Launch of new-look website

Members at today’s music session got a live preview of the re-designed web site I’ve been working on over the past few weeks. The original site design has served us well for several years, but had become rather tired and old and out-of-date. I’ve been thinking of a re-design for a while, and decided at the beginning of the month that it would be appropriate to have it up and running for the new year.

Front Page

The image above shows the new home (Schedule) page. It’s dramatically different in appearance, but there are also some refinements above and beyond what was there before. For starters, I’ve added a list of each month’s anniversary dates for ease of reference. Also, there’s a new What’s On section which pops up from the bottom of the page, as shown below.

What's On popup

The functionality of this page remains the same as members are accustomed to: mouse over the JAN, FEB, MAR … list to view the schedule for each month, now including that month’s anniversary dates. Also as before, the Schedule page will default to display the current month as the year progresses.

These changes are not merely cosmetic: The new implementation makes updating much easier and quicker than it has been, and it will even be possible for someone other than the webmaster to make changes online. This will be thanks to a shift away from our present hosting providers, who didn’t really cover themselves in glory during the recent hacking experience. The new-look site will be hosted by Adobe as part of my monthly subscription to their Creative Cloud. The annual collection will go towards offsetting part of this subscription rather than meeting our present-day hosting costs. There will be an overlap period during which the old site will continue to be hosted as before, and some of the new pages will link back to there. This is necessary because I still need to implement a tie-in between the Presentations database and the web-design software I’ve used for the new look, and it will take some time to sort out the technical problems involved. The link will be seamless however, and members will be presented in the interim with the Presentations information in the way they’ve been used to.

There will also be a cross-over period with regard to the photo galleries of the group trips abroad during the time it takes for me to change all the galleries to the new approach demonstrated on the pages for Paris 2001 and Berlin 2010.

I welcome feedback about the re-design. To be able to do that, though, you need to know where to find it. So here’s the link to the new web location.

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