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ISPreview.co.uk Gets a New Lick of Paint

Monday, March 5th, 2012 (4:05 pm) - Score 445

Regular readers might well notice that our front page and news format have changed over the weekend. This change represents the first stage of our phased and quite complicated migration over to a new Content Management System (CMS), which has become a necessity for us because the old system was no longer being updated and didn’t allow for future flexibility.

The reason for this message is to apologise for any disruption that our work might cause. It’s a difficult process and we’ve already had a mountain of problems to contend with (the eagle eyed among you might have noticed the new design appearing briefly last week, before we had to take it offline again) but so far so good.

All of the old content is being left as it is because we can’t directly migrate that to the new system, it would just cause too many problems. So we’ll be starting the new site with articles from the past week (note that at present this change only affects our news and none of the other sites systems or services), although the old news is still searchable and available through the News Archives page. If you bookmarked any articles then nothing has changed and we’ve today redirected the old news feed to our new one, so RSS subscribers should still be fine (we hope).

The new system isn’t quite as fast (but we will work on that) because it can do a lot more than the old one and I hope everybody likes what we’ve come up with, but no doubt it’ll need some tweaking along the way and others might have trouble getting use to it (we have tried to keep a familiar format). So don’t be surprised if the site is a little disrupted over the next few days.

As a final note I should say that ISPreview v3.5, as we call it, was designed with modern web browsers in mind and works best on IE9, Chrome and Firefox v3+ (we developed it on all three and some Opera testing too). It won’t have too many problems on Internet Explorer v8 (IE8) either but you do lose some of the CSS3 styling, which makes the site look a lot nicer when enabled. IE7 works too but you will notice a few format problems, which couldn’t be helped as IE7 does not fully respect web standards.

One downside is that we no longer display full news articles on our front page (if possible we’ll make an option to do this) and have instead opted for a summary. There are several reasons for this, not least with keeping the database load under control and, more importantly, keeping the total front page size down (i.e. showing lots of big images to readers on one page wasn’t so good for our more rural readers and their slower connections).

Leave a Comment
13 Responses
  1. Daniel says:

    Personally i dont like it. Plus for people with low-end computers it may take some time to load as the page is huge (As in the content)

  2. Ho says:

    Bring Back the old look, that weas much better than this one.

  3. Mark Jackson says:

    Daniel, The page is actually a lot smaller than the front page of our old style but the database load is higher, anyway we’re working on that.

    Ho, Which aspects of the old style did you like and we can try to bring those over?

  4. Kyle says:

    It would have been nice to have seen some kind of colour scheme change. This blue has been here for far too many years. I expected a purple scheme, but not more blue!

  5. arthur says:

    Hi i personally like it lot smaller compact looks cleaner layout the colours look better on chrome compared to old site it would be nice expand the news articles but i understand you trying to keep the main page smaller data would it be possible for users to change their own colour of the main page ispreview banner

  6. Johno says:

    I like this look alot.
    Works well on my android aswell. (Mobile view is OFF)
    @Daniel My old dell which is an old celeron with 1gb ram loads this site fine.
    I’m using firefox 10 on linux mint.
    Check your browser settings if need be clear your cache.
    No diffrence between the old dell and my quad core I5 in terms of loading times and rendering.

  7. Phil says:

    There’s now big wide space on either side thats unused. Try and use it!

  8. boggits says:

    Mumble Mumble ICO cookies legislation Mumble Mumble

  9. AlanC says:

    I agree with Ho and Daniel, I don’t like it either, the old look was better. I don’t like the side bar being on the right or the date being excluded from the new forum topics bit.

  10. Kevin says:

    It took a bit of getting used to, I tend to look at the centre of the screen or towards the right, it didn’t feel natural at first to look to the left…

    Now that I have used it a few times, I actually prefer it to the old web-site.

  11. Mark Jackson says:

    AlanC, actually the date is still shown, you just have to hover your mouse over the link 🙂 . Like most information/news sites we don’t show the date directly anymore as the site tends to be updated so frequently that it just becomes a repetitive display of the same date data each day.

    Phil, the wide “grey” space on either side has always been there (unless a bug is showing something different to you?). It’s because, like most sites, we use a 1024 pixels wide compatible/central magazine style layout that’s friendly to tablets, netbooks and older computers alike. Fixed width styles give you more control over content format and display. I wanted liquid width but it just causes too many problems (I will revisit this though as it’s a long-term goal to go liquid).

    Also the reason for moving the summary column from left to right is to make the site friendlier to search engine indexing and syndication. We found that sticking it on the left caused problems with some content scrapers and most people are right handed so it just seemed more intuitive to be on the right.

    Thanks for all the feedback, especially the constructive comments. In the future I think we should be able to offer some automatic colour theme options but we have a lot of work before getting there. In the meantime I want to introduce some more of the darker green (you’ll see more of that in the future) to balance against our historic blue style.

  12. AlanC says:

    Thanks for the info about the date Mark, I never noticed it, now I know what you mean.

    Thanks also for explaining the column move.

  13. DM says:

    a nice refresh, working fine on my 1ghz machine and firefox 3.6.27 (css shadows disabled)

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