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Saturday, December 20, 2014

LBS gets a makeover – explaining the new design

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably noticed that the site has undergone a re-design. We hope you like it. Let’s talk a little bit about it since this is a pretty big change.

After having the site look the same for several years, we figured it was about time to upgrade and update. You have no idea how old some of the code on the site was. The first time I installed a theme on this site was 2007. I upgraded to a newer version of that theme a few years later and just made several customizations over the years as I saw fit. To give you an understanding, think of an older car that was in good shape and a little souped up. That’s kind of how the old site was.

As cool as the old site was, it lacked many of the features that are standard in new sites. The new site has cleaner code and should help pages load much quicker. Another big feature with the new layout is that it’s mobile responsive, meaning the site should look great on your phone or tablet. Because a lot of our traffic now comes from mobile devices, we wanted to transition to a design that would look nice on your tablet or phone.

We also wanted to try giving you a site that looks familiar and still resembles the old LBS despite having newer features. We hope we have achieved that, though we know the new homepage layout may have thrown you off. We also know many of you liked the simplicity of the old homepage and are here to help.

As you’ve seen, the new layout actually has a homepage with featured stories and whatnot rather than just taking you straight to the blog. But, for those who liked the old simple layout, we do have a link that will take you to the old blog look. In the black “nav bar” in the header, you can see a link to “old blog view.” Similarly, at the bottom of the homepage, you will see a link that says “SEE ALL POSTS.” Both of those links takes you to this page: http://larrybrownsports.com/blog

If you prefer to see all our posts in reverse chronological order like the old homepage, you can click on either of those links from the homepage, or just bookmark this link: http://larrybrownsports.com/blog.

Now for an explanation about how the homepage works. The black nav bar will take you to all our stories on the featured sports or categories at the top. Below the navbar are five categories (currently NFL, MLB, NBA, WAGs and Gossip). The most recent story from each category is featured. You can click on each tab to see the most recent story in those featured categories.

Below that on the left is the most recent story from the police blotter category. Below that to the right is our featured stories section. Those are handpicked by the LBS editors because they are ones we’d like to feature. Hopefully this will give more visibility to certain posts so they’re not buried.

Then below that are the six most recent posts at the site. You might see duplicates here. Say the most recent story we published was an NFL story, that story will appear in the NFL tab at the top, and also in the top spot in “latest posts.” There are only previews on each story, so if you want to read the full story you have to click on the headline or link that says “continue reading.”

After you’ve gone through the most recent posts and want to see older posts, you can click on “SEE ALL POSTS.” That will take you to the old blog view. You’re then going to see the 7 most recent posts from the homepage, but if you keep scrolling you’ll see all the older posts. From there you can click to page 2 and 3 just like the old site.

Hopefully this explains the new layout so you can get exactly what you want out of LBS.

Thank you very much for reading the site. You have no idea how much Del and I appreciate it. We really work hard to give you a product we think you’ll enjoy and we thank you for reading and spreading the word.

Also, if you have any feedback on the new layout, please share it with us. If you have recommendations, complaints or even praise, we’d like to hear it. And if you’ve noticed something that isn’t working properly, please send us an email. We take everything into consideration and aim to please.

Thank you very much for reading and supporting the site.

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