I had three main goals during the build: make the site easy for users to navigate, keep it clean, and increase site performance. During beta testing, no users got lost in the bowels of the site, so I assume site navigation has improved. When you log in for the first time, you might be disappointed by the lack of colors of images. This was all done in an effort to clean up the site, and also help with the websites performance. YakAngler 3.0 loads 30% faster than the current website, hopefully solving the speed of loading issue that many of you have experienced. Here is a breakdown of some of the improvements to the new site:
New Layout and Navigation
Registered user menu – Depending on your user level, once logged in you’re provided with a submenu that allows easy access your forum signature, YakSocial profile, and more.
Uncluttered home page – The new home page has been trimmed significantly. All new articles will display in one location as opposed to three.
Slimmed down menu – The main menu has had a complete overhaul. I’ve removed 90% and replaced it with an easy-to-navigate page menu.
Author profiles – All YakAngler Staff members will have dedicated author profiles displaying their bio and social media profiles. I also added the author’s sponsors to each profile. This way, all the cards are on the table when you’re reading a product review.
Article comments – Along with the standard commenting system you’re used to, I added the ability to comment using Facebook Comments.
Recurring events- YakSocial now allows you to schedule recurring events with daily, weekly, and monthly repetitions.
Document sharing in groups – You now have the ability to upload files into your YakSocial groups and share them with other users.
Better notification system – The new site offers more ways to be notified of events and things happening on the site.
Video tagging – You can now tag videos the same way you tag photos in YakSocial.
Facelift –The forum didn’t get any significant new features, but it did get a facelift with new colors and icons.
Social Sharing – One featured I added to the forums is the ability to share posts through Twitter, Facebook and Google +
I’m sure there are a few other changes I’ve forgotten to mention, but what fun is exploring if you already know the way? I plan to launch the new site this weekend, barring any unforeseen issues. I’ll keep everyone updated as to when the launch will happen. I’d like to thank all the members of the community who helped me debug the site. This launch would have been much later without your help!