Fairfax’s WAToday launches – if you can find it

Fairfax’s long- awaited Western Australia site is here.

This, and the BrisbaneTimes are important as they show, or do not show, whether a major media company can enter a competitors market by launching an online site. Like say NZ Herald entering Wellington, or Fairfax NZ entering Auckland, or the WSJ entering the UK.

This will be monitored closely for sure.

So without further ado, here it is: WAToday.com.



news search

Whoops – let’s try WAToday.com.au


First rule for a new site – secure the .com domain name! As well get the .net, and the key country domains such as .com.au and .co.nz.

Seb managed to get into trouble with TimeXchange, but Fairfax Digital Australia should know a lot better than this. (I’d expect this from Fairfax Business Australia, but that’s another story)

Incidentally – the watoday.co.nz url does not resolve – so perhaps it is still available.

The site takes a very long time to load.


New servers not configured right? Traffic overload? Poor database design? Overly heavy pages? Server located in Uzbekistan?

I know it can’t be Slow Internet Connection – ADSL 2 is still swoopingly fast for me here in Perth.

I also didn’t appreciatethe pop-under. Of course that may have come from the .com, but the ads seems so local..

popunder nastiness

Sorry Woolworths – even less chance of me shopping at your stores now.

So that home page is a staggering 1.4mb worth of download, and it took Safari 3.5 seconds to load it. However I tested that speed after I’d already loaded it several times, so clearly a huge chunk was in the cache.

So I then tried an article – even that was huge:


and it took: 9.42 seconds to load. Far too slow. Oh – and that was the second time around for that article as well.

Content – well I’ve just started looking at it, and will add the site to my daily reads. I won’t promise anything yet, as I tend to give very delayed responses to my promised articles. (For those still reading – I do remember them, it is just slow… )

There are some entertaining snippets inside the CSS – after the break

The print style sheet was done a while back:


The core WAToday CSS was first worked on back in February. Took a while:


and as you’d expect, all FFD sites share a common core:


but what’s going on here?


Published by Lance Wiggs


3 replies on “Fairfax’s WAToday launches – if you can find it”

  1. the real problem here is that in the print CSS it clearly says “do not edit without prior consent” and I was NOT consented. Even thought it’s been 4 years since I worked on that CSS it has changed and no one called me. Not one person!

    But I gotta cut my former colleagues some slack here – it’s no easy task rolling out a new news service in a new market and in order to do so FD obviously reuse a lot of existing code/infrastructure/knowledge in order to minimise costs. In any case WA at least have a different news source, how they react to that remains to be seen but my hunch is they will embrace it.

    The site does look stunning (very very similar to the design I had prepared earlier for SMH/The Age) so props to them for that :)

    Formerly of Fairfax Digital but they loved me so much they keep using my CSS.


  2. I knew I should have used an exclamation mark and all caps for CONSENT!

    I too no longer work there, but i say “Hi! and nice work” to the team that knocked this out. there’s always things to improve, but hey, i think its a pretty solid start.

    also, http://lancewiggs.co.nz/ looks like its still available ;-)


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