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Bento Nation: Panhandle PBS Takes the Plunge

Compiled by Jen Carter, PBS Digital Associate


Commonly known as Panhandle PBS, member station KACV in Amarillo, Texas, launched their Bento site September 3rd. Here to tell us a bit about the process and the driving factors behind the Bento migration is Beau Waldrop, Web Communications Specialist at KACV.

1. Why Bento?
I’ve been researching ideas for a new site for a couple of years now, and one thing we wanted to do was have more content on our site. Bento made this process so much easier than it was before. Also, the Bento CMS is a lot more user friendly than our previous CMS. There are things that our previous CMS wouldn’t let us do that Bento does. Plus, Jackie Smith and I attended the BIT training in DC last September, and that helped us get more acquainted with the product.


2. What are your thoughts on the product? Have they changed since you began working on it?
I love the product. Although I made a lot of changes to the css files, the responsive template saved me a lot of time. My opinion on the product really hasn’t changed. I’ve always been on the Bento bandwagon. However, I will say that I now actually know what I’m doing (sort of). 


3. What are your favorite features available in Bento now?
My favorite feature has remained the same since I was trained on Bento. I love being able to pull in content from Cove and Merlin. It’s easy and saves me a lot of time when building pages.

4. What would you like to see from the tool in the coming months?
I’m ready for the blog platform to launch. In addition to our main site, we launched a micro-site focusing on the arts community (panhandlePBS.org/arts). We’re planning on inviting local artists to blog. We’re holding off on that idea until “blog river” is up and running.

5. If you could give one piece of advice to stations thinking of a site migration, what would it be? 

Take your time. I went to the Bento training in September last year. I was initially hoping to launch a new site by March or April. However, it became obvious that in order to do everything we wanted, we needed to push it back until September. I’m so glad we did. It gave me more time to conduct usability tests and research what our audience wanted on our site. 

6. How would you describe Bento in 140 characters?

Time-saver. Customizable. Responsive.