After months of meetings and weeks of coding and testing, we are pushing the giant green launch button today at 3:30 p.m. on our new templates for the main site.
The most visual difference on the main page involves the "tiles" below the big photo and top story. This layout allows you to browse our stories in a more visual way. Each tile features space for a large photo to illustrate the story and it also has a flag at the top that indicates which section the story’s from; if you want to read more from that section just click on the flag to visit the section.
If you're seeing an odd jumble of content on the site after 4 p.m., clear your cache and everything should look awesome.
Our web geniuses also streamlined the page header, so it's easier to identify registration and subscription links, and they pulled the dynamic weather feed that was to the right of our main logo into the colour bar above the logo.
Like most people these days, we're also watching our weight. Well, that is to say, our page weight. We've stripped out many database calls that would stretch our page load times. What's a database call? Depends on what you ASCII it. (Old code monkey joke.) Any script on a page that needs to go to a server to get data adds to the time it takes for the page to load.
We don't enjoy slow load times, you don't enjoy them, and search engine experts roundly mock them.
The video player is also gone from the main page. We've found that people tend to watch videos embedded in stories, because they are interested in the topic. So, we've been embedding video clips in stories and that seems to be the right solution.
Once you scroll below the Spotlight bar – which highlights some of our best inside-the-site content -- you'll notice content arranged by category.
These tweaks are rolled out across the site, adding consistency to the look and feel and user experience.
As with any template overhaul, you may discover the occasional oddity. If you find something, please post a comment in the Cover it Live chat below – or email firstname.lastname@example.org if the chat is closed - and we'll add it to our tweak list.