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PuertoRicoWOW.com Unveils Newly Enhanced, User-friendly Portal Design
By RAQUEL VELAZQUEZ
February 10, 2005
On Feb. 7, 2000, Casiano Communications Inc. (CCI) set out to make history with the launch of the first bilingual news and information web portal in Puerto Rico named PuertoRicoWOW.com. Back then, this novel addition to Casianos three-decade-plus track record of print media success, was developed to meet the demand for targeted local content and to capture market attention of active and burgeoning Puerto Rico netizens (Internet users) who, in 1999 alone, were estimated to have generated $31 million in e-commerce revenue.
Today, unlike other websites that have come and gone, PuertoRicoWOW.com stands strong as the digital media leader because it has maintained its position as the only bilingual and completely informative web portal in Puerto Rico. According to a recent analytical study by Internet tracking service, Webtrends, PRWOW receives nearly 9 million hits per month, an average of more than 280,000 hits daily, and has approximately 103,000 unique users.
"PRWOW has gained recognition for providing general and business news, when you want it, seven days a week, at the click of your computer mouse. The portal provides complete up-to-the-minute coverage of important events. Youll find complete news stories in PRWOW, all day long, updated continuously, not just sound bites," said Manuel Casiano, chairman of Casiano Communications.
Casiano added the site has been updated to create a more user-friendly modern format, without those annoying pop-ups. "This is the first change in PRWOWs portal image since we launched it in 2000 and, with the Internet growing at a tremendous rate, we are committed to staying on top of changes, to continue improving the portal, and adding more timely information to encourage a larger number of local and outside visitors to the site," Casiano said.
Newly appointed PRWOW General Manager Manuel A. Cintrón Pérez foresees even greater growth once the new portal design is made public. "From the beginning, PRWOW always has been improving itself and now we are changing not only the face, but the feeling of the website to be more user-friendly, organized, and time-efficient to enhance the experience of our visitors," stated Cintrón, adding the site will continue to be as informative and entertaining for netizens of all ages, but its enhancements will be technologically on par with current website standards.
PuertoRicoWOW.com became fully bilingual in Spanish and English in 2001 and, although the much-heralded site has undergone a new look, it will still be colorful, content-rich, and data-driven for the enjoyment of local users as well as visitors or prospective travelers to Puerto Rico. "It is a true portal for and about Puerto Rico," said Cintrón, noting, "The directories are divided into an easy-to-read format, allowing you to locate the finest hotels, the best restaurants in the Caribbean, golf courses, nightlife, and other types of information easily, quickly, and efficiently. Companies listed in the product and industry directories will be able to link to their corporate websites for a small monthly fee," Cintrón added.
Users not only can click on the links for each category description in the center screen, but also will be able to scroll along the left-hand-side index to obtain easy access to mainstay categories such as Puerto Rico At-A-Glance, Visitors Information, Directories, and more. Sections such as Arts & Culture and Business & Economy are now grouped to include Education and Finance, respectively, while the categories Health and Sports & Recreation are now collectively called Health & Fitness.
The index also will have a brand-new auto section and give access to articles from other CCI publications, including IMAGEN, BuenaVida, Puerto Rico Travel & Tourism, and Vida Actual via linking to the CCI corporate site. Cintrón said access to publications, including Agenda de Decoración, Agenda para Novia, and Agenda para Mamá, will be made available in the near future.
Instead of clicking on icons for items such as local, U.S., and international weather, movies, Lotto numbers, and e-mailthese areas are now boxed with links above the News section on the right side of the screen.
"Webtrends research show news to be the popular area for users and therefore PRWOW will offer coverage that will be continuously updated throughout the day," explained Cintrón, citing news as an integral component to this site redesign. Users also still will have access to the CARIBBEAN BUSINESS archive with articles from December 1999 to last week.
Cintrón added the Movie Guide sectionconsidered the best and most complete movie guide in Puerto Rico and a favorite among many PRWOW userswill continue to offer theater listings and scheduling information, but now also will enable visitors to view trailers from the respective films websites.
These enhanced site features and the addition of new departments also will provide an innovative opportunity for advertisers to access millions of Internet users each month. "As part of our design efforts we are now able, for the first time, to include banner advertising space," said Cintrón, noting PRWOW Vice President of Sales Roberto Sotto is responsible for the sales area. "The banners will be well-designed, strategically placed on the website and available at reasonable rates." Cintrón added advertisers also will be able to sponsor any of PRWOWs web departments.
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.