At the beginning of this week, the AFN team had the task of deciding when we wanted to launch our new website.

We were ready — just ironing out a few kinks here and there — but it’s funny how the short-notice visit of a certain leader of the free world to Ahwatukee Foothills last week helped answer that for us.

As the President arrived, spoke, and then departed the Ahwatukee area, the “new” was able to showcase stories, photo galleries, video and a live stream of his speech at Desert Vista High School in a way the residents of this community haven’t seen before.

That’s all thanks to the capabilities of our new digital home.

Looking back on the process, it’s interesting how much thinking, concern, and stress this can actually create.

Spending time in and around the Ahwatukee Foothills community, I talk with many business owners about their websites — and apps and other digital features — and tend to hear the same common theme: “We have a website (or app), but we’re still working on it.”

Translation: their websites are in consent motion.

They are looking for the newest update, the best look and, most important, they all — we all — want to be sure it truly meets the needs of the end consumer.

Over the past month, that has been our undertaking here at your Foothills News.

Our focus and goals for the new site really focused on five key items:

• Keep the community continually informed. On the top of the new site will be a daily count of each time we’ve added a new story, video, photo gallery or other piece of content for you to peruse. The second you arrive at the homepage, you’ll know what’s new since the last time you checked in.

• Create a new experience from the site which is much more visual and carries a more interactive experience. This includes the addition of more photos and video over the next several months.

• The flow and organization is much more consistent and easier to understand. Our featured stories will rotate every few seconds in a new “top story” box at the top of the homepage.

• An update to our navigation bar. Finding your way to your stories is easier and more direct than ever.

• “Happening Now.” On the right column of the homepage, the “Happening Now” feature will showcase the most recent content from AFN and our partners in chronological order.

This week was an exciting week for Ahwatukee all around.

The goal of is to continue to showcase that excitement each and every day for our readers — the residents of this great community.

At, we want you to experience the real life stories — in visual and written form — that can touch our minds with something to remember forever.

That is what we worked to recreate this week with the President’s visit, and what we try to do with every story we share.

We obviously did make that decision to launch. Take a few minutes to visit the new site and feel free to let us know what you think. (And, as the web goes, yes, we’ll probably start working on the next, even better, retooling next week).

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7901 or

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