One of the common comments I receive, in the survey and elsewhere, concerns the switch from web pages I wrote myself to the b2evolution blogging system.
Get rid of the current “blog”-style site format. Go back to the old format you had until a year or two ago. Make it like a normal website where you can easily find all the content on a front page that loads quickly and can click on what you want to read. The information the site contain is still great, though!
While I can appreciate someone not wanting something they like changing, there were reasons for the change that seemed valid to me, reasons that would not be apparent to anyone visiting the site.
First, putting together the information for the site, whether that’s staying up late on Monday night to create this week’s new releases list, or posting any of the other items that appear during the week, takes time. Considering I have a full time job, a wife, children, etc. it can be hard to find that time. Switching to a blog meant I no longer had to do all the html work by hand. Saving that time made my wife very happy, which in turn made me very happy.
Second, using a blog meant it was FAR easier to offer services like web feeds and email, especially connecting the site to Feedburner. Now instead of each action taking a step (post a message, email it, etc.), they all take one step, and each event takes care of itself. The only exception is posting the list to usenet, but that’s not so difficult considering the loyal community there.
Another thing that has saved time is working with Things From Another World. They have found ways to cut the time and effort it takes to sort the new releases list each week. Of course, that’s led to other complaints, but I’ll save that for another entry in this series.
The site format. It is hard to navigate, hard to read, and slow.
I think the web site could be better organized. It seems too tailored for the RSS feeds, which I don’t use.
I can’t blame b2evolution for any issues with navigation or slowness. I’ve tried to organize things better recently, with tabs across the top, and I’ve cut back and reorganized many of the items on the right hand side to make site loading faster. Again, there will be more on those questions later.
Thanks to everyone who has answered the survey, and please, if you haven’t, do it! I can’t address your concerns if I don’t know what they are.