This quiet time seemed like as good an opportunity as any to get the website re-designed and re-launched and after a plea on this blog and on adverts.ie Kevin of Alpha IT Solutions offered to take on the task gratis.
As you can see for yourself the site is vastly improved on its original design (which was mangled together from a basic WP theme by myself). The whole thing just looks neater than before, is more accessible and also works better in various resolutions and browsers.
Most importantly, though, it is built entirely with the series in mind and the podcasts will be extremely easy to find and listen to no matter what way you want to receive and hear them.
A critical part of ensuring this was to have an interactive constituency map and it’s turned out exactly as planned. Rather than have readers searching categories to download the files they want the map lets them click on the constituency they’re looking for and either stream or download a file – be it the overall constituency audio to the individual TD interviews. There’ll also be some constituency information and TD biographies where possible.
The constituency information is still to be uploaded in most cases, but if you want to see what it’ll look like check out Carlow-Kilkenny which is our “demo” page at the moment (there’s some test audio on there I lifted from Newstalk too – just a few seconds here and there to give you an idea of what it will look like).
There are one or two other pages that need to have their content edited or amended but otherwise the site is good to go.
As you can guess from this post, I am more than thrilled with the way the site ended up and I have Kevin at Alpha IT to thank for that. He took the job on knowing it wasn’t a paying gig but treated me like a high-paying customer throughout.
I came to him with a basic sketch of what I wanted for the individual constituency pages and made clear that the only thing I was keen on keeping from the old site was the logo – as you can see the whole thing is very different and all the better.
What I was most amazed by was the admin page created by them to manage the map, however. Through it I can upload the image and audio for each TD or constituency and it just drops it right in place along with the stream, download link, file information, everything. My limited knowledge of code leads me to believe that it operates via some kind of witchcraft or wizardry.
So head over the DÃ¡il30.ie and check it out for yourself – if you’ve any comments, questions, complaints, whatever, just let me know in a comment or via email.
The site will be going into its next “phase” now as preparations are made for the beginning of the series so if you want to keep up to date on it all just add the feed (top right corner) to your RSS Reader or subscribe via email (left column).