MNA Digital are celebrating after picking up a prestigious accolade at the News Awards 2018.
The Express & Star and Shropshire Star websites scooped a commended honour in the News Website of the Year category.
Both websites were redesigned for first time in five years, which was a large project for independently-owned MNA. It needed to reflect the growth of mobile, social and changing advertiser requirements.
The new sites are powered by the Washington Post’s Arc Publishing, making the MNA the first UK publisher to use this technology. The sites have changed from an open source CMS to a state-of-the-art digital platform.
MNA Digital revenues have grown due to the improvement in ad positioning and product packaging. Desktop ads were improved, new billboard sized ads introduced and the MPU slots made more prominent position on mobile.
Up against some fierce competition, the winners were announced in a ceremony in London on April 18th.
MNA Digital MD Andy Hill said: "We were delighted to be commended for the website of the year- this is a reflection of the great work done by our editorial and development teams.
"Last year saw the re-launch of our flagship websites. The digital team worked in conjunction with Cyber-Duck, which is an award-winning design agency, and the Washington Post’s ARC team.
"The digital team were the first development team in Europe to work on the Washington Post’s ARC platform and in addition to implementing our refreshed navigation and design approach, also worked with our sister company PCS to integrate our proprietary print CMS to seamlessly feed content online.
"To be commended along sites such large national sites such as the Independent and The Times shows how well the team delivered on the brief."
Moving forward, MNA Digital plan to work on the growth of mobile, social and changing advertiser requirements. There is also plans to continually improve the defined MNA websites areas for key content, like local news. This will demonstrate less clutter and make the site even more mobile friendly.