the newspaper I still check the website. Thank you.

  4. Peggy {Pence}Odom Says:

    As a “Back in the Day” Harney Countian, I check out this sight every week to keep up
    with news going on. I have to say that this new design is very professional and a definate plus. The only thing I would like to suggest{and I have heard this from other ex-Burnzites] is that we would LOVE to see the Weddings,Births listed also so we can keep up with our old school mates/families lives. Or maybe even better…have a section where people can list their email addys so old classmates can find them. This has been a heartache I know for many years, trying to locate old friends. Your paper would be the ultimate resource for this and I know so appreciated by many.
    Thanks again for the great improvements.

  5. Tawnya Says:

    Just love it! Thanks a lot BTH~

  6. Kevin Taylor Says:

    Not too bad. It would be nice if the editorials and letters to the editor would be placed on the website as well.

  7. Sonja (Pierce) Morris Says:

    I would like to respond to Peggy (Pence)Odom’s comment. I too along with Peggy (Jodi) would like to see a place for Births and Wedding announcements. Having grown up in Burns,I would love to be able to connect with people from the Harney area. I always check out the news for Burns online, and love keeping up with what is going on around the area. Thanks for the great work to this site. It is definitely an improvement.

  8. Lois Eckley Says:

    Love the new look. As Mr. Jenks mentioned in the article, the site is much more user-friendly, professional and accessible. Keep up the good work!

  9. Joseph Says:

    I love the new site! Great job! I am currently deployed to Iraq and have been here since 2005. Improvements to the website REALLY make it better for those of us who have very limited time and few opportunities to access the web. These improvements greatly assist homesickness by allowing us to stay-in-touch.

    Thanks!

  10. Bryan Hinton Says:

    I agree with the other “former” residents. I have been looking at the online news for a few years and always appreciate the opportunity to stay somewhat connected, or at least as much as possible, with the old home town. My 22 plus years in the Military have kept me away more than I like so this is great for me! Thanks for the site!

  11. Willie Shoemaker Says:

    I check out this site every week, just have to know what’s going on down south (of me in Hermiston). I am very glad you have this site but what happened this week? Everything looks the same as last week.

  12. Willie Shoemaker Says:

    Ups, I see, the “feature story” is not the front page like. So I need to go to “Home” to get the new news, OK guess I have it now, sorry 1

  13. Kenny Says:

    Whoopty ♥

    Maybe BurnsTimesHerald could entice us with a bit of webspace to go along with a paid subscription. That way we could try our hand at crafting something that someone might see rather than a pathetic MySpace profile or a geocities ad frame that says, “Surf away and don’t come back.

  14. Trygve Says:

    The site looks great. Good job Mr. Jenks.


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