Gizmo DuckFor over a month now we have been working on a site redesign here at CyberNet. And finally, the time for us to release it is coming very soon. I guess the term “redesign” doesn’t really justify the changes we’ve made though, because aside from the graphical differences, there are some huge new features coming as well!




We’ve had a heck of a time trying to keep track of all the new features. As it stands right now, we’ve got a two-page bulleted list (1,200+ words) of things we don’t want to forget about. So today I’m not going to dive into the details of what we’re going to bring to the table, but I’m going to give you a brief overview of what you’re going to see.

  1. You’ll get too choose between viewing the normal length articles on the homepage as well as a new condensed view. And no, it isn’t the standard “excerpt” that some WordPress blogs post…we’ve taken it a step further. If you’re trying to quickly shuffle through a bunch of articles… the condensed view will be the way to go!
  2. TIPS! We love the tips that we get from all of you, and so we thought about how we could make sending tips even easier. We’ve come up with a bookmarklet that, when clicked, will open in a popup window. It is a stripped-down fast-loading version of our current tips page. It will automatically fill in the subject line with the title of the page that you’re currently on, and will enter in the URL for you. If you’re a registered user it will also enter in your own name, email, and website address which almost makes sending a tip a two-click process.
  3. Completely customized user management screen where you can do things like Manage your CyberMarks, look through your Unread Comments, and view some of the stats from the blog. Oh, and I almost forgot to say that this is also where you’ll customize the settings for our new features. :)
  4. The CyberMarks system has been completely rewritten and has got to be one of the most powerful blog-specific bookmarking systems available. There have been almost 1,000 articles CyberMarked by our users, and some of you appear to love them! I know ,I know, if you have a lot of CyberMarks it can be a pain to find them. But we’ve solved that problem. Just wait, it’ll be great.
  5. Thumbnails…we’ve been using these all over the blog because a picture can say so much more than words in certain situations. The problem is that shuffling through the thumbnails can be time consuming as you sit there and open each one in a new tab, or click on them individually and hit the back button in your browser. The natural solution that everyone seems to use it Lightbox, but to be honest, I have a strong disliking for that. It’s similar in some ways, mainly that all of the thumbnails open right in front of you without loading another page, but it’s a lot faster and looks better!
  6. Huge improvement in the AJAX commenting. We rewrote the AJAX commenting so that it now uses a new system for publishing your comment. That “Posting your comment” screen is hardly visible anymore because the comment gets posted so fast!
  7. Spam is a problem on nearly all blogs, so to help get around that we’re adding a “Report a Comment” feature to every comment. The button is small and discrete, but it’s there if it’s needed. A popup a window will appear for you to notify us of the spam, and it will prefill all of the fields for you.
  8. Editing your comments is now way easier.
  9. Unread Comments, after completely rewriting the system to be user configurable…well…I think you’re gonna like this. ;)

We’ve been working extremely hard trying to get all of this done, and instead of using a bunch of WordPress plug-ins, we’ve done almost everything ourselves. In fact, we virtually have no plug-ins on the site because we’ve gone ahead and implemented all of the features ourselves. It was a lot of work, but we think it’ll be worth it.

As far as the design goes, we’ve received a lot of grief in the past for not having a “Web 2.0″ look. With the new design, we’re hoping that both new and returning visitors will feel welcomed. As far as colors go here are the primary ones that you’ll be seeing:

Sitecolors

The colors are definitely a big change for us, but we think they fit with the look we’re going for. We know not everybody will like them because it is a change, but we are hopeful that they’ll grow on you :)

When can you expect to see the new design popup? We’re not quite sure yet, but it is getting really close. We’re going to be busting our tails both this weekend and the upcoming week in hopes of getting the new site posted next weekend.

Comments, feedback, suggestions? Let us know…