For the last couple of months, I’ve been expanding the Blantyre Project website structure. Thats not to be confused by the content which grows every day, but it’s the actual structure, layout, navigation that i’ve been working tirelessly on.
Since this site was created 5 years ago, i’ve been wanting to get rid of the old fashioned, dropdown menus in the navigation. They clutter up the website, can often pop up when your mouse scrolls over them at unwanted times and of course they are limited in what you can add to them on screen, meaning, they’re not future proof or good for a website with expanding content on the scale of Blantyre Project. They’re also unfriendly to search engines.
SO…there were so many pages and sections here to attend to, but I’m pleased to say that this weekend has now seen a MASSIVE upgrade to Blantyre Project website uploading many weeks of work, removing all those annoying dropdown menus, and implementing a proper, clean and simple navigation structure in menu format, actually on the page you’re on. It keeps the headings simple, like “Places” or “People”, but when you go to that page you will now see an extensive submenu, to choose from! I’ve another huge upload coming in June, which will complete this task, but for now, here’s a full list of this month’s improvements and additions:
- Removed the annoying dropdown menus on People and Places and created a deeper file structure, which will future proof the site for adding content in a structured manner.
- Removed unnecessary clutter from the pages, keeping navigation and wording concise.
- Copyright notices added to pages and all articles, following the problems i’m having with ainother site taking content without permission.
- Commencement 2 weeks ago of watermarking ALL images on the website. (Not retrospectively, only going forward). An unedited, quality non watermark high resolution copy of each image is held by Blantyre Project for exhibitions and publications.
- Improved search engine optimisation for Blantyre Project being found on Google.
- Split “Low Blantyre” content on places tab into “Low Blantyre” and “The Village”, creating separate sections for each and faster page loading times.
- Split “Auchinraith” content on places tab into “Auchinraith” and “Springwells”, creating separate sections for each.
- Made landing page more pictorial with direct links to new sections.
- Inserted tracker code for a variety of functions, including use of content and visibility of what I have published already to books, and still require to.
- Schools tab able to sort either by Year or by School.
- Created extensive new subsections in the People section. Business Directory A-Z | Entertainers | Sports Legends | Sports Clubs | Heritors | Famous Folk | Estate Owners | Organisations | Professions which makes certain things easier to find for visitors, creates specific interest sections and assists me filing/archiving articles properly. It also enables me to archive the Professions section of Employment in Blantyre, something i’ve been working on a lot this year.
- Making some subsections more navigable and pictorial. This is slightly for aesthetic purposes, but as doing this limits space for such a large archive, picture navigation is kept to just a few pages, with archiving much preferred by myself and visitors in an alphabetical, logical or yearly basis. i.e if you so choose, you could go directly into say “Stories about People in Springwells during 1931“. Thats the level of targeted navigation I’m aiming at for visitors!
- Improvements to the Submit Page, so that people submitting photos, questions and stories know that it may take some time to respond and auto confirmation of receipt.
- Finally, an absolutely huge undertaking, in filing away the People photos, not by decade (which previously had one enormous page of photos per decade), but now in a massive new section, with photos on a year by year basis, e.g 1901, 1902, 1903 for EACH area of Blantyre etc. I’m so relieved this task is well progressed, for it means more accurate archiving of photos and much faster page loading times. I’ve just found out that it allows me to put the photos into “magazine” or trendy, poster tiled, larger formats which I think is MUCH better, rather than wee clinical thumbnails in a row previously. There’s still some way to go until completed, but Photos already archived by this new format look MUCH better!
Changes may be subtle for the visitor, but I assure you it makes my life a whole load easier, freeing up further time for writing and the satisfaction that Blantyre Project is future proofed for adding masses more content to the archive in the coming years.