Welcome to the new(ish) RVANews

Did you notice? On April 6th we rolled out some changes to RVANews. Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve changed.

Did you notice? On April 6th we rolled out some changes to RVANews. Most of the changes, which we’d been working on for months, are hidden away deep in the bowels of the backend, never to be seen by users like you.1

But these changes were desparately needed. For the last three, years every time we developed new functionality, or created a new bit of visual design, we’d tack it on without giving much thought to the overall structure of the site. We did this a lot. And what we ended up with a shambling pile of code that we couldn’t update or maintain. The way the data was organized looked like the inside of a pumpkin. Making a small change was either annoying, arduous, or impossible.

Hopefully we’ve now fixed most of those problems.

The biggest change that you may notice is the typography and layout of the articles. We’ve increased the readability of the site by approximately two trillion: the text is larger, the sidebars less garish, and the headlines set in a nice new typeface. The width of the site is a bit wider so pictures are a bit bigger and everything has more room to breath.

We’ve also added more information about our authors, which lives directly below each article. There you’ll find a picture, a short bio, and a link to their website and Twitter.2 We hope it’ll give you a better feel for who is behind each story.

Finally, we’ve added a new section to our homepage (down by the community news). While covering Richmond’s news we come across a lot of content (photos, links, quotes, etc) that never makes it up on to the site. Most of this information is interesting and worthwhile, so we’ve created a place for it. Think of this section like a reporter’s notebook where interesting tidbits get filed away.

It took a while to get done3, but we’re happy with how it turned out. If you have any problems or questions about the changes, don’t hesitate to ask!

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  1. For those interested in bowels and backends: the new theme, while it looks very similar to the previous theme, has been rebuilt from the ground up by our resident genius. He’d know way more about what was involved than I, and I’m sure he’d love to tell you about it. 
  2. We’re still working to fill all this information in for our regular contributors. 
  3. The name of the project in Basecamp was “The Great 2010 Redesign.” 
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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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