Discussions about the new Karsh website began in the summer of 2015. I worked closely with the estate’s Curator and Director, Jerry Fielder, as well as Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Library and Archives, Canada; and Karsh’s agents, to produce a unique, stylish, informative and entertaining website that respects both the character and artist that was Mr. Yousuf Karsh.
The estate wanted to broaden the work displayed and bring new focus to the legacy work undertaken. Alongside this we conducted a survey of folks invested in the website (and its development) and of the website users. When the survey was launched in the fall of 2015 karsh.org had been visited 818,537 times by 605,391 people turning 7,416,009 pages. 25% of visitors had returned, of whom 16,828 had visited over 100 times. On average 6,879 people visited 9,301 times a month. In total people had visited from 216 countries, 3,290 from the country of Mr Karsh’s birth (Armenia), 117,465 from his adopted home (Canada). The most viewed page in the site was Mr Karsh’s portrait of Winston Churchill.
In February 2016 we specified what would be in the new website. Alongside improvements and expansions in every section we added a Legacy section, a database of sittings, and a greatly expanded news section. Designs were completed in the fall of 2016 and the new site was launched in spring of 2017.
In March of 2017 the site received it’s 1,000,000th visit from someone in Toronto at 2.58pm GMT and we made the new site live. The new site immediately achieved more page views per visit (6.47%), longer visits (47.37%), and more people clicking though to a second page (the bounce rate has dropped by 28%).