With the East Coast and Midwest awaiting a monster snowstorm, popular weather forecasting site Accuweather, is rolling out a timely relaunch of its site. The site, which provides up-to-date local information on weather in the U.S., is launching a beta version of the site that includes a complete redesign and a few extra user-friendly features. The new version of the Accuweather is still in private beta but will be publicly launched to the public on February 15.
On the content side, the general theme for the new version of the site is “weather for your life,” with specialized and interactive weather forecasts for Weather and Health, Weather and Travel, Weather and Home and Garden, Weather and Outdoor Activity in your area. The health-related weather interest sections include Arthritis Pain Forecasts, Asthma Forecasts, Common Cold Forecasts, Flu Forecasts, Pollen Level Forecasts and more
In terms of everyday weather forecasts, the new site features hour-by-hour, 15-day forecasts, and next month forecasts. The site also has upgraded its multimedia offerings, with detailed videos fro meteorologists and a wide range of weather maps – including radar, satellite, severe weather, forecast maps, and more. The site will be adding 600 weather-related videos every day, with local video forecasts for over 100 U.S. cities.
The layout and design of the site itself is a lot cleaner and less cluttered. The older version of the site was a virtual mash-up of information, content and advertisements. The new version has larger numbers and text, is more spaced, and is all-together more friendly on the eyes. And I’m sure Accuweather is getting better feedback from advertisers on the layout, as the streamlined version is more complimentary to serving ads on the site.
In comparison to competitor and rival Weather.com, Accuweather’s site wins the contest in my opinion, with a nice balance of content and easy-to-use web features. According to Compete, Accuweather site saw 8 million unique visitors in December whereas Weather.com saw 33.5 million unique visitors in December. While Weather.com received more traffic, Accuweather’s forecasts are syndicated to over 175,000 media sites. And with the new redesign, Accuweather could become a more attractive destination for weather forecasts.