New Look November: The Newly Redesigned Pens Report Website
WELCOME TO THE NEWLY REDESIGNED PENSREPORT.COM!
You may have noticed that Pens Report has a brand new look. It's a complete re-designed for the site, the first in several seasons. The name of the game for the overhaul was going lighter and minimalist. All for a simple goal that I think everyone can agree is the key to any functional and well-designed website: optimal readability.
To optimize that readability it was evident the site needed streamlined. Elements needed reduced and a more structured alignment was necessary to produce cleaner lines and higher contrast to make the pages easy to see and quick to load. So after working on it for a while, and with some on-going tinkering, I think that's the result this new layout will provide.
When I took over the site in October I knew one of the first priorities was that it needed a fresh coat of paint. The site's prior look, in one form or another, had been in place since sometime in the 2015-16 season. It served us well and saw 2 Stanley Cup wins during its time but it outlived its usefulness.
So almost immediately upon taking over I started working on this template which is heavier on the gold and with a base of a simple white background. Then I got to upgrading certain aspects the WIX hosting provides but that hadn't been installed prior. (Which I'll tell you about below.) And now I'm working on changing over all the content. The home page and latest postings are already up and running, including everything that's been published thus far in the 2018-19 season.
The additional site pages are forthcoming. As are the archived posts from prior to this season, which are going to take some time to transfer over. I'm planning on having the site debuting in full on December 1st. (You'll see some promotion posts for that soon on PR's social media pages.) It will take that long because I've managed to track down Pens Report's most complete posting archives through 3 different site hosting services over the 7 seasons of operation. But still, the archive isn't complete, unfortunately. The original host Webs.com froze the site after it was inactive for so long while we switched over to using Weebly. The Weebly archive is in tact as is what was published here through WIX. (Wix just doesn't offer site template changes, you have to build a new site from scratch to change your template. So old posts must be transferred piecemeal, one by one via lengthy copying and pasting.) But through combing the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine I've been tracking down what I can of the past Webs.com incarnations. So for the first time ever all the available published work of Pens Report will be in one location.
In addition to the new look and the housing our available archives, I've added some really great utility to the site. There are new exciting elements that Pens Report can now offer which it's never had before. I've added them to a list of the entire slate of what the redesign will bring to the table for readers:
THE NEW SITE DESIGN'S UPGRADES INCLUDE- *Optimal Readability: the streamlined design is less cluttered, cleaner lines, and higher contrast providing better readability. Including the small but crucial change of having the traditional black text on white background type set. *Faster Loading Times: The decluttered pages with reduced number of individual elements speed up loading times. *Improved Mobile Version: Those changes also make the mobile version of the site work better & faster. *Comments Section: For the first time ever, the site has a comments section integrated into its posts so that readers can contribute their thoughts. (The comments app is set-up through Facebook’s API service so you don’t have to register individually with yet another website to join the conversation, just use your Facebook account that you’re already logged into in your browser! Easy breezy.) *Social Media Direct Sharing: Social media “share” buttons are directly integrated into every article’s page, to instantly share any article to your favorite platforms. (Included platforms are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, & for the time being Google+.)
*Email Newsletter Integration: There's now a product for our newsletter subscribers that isn't dependent upon being drafted and written one-by-one whenever other scheduled work allows. It generates itself from the site's content and social media offerings at prescribed intervals and is automatically sent to your inbox without the need for individual oversight to each edition. You subscribe, the software remembers your email (no spammy human even ever see it!), and sends you it's AI created newsletter without my prompting when the program is scheduled to. (Which is set for every 2 months so not to overwhelm inbox or dilute the importance of what our newsletter says.)
...And more new elements are coming! There are several more upgraded aspects in store for readers but pending for either on different pages yet to be rolled out or still TBA for other various reasons. As they are added I will mention them and update this list to keep track. All the new toys will be in place by the December 1st full debut date.
Think of this period as the trial "soft launch" for the site to be able to get things running and in working order in real-time to users. And I want to thank you for visiting in this newly launched period where things are a work in progress.
Please take a look around, read up, and keeping stopping back to check in on things. I'm sure you'll be as pleased with the site changes as I am. It's a whole new phase in the aesthetic and in operability of Pens Report and it's going to open the door to some more very exciting innovations and partnerships for us in the future.
And at the very least this new site design has got to also hold 2 Cups for the Penguins in 3 seasons in it, like the last one did, right?! So let's go Pens!
Have any questions? Suggestions? News tips? For those and any other inquiries you can get in touch with Pens Report by email at firstname.lastname@example.org