Changes at Rambling Man

Published 7 May 2012

Point 1.  Yes I am there

If you’re a regular visitor here then you might notice some changes to the website. On the other hand, frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t.

Over the last few weeks – well, okay, months – I’ve been busy beavering away on a revamp to the website which, to be honest, is more design evolution rather than design revolution.

Evolution because the new site design is extremely similar to the old one. When you have something nice, why get change it for changes sake?

So if the main look is very similar to the old one, why change anything at all?

The reason is simple. In the year this site has been live, it’s grown and developed in various ways I didn’t originally think of. More updates, more content, more video. Sadly the old site was creaking a little behind the scenes and every time I tried to add something new to the mix, it got more difficult. So it was time to start again.

The new site has a several new benefits:

  1. new homepage – the new look homepage is a vast improvement, giving you quick and easy access to the latest content and showing off what is here far better than before. Plus it looks nicer thanks to good use of images!
  2. new mobile version – I, like many, have a smartphone. And I’ll tell you something – I get fed up with websites not catering properly to mobile users. So if you have a phone with a small screen, there’s now a simplified version of Rambling Man just for you. You don’t have to do anything – it just appears if you’re on a small screen. Just use the same web site address as normal and it will all work. And don’t worry. If you have an iPad or something, you shouldn’t see the mobile version there.
  3. support for bigger monitors – on the other end of the scale, Rambling Man can also go wider too. Before the maximum page width was 1000 pixels – now it goes up to 1200 pixels wide. So if you’ve got one of those widescreen monitors, the site will look lovely in it.
  4. adapts better to all screen sizes – I’ve always tried to design my websites to support whatever screen size you lot use. But that’s not always easy – if I used a large image, people on a small screen would get horizontal scrollbars. That shouldn’t happen with the new site – images will scroll and resize automatically. Oh and video will too. As long as you have a relatively recent browser, it should all work nicely. No more needing to resize your web browser just to make these pages fit – it will now just fit to whatever your browser window is.
  5. easier to read – sometimes the smallest changes are the least noticeable but have the biggest impact. I’ve adjusted the fonts used on the site. The new settings are – in my mind anyway – much easier to read. I hope you agree.

What hasn’t changed is the content and the ethos of the site. But the new design will make it easier for me to add content, and to restructure the site as it grows. This year will see the addition of new sections on the Clarendon Way, Glyndwr’s Way and the North Downs Way, as well as (hopefully) several additional Wainwrights. And that’s just the start.

Indeed with all this on the way, quite how I’m supposed to find time to actually do any walking is an entirely different matter!

Your Comments

CentralUser

7 May 2012 at 4:12 pm

Hi Andrew,

It does indeed all look very neat and tidy. Using a netbook, your site appears to have been especially designed for it, and the mobile version is also better than some of the mainstream competition. Anyone would think you worked in IT.

I appreciate how much behind the scenes work has gone into the revamp – The only problem is if, like me, people read your blog via RSS then nothing has changed. Of course that is not a problem, more a reflection of the way people consume internet content and interact with each other on the internet.

Keep up the good work!

CU

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

7 May 2012 at 11:16 pm

Thanks. I do enjoy messing with a bit of web design every now and then – and good to keep up the old skills. It’s been many a year since I built web pages for a living. Nine in fact!

I know what you mean though. A huge chunk of my own internet usage is via RSS as well! Thankfully the effort won’t be entirely wasted – the web stats show that I get a few people coming direct to the website!

Your Comments