We’re only a few days away from debuting the newly-redesigned Hayride website, and we think it’s going to be a big hit with our readers. We believe the new site is superior to this one in every respect, and we can’t wait until it goes live.
But the finishing touches on the site will require a little more in the dead presidents department, and that’s why we’re asking for your help.
When the new site is live, here’s what you can expect…
1. A much cleaner, better-looking layout. We know the current site is all junked up with the three columns and the ads cluttering the content area, and doing something to address that was a primary aim in the site redesign. The new site will move the bulk of the ad space to the top, where it will be visible but won’t interfere with navigating and reading.
2. Faster downloads. The current site is a pretty slow load, and it looks like we’re going to improve that nicely with the redesign. And for those of you who are regularly driven batty by the script errors the current site periodically inflicts upon you and wastes your time by freezing your browser, we think those problems will be cleaned up with the new version.
3. Much easier to find articles. Currently, if you come to the front page of the Hayride you’ll see articles and excerpts which scroll down from the top of the page, and after 10 of them are displayed you’ve got to navigate to the next page to find more. In practice what that generally means is once an article scrolls off the front page, you’ll have a devil of a time trying to find it.
With the new site, that’s going to be less of a problem, for two reasons. First, you’ll be able to navigate the site based on six general categories – Louisiana, National, Government, Elections, Energy and Lagniappe, and you’ll be able to go to those categories directly from a navigation bar under the masthead. But you’ll also be able to access the latest articles in each category from a list on the front page. That, in addition to a rotating marquee which will display the 10 latest entries in an easier format than the current site.
The long and short of it will be that while you might only be able to access 10 articles from the current front page of the Hayride, the new site will allow you to pull up three times that many. Should make for an easier time seeing what’s up on the site, particularly if you haven’t been on it for a few days.
4. External headlines. We’ve wanted to have a space on the site to highlight stuff from around the web, and specifically from other Louisiana media outlets. Now we’ll have it. That, of course, means the new site is perfectly well suited to be your start page (hint, hint).
5. Expandability. The current layout of the site is somewhat limited as to adding bells and whistles. This layout is a great deal better suited to it. So at some point we’ll be able to introduce more video, stuff like daily polls and so forth. With the new site, there will be new wrinkles showing up all the time.
So we’re pretty excited about this project, and we hope you are as well. Your help is very much appreciated in getting this thing finished, so if you’d like to play Santa Claus we’ve got two ways you can make it happen…
First, you can donate online via PayPal by clicking this link.
Or if you’d prefer the low-tech option, please feel free to send checks to…
Hayride Media, LLC
9007 Highland Rd., #15
Baton Rouge, LA 70810
Thanks in advance for any contributions you might be willing to make, and Happy Holidays!