News: Our Triumphant Return
Okay—the title is a bit cheesy, but we’ve been gone for awhile, and I know you were getting sick of seeing the splash screen and wondering if we’ve just been sitting around doing nothing. Well, rest assured that we’ve spent every free moment during this “vacation” working on what’s surrounding this text…the newest version of SchwarzTech.
You might hate it, think it’s too “bloggy”, be annoyed that all your bookmarks are broken, or some other thing, but we guarantee it’s all for the best. We’re using WordPress as our engine with a modified version of the K2 Theme. We’d like to think that the design is rather familiar for those of you who have become regular visitors on SchwarzTech. There are plenty of other plugins to further enhance the experience, but we’ve carefully picked out things to benefit you, our readers and not just have the “wow factor”.
If you’re an RSS visitor of our site, please update your feed to the new one, schwarztech.us/feed.
First, everything is dynamic, meaning that when we add stuff, it gets added everywhere instead of us needing to edit the RSS feed, article/review indices, the home page, and latest items. This will save time and make it easier for us to post new things more often.
This brings us to the second addition—news. Since we can publish smaller things and not worrying about needing to link them everywhere, we’ll do just that. We won’t publish every press release, but we’ll get the biggies and inject our usual commentary with them.
Our search has also been enhanced. For most users, it’s a live-search, meaning that once you start typing, it starts finding (like Spotlight). Another cool addition is the Archives page, which features an instant-updating index of all of our content.
In terms of usability, the site has gained some other features. At the end of every post, there are buttons for sharing it on Digg, Newsvine, and others. We think that this is important both for us (to get the word out) and these sites, as they need content like ours. Reviews have also been changed to be a bit easier to read—product facts have been moved to the end of the review, allowing for a slightly cleaner layout.
Another new feature is that we let you chime in if you feel the need to. Every post features a comments section, so share your thoughts on something. If you have a Gravatar, our comments system supports it. We will moderate comments, and ask that you’re polite and factual (if responding to a review), but think that this will build a community on this site.
We’re still putting the finishing touches on things, but think you’ll enjoy the changes that have been made. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be adapting things that work or don’t work to bring some stability to the site, but right now we’re fairly happy with what’s here.
Finally, no redesign would be complete on any Apple-related site this week without extending congratulations to The Iconfactory, who also unveiled a new site a few days ago. They’ve had much more content to deal with, and the new design is fantastic.