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The Watershed Sentinel

Watershed Sentinel Website

Creating an online presence for impact and change

The Watershed Sentinel has been the voice of the grassroots environmental movement in BC (and beyond) for over 25 years. In that time, the publishing industry has undergone enormous changes and the magazine needed to develop an online presence to match and support the quality and values of the printed publication.


The magazine is treasured by its readers and the online experience needed to honour that respected tradition while being highly accessible to new readers who were likely on site to read a specific single article they had found in a search or from social media. SEO considerations were important to ensure that articles could rank highly for diverse topics and maximize domain authority – the recognition that the site is a high-quality information source. The secondary, but important, objective for the site was to grow the email list, subscribed readership and sales of related books and publications.

What we did

Having defined the project requirements, we began with an exploration of the best newspaper and magazine sites we could identify, specifically looking at how to present individual articles in the most readable way across devices, and create effective archives and a front page that displayed a large amount of information in an uncluttered fashion. From this, we were able to develop a design direction that would work in all circumstances. We custom-coded the site on the WordPress platform to be easy for the magazine to publish content frequently without a high additional load on staff and readily share that across social media channels.

Tools and Techniques:

  • A custom coded WordPress site
  • Structured content transfer from a previous site
  • Technical SEO research and implementation

The Results

Over five years after it was first built, the site now hosts well over two thousand articles and receives tens of thousands of views every year. It is another example of how our careful and thoughtful design process creates long-lasting websites that continue to work for visitors and administrators for many years.

“We were delighted to find The Update Company here in the Valley. They have been able to provide us with the website services we need, from design to maintenance to trouble-shooting, quickly, efficiently, and cheerfully. All our requests and questions are treated with respect, no matter how small or how difficult. We recommend them to all our contacts, and are happy to support local business.” – Delores Broten, Editor

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