As regular visitors will notice, we've unveiled new branding and an all-new website, our first major overhaul since WhatsOnStage was launched in 1997.
The new site is fully geared up to serve audiences as they consume digital media, share information and access theatre tickets – and to rapidly extend its reach and attract new audiences to the best of the West End.
Major investment has been made in the website, which is based on a robust, scalable platform that has been custom-built for theatre ticketing, show listings and content. It's been developed by WhatsOnStage's new owner, TheaterMania.com, Inc, and road-tested for the past year to huge success in the Broadway and nationwide US markets.
The new WhatsOnStage.com is designed with ease-of-use as its top priority, with one-click access to the content that users are looking for, whether they're first-time visitors or regular, frequent theatregoers. It boasts a clean, fresh and modern look-and-feel; a powerful, unified search facility; simplified navigation; expanded video player and integrated sharing tools for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube. It's also highly search engine optimised and mobile friendly.
Over 60 UK towns and cities have a dedicated mini-site within the main website on the new WhatsOnStage.com – as do London's thriving West End and Off-West End theatre scenes, and all major productions.
WhatsOnStage's entire 16-year archive – over 30,000 articles with photos, 35,000 user reviews and 145,000 listings for productions across the UK, as well as 605,000 backlinks driving traffic to that content from other global websites – has been migrated to the new platform, thereby retaining the brand's unrivalled editorial legacy.
The WhatsOnStage and TheaterMania teams will evaluate visitor usage and continue to add further functionality and improve the user experience and interface during this summer's "soft launch" period. A launch marketing campaign for the fully-fledged, new WhatsOnStage.com is planned for the autumn, coinciding with the lead-up to the 14th annual WhatsOnStage Awards, the only UK theatre prize-giving decided across the board by the public (over 60,000 vote each year).
Terri Paddock, founding editor and managing director of WhatsonStage, commented: "Feedback from users who've seen the new WhatsOnStage.com during beta testing has been phenomenal. This powerful new platform allows us to offer an exponentially better service to theatregoers and the theatre industry. We are hugely excited to share it with them and roll out more improvements in future."
So have a click around and if you have comments (please make them constructive!) on the new website send them to firstname.lastname@example.org