This site has been online for nearly a week, allowing us ample time to test, debug and make adjustments; it's time to make it official. Welcome to the new Pro Ball NW, designed and hosted by NW-based Gooey Studios!
You've had some time to explore the site but I'd like to take a moment to point out a few things. This site is designed to be very fast, user friendly and geared toward reading, but there will undoubtedly be an adjustment period. The old site went without major changes for four years.
The left-side navigation bar has everything from the sidebars of the old site but displayed in a clean, compact manner. From top we have Home, Twitter, Facebook, Authors, Links, and RSS feed. Hover over the Authors button to access author pages and read about our authors and browse their individual contributions. Some were concerned that we did away with the links, but just hover over the Links button to easily jump to other great Mariners blogs.
A few may be skeptical about the move away from the traditional blog home page, but displaying the articles in this fashion makes browsing easier, especially during busy posting times like the trade deadline. The article photos and hover-over previews allow readers to quickly grasp what is available. Most importantly, this new site is so much faster than the old one that clicking through to an article will prove to be no hassle at all.
You can access and search older posts via the link at the bottom of the page.
A few readers have expressed concern with the readability of the article text but the developer and I have had a hard time understanding the problem. So far, every device I've tested the site on has delivered text much easier to read than what we had on the old site. Regardless, we've gone ahead and made the text significantly darker for those that are having a hard time with it.
Please note that your combination of monitor, display settings and internet browser will determine the way text is rendered. I won't suggest upgrading your monitor simply to view our website, but you may want to check your screen resolution and consider a free upgrade to your web browser if you're still using Internet Explorer. Try Google Chrome. Once you get used to it you'll wonder how you ever put up with IE.
Quick Article Browser
Below each article is the Quick Article Browser, a northwest green button. Hover over it to reveal PBNW's ten most recent articles.
The Facebook social plug-in allows you to comment via (surprise!) Facebook but will also let users log in via their Yahoo, AOL or Hotmail accounts. There are a few benefits to this system. Keeping track of your conversations is now a little easier. You can be notified via the account you logged in with when someone replies to one of your comments, and you also have the ability to get notifications for other threads via the "Follow Post" link on each comment. Furthermore, having Facebook host the comments allows us to keep the rest of the site moving as fast as possible.
We are still working on a dedicated mobile site, so some of you can look forward to that.
The reception thus far has been overwhelmingly positive but some are understandably skeptical. If it hasn't already, I truly believe this site will win you over. This project was all about challenging the sports blog status quo and delivering a fast, clean, user-friendly reading platform. I think we've made a big step in the right direction. I hope you think so, too.
And now we can get back to the most important part: the content!