So now that you’ve been using this new site for four days, isn’t it time we made a formal introduction?
Sorry for throwing you into the water without much explanation or warning on Friday, but we were scrambling up to the end to get the new site ready before the Bama game, and we launched it in a rush.
We won’t babble on and on, but instead will give you a quick rundown of the features of this new site:
1.) More mobile-friendly: This site uses a technique called Responsive Web Design (RWD), which is a programming method of changing the way the site displays itself on different-sized devices.
As the display window shrinks down from desktop size to laptop size to tablet to smart phone, the various elements of the site move around, appear and disappear, and realign themselves. Try it: if you’re reading this on a desktop or laptop display, grab the corner of your browser and resize the browser, and watch the site shift around.
We have needed a more mobile-friendly display for a long time now, and we’ve finally got it. Enjoy the site on your tablet and smart phone just as much as you enjoy it on a desktop.
2.) Simplified presentation: Tabbed displays and home page slide shows are a thing of the past. Everything’s right in front of you; no figuring out where stuff is, or where it went.
3.) Re-introduction of the old-style threaded boards, and reformatting of the vBulletin boards: Yes, after a year and a half without our old-style boards, we have dusted them off, updated them, and brought them back to life. Just look for “Chat Boards” in the menu to check them out.
We also stripped out all the threaded elements of the vBulletin forums, turning them into true topic/linear forums, as their designers intended them to be. vBulletin is at its best in this format. Look for “vBulletin Forums” in the menu to check them out.
For more on the boards, see our Board System FAQ.
4.) New, automated “Hokie News” feed: We love this feature. Instead of manually updating Hokie News each morning, we now have a Hokie News feed that brings you VT sports articles from around the web automatically, all day long.
We have embedded the feed on our home page, and in the sidebar of articles and pages. You can also access it as a full-size page by clicking “News and Features — Hokie News” on your desktop/tablet or “News” in the header of your smart phone display.
5.) Improved RSS feed and site search functionality: Long story why, but our previous site couldn’t provide a good RSS feed or site search. This one does. Check out the main site RSS feed by clicking the RSS icon in the header, and use the search function in the header to search articles and pages (but not chat boards or vBulletin forums).
That’s about it … things went pretty well over the weekend with the new site, although we’re still trying to iron out some login issues and various bugs. Just let us know on the boards if you have any questions, and email us if there are any major issues with the site.