The project of recreating and equipping the Republic-Times Newspaper with a modern and functional website that is updated daily with content, while creating more products for advertisers and solidifying the publication as THE community resource was a project very close to my heart for the past two years.

Although I have moved on from the paper, as of a month and a half ago, I am very proud to announce that my project and the RepublicTimes.net website has won the Southern Illinois Editorial Association’s Best Website of 2014 award.

After taking SIEA’s third place award for Best Website last year, as well as, the Illinois Press Association’s award for Best Website of 2013 in the state, we decided to take our project to the next level and learn from our original re-design.

Therefore, we did an overhaul to make the website even more functional, user friendly, and up-to-date, while at the same time, setting it up to take on new products such as Classifieds, Coupons, a Business Directory, etc.

So as you may know, it is hard to let something go. And even though I have now handed over “my baby” to other hands, it was special to see our hard work and efforts over the past two years recognized by a prestigious journalism organization.

I would like to give a special shout-out to Christine Otten who also poured her heart and soul into this project. Without her impeccable web design skills, patience, and innovation I could not have done this project.