This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Completely responsive design

Saint Joseph's College unveiled its new website today. The new site has the same web address as the old site, but it has a completely different look. As I was trying to get to it tonight, I kept getting the old site. I finally figured out that putting saintjoe.edu into the browser gave me the old site. To get to the new site, I needed to put www.saintjoe.edu. I think both addresses should lead to the same site, a mistake that should be corrected quickly.

Here is the press release from SJC. I spent about an hour talking to the people in charge of the site (though I was too late to hear from the mStoner people, the company that provided the structure and the hard programming) to find out what their vision was. The priority audience for the new website is the prospective student. The old website tried to be all things to all people. The "mySJC" link takes the user back to the old website, and it will become the place to go for current students, who have different needs and interests than prospective students. The athletic and alumni pages remain on different sites. The athletic pages use a vendor that serves the other schools in the GLVC, and because all the schools are using the same platform, they can standardize some of the sports reporting and statistics across the conference.

The computer people in charge of the site were most proud of the completely responsive design. I had never heard of this concept, so I asked lots of questions. If you go to the new website and re-size the window, you will notice that everything, including the pictures, adjusts to the size of the window (unless you make it very small). The idea is that people will be looking at the website with a variety of different platforms. Some people will have large monitors and others will have smart phones. With responsive web design, the pages automatically adjust to the device being used. This is important because many young people (those prospective students) are doing a lot of web browsing on tiny devices.

If you are not a prospective or actual student but just a resident of the area and you want to know what is going on at Saint Joe's, click on the calendar link immediately below the big picture. Each of the events on the calendar is a link and clicking on it will give you more information about the event. Sometimes there is not much information and sometimes there is a lot--it depends on what the people sponsoring the event have made available.

There will be more people able to put information on the site, so content should be better than with the old site, where updating was more time consuming. I asked about how the site worked and learned that it is a database driven site. On my old, archaic site, each page is a separate file. On a database driven site, the pages do not exist as files but are generated from a database of text and pictures. Somehow the web crawlers that index the web for Google and Bing are able to read what is in the database as if it were on web pages.

To get people to come to the roll out, the college was providing free food and drinks at the Jazzman Cafe. There were long lines while I was there, and apparently it had been the same all morning.

Sorry, no pictures today. If you want pictures. look at the interview of the new SJC woman's basketball coach. Forty plus years ago he was a neighbor of mine in Glenville, West Virginia, though I did not know him. He lived a block or two from where I lived. Now he lives a couple blocks from me in Rensselaer. What are the odds of something like that happening?



On a completely different note, does anyone have some decent apples left on their trees that they would like to donate to a good cause? If you do, contact me at the rensselaeradventures at yahoo.com address.

1 comment:

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Such a nice article about responsive theme and others as well.I am glad to see here about these things.So nice article in which you have mention all details on every aspect of website design.

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