Tuesday, November 6, 2018

SiteTogether is Responsive!

Being responsive may seem like a ridiculous thing to brag about in 2018 but in this case it's warranted. SiteTogether made an early push for mobile friendly browsing. Our first mobile-version was created in early 2011... back when compatibility with Blackberrys was a major concern. At the time  mobile browsing was just a weird thing done by early adopters or people in a pinch when they couldn't get to their main computer. That has changed. The mobile site has changed. We've made plenty of updates to the mobile site over the years. What was once almost an experimental set of mobile features evolved to become nearly an exact copy of the main site. In short, having a separate mobile version of the site just doesn't make as much sense as it used to.

We've known that a responsive design was going to be the future of SiteTogether for years. The arguments for having a separate mobile site don't really exist anymore and the arguments for a responsive structure are getting more compelling. We decided the time was right at the end of 2017 and began working on the initial design.

We always strive for clean and elegant solutions but we also don't want to leave anyone behind. Afterall, YMCA's aren't supposed to exclude anyone... even those with older web browsers. :) So as a policy, we don't pursue bleeding edge technology for SiteTogether. However, we've been able to hit the sweet spot on a few new pieces of technology that are well supported. In several places we've been able abandon old JavaScripts in favor of pure CSS alternatives. We've also replaced tables (class schedules primarily) with css grid layout. The css grid let us do very cool things with reordering data for mobile consumption.

This is the biggest design change since 2014 so we're pretty excited! If you'd like more information about the new layout or if you'd like to see a live demo, please get in touch!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

New Editor is in beta

We're very excited to announce that a new version of the content (page) editor is currently in beta and accessible to all who wish to use it. This has been in the works for a long time!  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Internet Explorer Compatibility. Recent versions of IE were incompatible with the old editor. The new version corrects this bug.
  • Resizable. The old editor had a fixed size. The new editor opens at a with used by the vast majority of pages and a height that is appropriate for the screen size being used. The editor can be enlarged olt the maximum with of a site together page sna can also be shrunk to simulate mobile browsing.
  • Improved rendering. The old editor have a few inconsistencies with the color of HTML links and other minor issues. These have been fixed.
  • Improved Styles. The old editor intentionally had minimal styling options to keep the look of pages consistent across the site. Unfortunately some needs were not being met with this approach causing individuals to create unique formatting that made for an inconsistent look.  There are a multitude of new formatting options available including:
    • 5 font-size options (upgraded from 3)
    • 3 Cachet font options (regular, semibold, bold)
    • 5 "Big Button" styles for calling out important links
    • Easy access to all 16 YMCA band standard colors.
  • Drag and Drop. The old editor had minimal support for drag and drop. This is now supported for adding images and text wherever possible. (Some browser/OS combinations may not fully support drag and drop.)
  • Improved Spell Check. Spell check is now more consistent across browsers.
  • Improved Toolbars. The toolbar buttons have been rearranged (slightly) to work in more screen sizes and group functions more appropriately. The look of buttons have been updated to be more clean and colorful which should make it easier to use.
  • Improved HTML Formatting. The editor now smartly uses paragraph tags instead of  adding double hard returns. This generally better and makes applying styles easier and more consistent.