Author Topic: Changes to the site's front page  (Read 2603 times)

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Offline Editor

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Changes to the site's front page
« on: September 22, 2009, 08:30:04 am »
Iíve made some slight changes to the front page based on looking at what people were using most.

The business directory along with the latest, featured business (refreshed and changed with each visit) is now top left. This will mean a local businesses will show up each time the page is loaded.

Itís important that all those who add local businesses to the directory add enough information. If you are updating your business entry, please do not use capitals.

Below the business directory listing are the three most recent classified adverts. These are for local, non-commercial sales and services.

We then have the travel information with a number of popular links for commuters.

The left hand column ends with a link to the siteís collection of local country rambles.

In the middle are the latest tweets from this site along with re-tweets of those we are following who are saying things of local interest (if we spot them).

We have grouped all this site's discussion forum information at the top right. This includes the list of who is online and the top 20 topics being discussed.

The long list of local links has been moved to the new links page. These were rarely used and were taking up valuable space.

The changes should mean that the most useful information is now contained in a smaller, faster-loading front page.

David
The Brookmans Park Newsletter has been supporting the village and our local community since 1998 by providing free, interactive tools for all to use.
 

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Re: Changes to the site's front page
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2009, 09:27:02 am »
Hi,

I have made some more changes to the site's front page. They are aimed at reducing the clutter, grouping the content areas that were most used, and making the page smaller and faster to load. So here are the changes (I am adding a few small screen grabs to illustrate).

Forum posts

After 11 years writing local news stories for the site, maintaining a news section and producing a regular flow of news stories, I decided that our community discussion forum was probably the best place to present local news. The decision means that anyone in the community can break a news story and others can discuss what they have written.

Using the forum in this way means everyone becomes a local correspondent for the Brookmans Park Newsletter.

The site's slogan has always been 'content created for the community by the community' and to reflect the importance of this the forum's latest topics have been moved to the centre of the front page (rather than put at the side). See below the part outlined in red. Notice all forum information is now contained in this area, including the number of forum members and guests who are online.

Tip: It also means that the extra space means you can write longer and more descriptive headlines for your forum posts (in the past I tried to write short headlines so they fitted better in the thinner right hand column.



Business Directory

Some have commented about how the listings of the business directory are hidden. We are now able to display one of our local business entries prominently on the front page. This box (outlined below in red) now shows a different local business every time people revisit or refresh the page. (Try it by hitting refresh - or F5 - when you are on the page).

All those who have added to the business directory should ensure that they add a description so that it displays the most helpful information about the business on the front page.

Tip: Try not to repeat the name in the description to make best use of space and add
Code: [Select]
http:// before your local firm's web address.



Classified Adverts

The popular classified adverts section has been grouped on the left with links to view and add to the list. As before, there is a box displaying the most recent adverts. This facility is for local, non-commercial sales and services.

Tip: Please remember your password so you can delete the text of your entry once an item has been sold.



Travel information

The travel information seems to be popular. I know a number of commuter chums use the 'Trains within the next hour' link each day to check the train times. This section has been left where it is.



Twitter

This site's tweets are displayed in the column on the right (where the forum posts used to be). These are short, 140-character text messages sent by phone or computer offering information or news alerts, often linking through to forum discussions or external links. If anyone wants to follow our tweets you just need to sign up for a free account and visit @bpnewsletter and then click the follow tab.

If you are tweeting about local issues (and if I spot them), I might re-tweet them (this means sending them again to all the site's followers). They will then show up in this list as a re-tweet. We will only re-tweet messages that adhere to this site's guidelines.



Links

As mentioned in an earlier post, all the community links that were on the front page have now been given their own section, accessible via a link just under the front page banner and labelled 'Links'. Please contact this site if you want a local link added.

David
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 12:16:13 pm by David Brewer »
The Brookmans Park Newsletter has been supporting the village and our local community since 1998 by providing free, interactive tools for all to use.
 

Offline chicken legs

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Re: Changes to the site's front page
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2009, 09:50:29 am »
Hi David

I like the changes - the front page looks cleaner and well-proportioned. 

I normally come to the site and view the unread Forum posts from the front page.  Doing that, I'm not shown as online, which seems a shame for your viewing figures.  Presumably it's necessary to click on Forum at the top of the page to register as viewing?

D'you think I've possibly got too much time on my hands to be posting this?   ;)
 

Offline Editor

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Re: Changes to the site's front page
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2009, 09:57:18 am »
Hi chicken legs,

I am glad you like the changes. We may still experiment by adding the first sentence of the latest post to the headlines displayed on the front page (but I am not sure about that yet).

As you know, people don't need to register to view the discussions. They can read the entries as guests but just can't post a reply.

A lot of people do as you describe, they log in and then click on the page which displays the posts that have been made since their last visit.

I am not really concerned about viewing figures, although I do keep an eye on the stats (click here and scroll down to view them month-by-month).

Thanks for the feedback.

David
The Brookmans Park Newsletter has been supporting the village and our local community since 1998 by providing free, interactive tools for all to use.
 

Offline Peter Hastings

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Re: Changes to the site's front page
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2009, 08:48:46 pm »
The stats are quite interesting. what on earth had us all on line on 28th July 2008?
 

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