Posted by Editor on 03/4/09
By now, almost all of our readers will have been redirected from our old website to the new version. This project has been the biggest one we have ever undertaken - moving close to 100,000 pieces of data from one server to another, rebuilding the entire structure of the website and moving from one operating system to another.
For many readers, the only difference at this point will be the look, however, the changes go much deeper than that, and will become much more apparent over the next few weeks. The following are some of the changes we have made, why, and what they will allow us to do:
1. We have moved everything onto interlinked databases. Previously, some of our content was on databases, and some wasn't. This made updates to the site difficult to accomplish, because you couldn't make just one change, but had to go through the site page by page.
It also allows us to really harness the value of our news content, which stretches back 12 years, and close to 20,000 pieces of news. This will be especially true as we go forward. Now, news items will be tagged for the particular type of news they are - Domestic Road, International MTB, Industry News, Advocacy, Women's Cycling, etc. This means that you will shortly be able to choose the specific type of news you want to read (of course, you can still selected all the news). As an example, the Advocacy section is already live.
As we get more of these sections built, they will go online.
2. RSS feed. Some years ago, a reader built an RSS web feed that linked to us, but we now have a proper RSS feed that updates as each piece of news is posted - click on the link on the right hand side of the navigation bar.
3. Photos. The most current photo galleries will be linked on the front page, and as new photo galleries are posted, the photos will be individually indexed and searchable in the database, by event and rider. (As an aside, we have looked at doing this with the older galleries but, so far, coming up with a way to go back and index tens of thousands of images is proving to be a big headache). We have indexed the Photo section by event back to 2005, with our previous archives gradually going online over the next few weeks.
4. Calendars and Links. These are also going into databases, making them much more searchable and flexible.
5. Advertising. I know, I know: many of you would be happy to see it disappear but, truthfully, we wouldn't exist without the support of our advertisers. The new system will allow us to more easily update campaigns and, specifically target ads to certain sections of the website - women's products to women's cycling, road to road, etc. We also believe that the new design is much less cluttered and offers a better balance of editorial and advertising space.
6. New logo. I almost forgot to point out that we have a new logo, revamped after more than 15 years. We believe it clearly shows who we are: Canadian, for the cycling enthusiast.
These are just some of the features of the new site; more will be announced over the coming days and weeks.
We also are aware that there have been, and will continue to be glitches and gremlins as we work through the process of integrating old and new content - a big headache just solved today was getting things to appear correctly on Internet Explorer 7. So, if you notice a problem, or have a suggestion on how to improve something, please let us know - firstname.lastname@example.org. (Of course, if you just want to tell us that the new site looks great, we always like that too...)
Thank you for your patience, as we introduce the latest edition of CanadianCyclist.com
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