As we continue to grow in numbers and in content, it became quite obvious that the current layout was unable to sustain the desired level of content without getting severely clustered. The staff had to take a step back and try to look at the site through the eyes of a new user and ask, “Do I know where to look when I come to this site?” and the answer was no. I felt it was very obvious that the site had reached a point that unless you already knew what you were looking for, it was getting a bit tough to navigate the site due to the clutter.
So, we took out the hedge trimmers and we cut away as much clutter as we could to bring you a new content deliver system that brought you the content you wanted without the clutter confusing the issue. I’m sure you realize the importance of advertising revenue to keep the bills paid, but I also wanted to reduce the amount of ads on the site as I felt it had reached a fairly high number even though they were well worked in to the over all site layout.
It’s important to stress that the primary importance of this upgrade was to change the way we bring you the content, rather than a major change in functionality and coding. The v3 upgrade was a huge layout and backend coding upgrade, whereas this release primarily consists of layout changes although we do have some new goodies as well that I’m sure you will enjoy. A HUGE shoutout to Nick, Jamie and Adam for their collaborative effort on this release, they all worked really hard to get this launched.
Let’s start from the topï¿½
The first thing you will notice is the refined search function, which no longer consists of a category dropdown. This was done for two reasons:
1) Most people do not use the category filtering, they simply enter their search phrase and then sort through the results for the category they want.
2) In order to perform a search by category, it requires 4 clicks. First you must click on the text field to enter your keywords, then you must click on the category dropdown, then click on the category you want, and finally, click on the Search button.
With the new search, we’ve changed the way your results are displayed to make the search quick and very easy to narrow down by category. Simply search the keyword(s) you want and you will be presented with a results page that not only shows you the most relevant results to your search, but it will show you which categories contain relevant results. If you donï¿½t see what you’re looking for and want to narrow it down, simply click on the category you want and it will filter the results automatically and you can click on the “All” link to return to global results at any time. This reduces the search by category process by 1 click overall, making your searches faster and more effective.
Overall Layout Change:
Next up youï¿½ll see that weï¿½ve removed the box-like content segments and created an improved, more open layout, with fully half the ads gone and things like news and other barely looked at content taken off the main page. The primary focus of the main page is now tutorials, and they are now the dominant content, starting right at the top of the fold where they belong. We’ve created a new menu tab that will let you quickly switch to tutorials, news, reviews, interviews and Published tutorial content rather than trying to pack bits of each all on the main page. As you continue to surf, you will be able to access these area from anywhere on the site without having to go back to the main page. In the past, you had to access the main page to get to the news, or go to the forums. Now you just click news and all the latest headlines are there and ready to go!
Also improved is the general font size on the site. Every font has been increased by at least 1 point and many are 2+ points larger. The site is now easier to read and navigate for those of you that complained about having to squint to read some of the smaller text.
Taken from the Digg concept, weï¿½ve added some nifty on-the-fly date filtering allowing you to view tutorials in the last 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, a year, or everything. So for those of you that wanted to see more than just the tutorials from the past 24 hours, you can now go as far back as you like!
Webmaster Tutorial Editing:
Next on the list is something I am VERY excited to bring to you guys that submit tutorialsï¿½ you can now EDIT your own tutorials! Simply visit the relevant source site page for the tutorials youï¿½ve submitted while logged in, and you will see a red EDIT link next to the title. You can click this link to change the title, link and avatar of your tutorial. So now you can avoid getting your site disabled by editing your own tutorials when you change URLs!
Category Listing System:
The category listing has also completely changed. Rather than having a huge clunky menu system that was taking up an absurd amount of space, we've implemented a very easy to use dropdown system that lets you quickly access the complete category list, your favortite categories, popular categories and the published categories.
In terms of overall speed, the site is now faster than ever with optimized queries throughout the site and weï¿½ve reduced the overall page size by almost half! So youï¿½ll be surfing the site faster than ever!
Weï¿½ve also changed the format of the featured site and featured tutorial system. We wanted to fix this to show a tutorial only, and represent the tutorial at the top of the directory listing on the main page. So now you’ll notice that the first tutorial on the homepage has the featured tag and this will change on a weekly basis and can be purchased as always, contact me for details.
If you find a bug, please report it in the v4 support thread at http://www.pixel2life.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=35574
That's about it gang, so check it out and please let us know what you think. We hope you enjoy the new changes and that you find the new content areas much easier to navigate and use.