Our website began life in July of 2009. It's had many iterations since then, mostly just differences in design as I have learned more and more about web design and development. However, something more was needed, and in January, we embarked on a site-wide redesign of our website. Today, we've (mostly) finished. But if you're wondering what this means for you, please allow me to elaborate.
A whopping 40% of our traffic comes from smartphones and tablets, but our previous site didn't conform to those screens. Text was tiny, and you couldn't easily read anything on those smartphone screens. Tablets were better, but not great. Our number one priority on our new site was to ensure that it looked great, regardless of what device you visited it on.
Our old comment system wasn't great. This new comment system allows for sign-in with Facebook, making it simple to sign-in and comment on our blog posts and articles. It even has reply-threading, so any reader can easily follow a conversation carried on in the comments, and allows us to specifically reply to a commenter. Hopefully interaction on our articles will jump with the new comment system!
Once Step Closer to E-Commerce
Our new platform allows us to sell products from our website, and while we will be slowly increasing our online offerings (and I mean slowly), it does allow for us to expand into more online sales in the future. We're still a long way off from offering our entire inventory online, but this gets us one step closer to that reality.
However, that means that I stripped out the "products" section of our previous site. Instead of listing the items we carry in store, we'll eventually be adding to the actually for-sale-on-our-website products. As I said, that will be a slow build up, so for now, if you're looking for product information, please contact us directly.
Faster News & More Content
Over time, our previous website grew to be almost entirely custom code, even on the blog posts and news updates. This meant everything took additional time to post and code. This new platform strips away the need to custom code, and will make it significantly faster to post to the website. This means more relevant news and editorial content in less time.
Auto-Updating Front Page
Our previous front page needed manual interaction to update with all the latest news and updates. Our new front page will automatically reflect the newest news, blog posts, and Facebook updates. So make sure to stop by our front page frequently to see the most up-to-date information!
We fully expect there to be issues that we find as we move forward, but we'll handle those in stride and keep our site working like a well oiled machine. If you find a broken link, or something that doesn't seem to be working right, please let us know in the comments below!