News gets a re-design

Added on Monday 02 May 2005, 18:31 (UTC)

Well what can I say - welcome along to the newly redesigned I've been wanting to do this for a long long time (at least two years!) and at last I've been able to do it. The old design of the site hasn't been updated since 2001, and that was very similar to the original design from 1996. Over the past few weeks I have spent in excess of 150 hours building what you see before you. I now just hope you like it and think it feels just like it should!

This new design brings some new benefits and features...

For the regular visitors, the main changes are as follows:

  • One of the main aims was to get the latest news onto the front page in full, rather than in a small box on the right of the page (without images). You come here for news, and just by hitting the homepage you'll get just about everything you need to keep up to date with the latest news about Jamiroquai.
  • The page size is now slightly wider, but will still fit correctly if using an 800x600 screen resolution.
  • The main navigation is now along the top, beneath the banner image. It was taking up a large area of the left side of the page in the old design.
  • Many of the "boxes" you see on the right side of the page are repeated on each page of the site. This makes it easy to see more of what you want to see, whatever page you are looking at.
  • The music section has been expanded to now include the music videos pages from the old "features" section. Within any album, single or music video page you will find links to related pages, such as the single details, music video or album that the track is taken from. This allows you to find out everything you need to know about an individual track using very simple navigation. I think this works really well, but I'll let you ultimately decide.
  • On the news page there should also be a direct feed of the latest two news items from the official Jamiroquai website.
Some old features have not yet made it onto the new site yet, including voting. Rest assured that it will return at some point soon.

From a technical point of view, the site is now XHTML 1.0 strict (well, I've added the "target" attribute to anchors;) and is styled entirely using CSS. The pages should look fine in any version 5 browser and above and in browsers that don't support CSS, a flat (but structured) view of the site will be presented.

Additionally, there is a print stylesheet as well which makes printed pages look much better (by removing the right hand column).

Pages should now also load slightly quicker as page sizes are still small, but with the reduction in HTML tables (i.e., they are only used for tables, not page design) your browser should be able to start displaying content almost immediately.  I've also configured the site to make extensive use of server-side caching to minimise database accesses.

Before I sign off, I'd like to thank those who've helped me recently with suggestions and all important browser testing, especially my wife Sharon, Pat S., Richard L., Jake M., Jason W., and Francois W.  Last but certainly not least I have to give thanks to the inspiration behind the design of this site - Ruthsarian Layouts.  Cheers.If you find any broken links, or get any horrible error messages anywhere, then please let me know.

PS. If you're looking for the guestbook, it is now in the community section :)

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