|Edition 402: 1st October 2015|
Hi ExplorOz Reader,
We are excited to advise you of changes to ExplorOz. Launched late yesterday, you'll find that the website has changed significantly in both styling and function. ExplorOz is still the same but is now built on the modern "responsive design", which simply means that ExplorOz.com will now work for you no matter what device you are using - from PC to tablet to smartphone. In launching this new site, you no longer need to use the m.exploroz.com site for visiting ExplorOz from your phone so please make the switch.
As soon as you open the new site, you'll see a modern new look with larger fonts, larger buttons, and a clean, fresh colour palette. The first thing you'll see is the top of the site has changed dramatically, with a simplification of navigation and removal of clutter. Notice the removal of the side bar ads - the site content is now full width and easier to read. Whilst advertising revenue is critical to the operation of ExplorOz we have rearranged advertising to offer a layout that is much easier on the eye, plus all MREC (large square) ads are removed for logged in Members.
Most of the site logic, tools and features remain the same but are just presented differently. The layout will change depending on the width of the screen of your computer/device - hence the term "responsive".
There are a couple of noteworthy "new" features:-
The first, is the inclusion of an arrow indicating the direction of Places near your current location, along with distance and Place Type. A refresh button allows to rebuild this list if you move position.
The other, is the inclusion of a highlighted post in the Forum Index view to show which posts are new, or which have had new comments since you last opened the post. This feature is only available to registered users.
Work in Progress
Regular site users may notice some site features are temporarily missing or not displaying as they should, but we hope to resolve this ASAP. These include:- Photo captions & ratings, Trek Maps & Search for Trek by Map, Blogs Photo View, Locked Blogs cannot be unlocked except by author, States & Regions Articles, Members File Swap cannot upload new files, Search does not include Recipes & Wildflowers, coverage map for items in shop, BMI article, Speed/Pace Calculator Article, Tyre Size Calculator article. If you find errors other than those listed above, please let us know by sending an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why did we change?
We understand that many people dislike change but we can assure you this has not been done just because we were bored! Going responsive is a very important step for all web business in today's world due to the rapid uptake of smartphone and tablet use and the very wide range of devices and variances of screen resolutions and screen widths. You will have noticed many websites are already responsive, and if not now, they soon will be or risk failing to meet their customers needs.
As a result of being responsive, the layout has some very tight restrictions that you might find difficult to adjust to initially. With that said, we think the improvements are worth it. As with all things new, it will take some getting used to. We know that Forum users will notice quite a significant change and initially you may not think we've got it right - but time will tell and we ask for your patience and understanding to allow us to finish the roll out (completing WIP above).
In addition, I.T. Beyond Pty Ltd - the parent company of ExplorOz.com, has contracts with a couple of other sites to provide the same site structure under license. The site structure is therefore a standardised platform that meets the needs of more than one user-group. You can see the other sites operating our platform at Bush Tracker Owners Group, TriathlonOz.com and I.T. Beyond.
These sites were also re-launched late yesterday.
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