Crystal LindellComedian Bill Cosby once made an analogy about porterhouse steak that I believe perfectly illustrates why I’m so excited about Candy Industry’s new website — which debuted today.

During an episode of his show, he tried to explain to one of his daughter’s suitors why he didn’t enjoy being surprised in meeting him. Cosby went into mouthwatering detail about a steak dinner, and then shocks the young man by asking how he’d react to the dinner being served on an upside-down garbage can lid.

“Not too appetizing, is it?’ Cosby asks. “[Because] it's in the presentation.”

And so is our editorial content. No matter how well-written our manufacturing profiles are, or how stunning our photo collections are, or how entertaining our columns are, they won’t get much attention if they’re not presented well.

Now, I’m not saying our former site design was an upside-down garbage can lid, but it’s no secret that it had been awhile since we’d spruced up our online presence. Our new home online now has a fresh look, and definitely steps up our game.

A deep burgundy design that features swirls reminiscent of lollipops, greets each visitor, and right below that, our latest features, news stories, opinion and new products are highlighted.

Further down is a list of our favorite sections, and all the newest related headlines. Next to that, is our latest multi-media projects, including photo slide shows and videos. And, along the right side of the site, you’ll find, a list of industry events, and links to some of our friends in the industry.

One of my favorite features of the new site though is the drop-down menu bar across the top. There, you’ll quickly be able to scan for the articles that matter to you.

And, we’ve gone beyond classifying content based solely on the print magazine’s sections. Now, if you’re searching for stories about chocolate, you can click  “Categories” > “Chocolate” and find news about Nestlé, the newest M&M, and features about artisan chocolatiers.

The new site also offers another easy way to search, allowing you to click  topics and keywords in an article that then bring you to a list of related stories. For example, if you’re reading Editor-in-Chief Bernard Pacyniak’s recent feature about Jelly Belly’s plant in Thailand, and you click “gummy” you’ll be taken to a list that includes a product write-up about Gummy Cupcakes, as well as a trend story about the category.

It’s been a long redesign process, but it was well worth it because we were able to bring over all the editorial content from our former site. That means you have full access to all the headlines from our entire online archive, going back to 2008.

In addition, all the Candy Industry and Retail Confectioner content — long ago folded together into one print publication — has been combined onto one website. The hope is that industry professionals will be able to scan one resource that covers all the relevant trends, new products, features and news stories related to the confectionery world.

We are asking you, our beloved readers, just one small favor as part of our website redesign effort  — please register. It’s completely free, and you’ll gain full access to all the content, including the ability to comment on stories. I promise it won’t take you more than two minutes, and it helps us better understand our readers and what they’re looking for so we can provide the most valuable content possible. Win, win.

I’m truly thrilled with our new web design, and as we get more comfortable, I have no doubt we’ll be able to add even more features to help you in your quest to become the most informed candy professional out there.