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New website goes live

posted 2 Apr 2016, 02:17 by Surrey Bellringers   [ updated 3 Apr 2016, 13:13 ]
Over the Easter weekend I made the move to a new website. 

Although hosted on new servers the site retains the old address:

The new site is hosted by an established European based web hosting company who provide a fully managed service (full software stack, security, backups and recovery are all part of the price rather than extras).  Our previous host, Just Host, will continue to provide our domain management and email services.  

Web page requests to the root domain ( without the www.) resolve to a custom redirect page served by Just Host.

The new site incorporates all the map, calendar and news blog innovations we have introduced to our site since the beginning of the year.

The new site is focussed on being a 'shop window' and providing easy access to the essential and most frequently used information.  Behind this, a new wiki format has been adopted to make it easier to create, edit and discover the many other pages of mainly text based information we maintain.  The wiki is hosted independently of the main site and has its own sub domain:

Both the main site and wiki are mobile adaptive with specially designed templates used to provide a much improved mobile user experience.

All the text and photos have been carried over from the old site.  Although completely restyled and restructured the content is largely just cut and paste.  I've done a little editing but have created very little new content.  I’m confident nothing has been lost in the move and the old site is fully archived.   I aim to make as much of the historic content as possible accessible on the wiki.

Despite a very different layout I’ve carried over a couple of subtle design elements to maintain some brand continuity.  The background map is retained and the colouring of the logo uses shades that were on the old home page.

The entire transformation has been achieved for a financial outlay of just £108, of which £81 is annually renewable.

The web presence we have now is modular, flexible and open.  We can swap bits around and restyle them with ease without much effort or incurring additional cost. 

Great websites don’t just happen, they are more often than not achieved through an iterative process of trying things out and seeing what works and what doesn't.  I hope therefore that far from being seen as a finished product you will view the website as a work in progress.  If there are bits missing, not quite hitting the spot or just in need of a little tweaking please let me know about it, I will appreciate the feedback.