Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

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Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Folks - You may remember that a friend of mine, who isn't into trucks, looked the website over and suggested a number of changes. One of those was to create a new home page that would include static info that would help people understand how to use the website and the forum.

I've taken a stab at that, and it is currently in Bullnose Forum/New Home Page in the menu. BUT I VERY MUCH WANT YOUR INPUT!!!!

The theory here is that the forum page itself would lose the "pic of the month/year/decade" that currently shows Cory's truck, as that pic would move to the new home page, making the load of the forum pages that much faster. And, in order to make the forum's main page as skinny as possible, the prayer might move to the new home page as well - as I've shown.

And, in an effort to help people understand what is on the website I created a sort of outline that you'll see on the potential home page. But, that created a whole host of problems:
  1. It is quite long as it is trying to mimic what you see in the menu, which has lots of entries. And, I used a lot of words.
  2. It raises lots of questions about why things are where they are.
  3. It raises the question of whether each item listed should be a hot link. To see what I'm on about look at Fasteners & Illustrations. I can do that on most things, but is it helpful?

So I badly need help and feedback on this. Does it make sense? Is it too long? Is it helpful? What else should be on the home page? Is it a bad or good idea?

HELP, PLEASE!
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

Rembrant
Gary Lewis wrote
The theory here is that the forum page itself would lose the "pic of the month/year/decade" that currently shows Cory's truck, as that pic would move to the new home page, making the load of the forum pages that much faster.  
I think it's time for a new Bullnose truck picture...lol. I'm sure somebody else on here has a nice Bullnose pic they'd like to share?

Gary I can't comment on the forum too much until I actually start using it after the changes. My forum usage is 99% on a PC, so any issues showing up on phones or iPads, etc are pretty much irrelevant to me. I'm all for improving everybody's experience, but I currently don't have any complaints with the format.
I read the forum on my phone sometimes, but I don't post with the phone...not very often at least.
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

Dorsai
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
Gary, I think you're on the right track with the changes. Some random thoughts:
  • Would it be possible to have a forum URL that could be bookmarked directly? 99% of the time when I come to the site it's to visit the forum, I'd love to be able to bookmark it directly.
  • I do think the photo needs to be moved away from the forum page. It's a beautifully-composed photo of a sharp truck, but it takes up a lot of screen real estate.
  • Speaking of photos, how many Bullnoses will be at the show? It might be fun to line them all up for a picture.
  • The 'potential home page' is awfully wordy, as you said. Maybe the home page just needs to have the BOTM (Bullnose of the Month) photo, the Ford Prayer, and then just a very few links (with text descriptions) to landing pages for the key features of the site - the forum, the parts catalogs, a Gary page, and whatever else there may be?
  • Speaking of 'whatever else', maybe it's time for a member truck photo album? That would then be a pool that could be drawn upon for the BOTM photo.
Matthew
1980 F-150 Custom 2wd longbed, 300-6, C6, 2.75 rear axle
Atlanta GA
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

salans7
I personally think anything regarding forum and/or site "how-to" and "where are?" should be placed in a sticky on the forum home page, rather than on the site's home page. What you are proposing is way too wordy, and I honestly would never read all of that if I was a new member. Most new members want to get right to posting and researching. A simple description of this site and a few quick links would suffice for the home page. Maybe have a quick link that leads to the forum and site "how to" sticky.
-Shaun
1980/86/90 Ford F350 4x4 351W/NP435/Sterling
2003 Ford Ranger V6/M5OD/8.8--Detroit True-Trac L/S, Hurst Short Throw, 4" Suspension, 3" Body Lift, Mustang Cobra Rear Disc Swap, and a few other mods....
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

Ray Cecil
Im taking little blue to Pine Mountain KY this fall with my sweetheart, Holly. Gary, Ill take an awesome picture for that new homepage pic Cory wants...lol.

As far as formatting goes....my android works just fine with the current format. No complaints from me.
Ray Cecil
1982 Flareside 300 Six, Hedman Headers, 4x4, SROD 4 Speed, 1 Wire HEI "Little Blue 82"....
1969 Impala Custom Coupe, 86,000 miles, 327, Powerglide.
1999 Silverado, 346,000 miles, 5.3 Automatic Z71 4WD
2008 Tahoe (wife's)

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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Ok guys, you are telling me pretty much what I expected - the proposed home page is way too wordy.  So let me try to think "out loud".

The perceived need was to move the picture and the prayer off the forum to make it load faster and clear up some real estate.  And the suggested solution was to create this new "home page" and move those things to it.

But that really begs the question of how people find us.  Will they ever find the new home page?  And if they do find that page, once they've read the few words on it, is there a need to ever go back to it?

Matthew wants a URL that brings one to the forum directly - and http://www.garysgaragemahal.com currently does that.  But if we have a new home page that won't be the case as that URL will take you to the new home page.  So anyone that has already bookmarked it will have to then click another link to go from the new home page to the forum.

Shaun suggested that we have stickies to handle 'forum and/or site "how-to" and "where are?"'

So, what if we just keep the forum as the home page and instead of hiding the "how-to" info in the menu under Bullnose Forum we put up more stickies?  We could have a sticky folder for those kinds of things.

But, what about the pic of the month/year/century?  Do we have a sticky for that?

I'm getting confused.    Perhaps it is time for bed.  What we have isn't badly broken and I fear that I'm trying to make too big of a change to solve what may be a simple problem.
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

Steve83
This post was updated on .
Gary Lewis wrote
...whether each item listed should be a hot link.
My opinion has always been that anything that CAN be a link SHOULD be a link.  It's what makes the interwebz work.
Gary Lewis wrote
...move the picture and the prayer off the forum to make it load faster and clear up some real estate.
...is there a need to ever go back to it?
Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think that's right on the mark.  They're not really necessary, or necessarily interesting to someone coming to the forum for information or help.
Gary Lewis wrote
...URL that brings one to the forum directly - and http://www.garysgaragemahal.com currently does that.  But if we have a new home page that won't be the case...
It could if the new home page URL was something like http://www.garysgaragemahal.com/home .  Don't break the links that have already been posted on other sites bringing users here.  Give your new page a new URL - don't steal an existing URL for it.
Gary Lewis wrote
...just keep the forum as the home page...
What's in a name?  If someone can get to the site, they can find all its pages, regardless if you choose to call one of them "home", or if someone applies that name to a different page.
Gary Lewis wrote
...put up more stickies?
My vote is AGAINST that.   I'd like to see the most-recent topics closer to the top of the page.
Gary Lewis wrote
We could have a sticky folder...
Gary Lewis wrote
But, what about the pic of the month/year/century?
Put it on a photo page, like the gallery sticky.  Maybe make it the top full-width photo above the grid of thumbnail links.  Maybe have it cycle through them randomly, if you don't manually select one each month/year/century/whatever.

But the bottom line is: it's YOUR website.  It only exists because of YOU & your personality, so it should always be a reflection of you & your personality.  Not a reflection of the users.
Walk softly and carry a BIG SIX!!!
https://www.supermotors.net/registry/2742#album
Memphis, TN, USA, Earth, Milky Way
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

salans7
Gary Lewis wrote
We could have a sticky folder...
I like this idea.
-Shaun
1980/86/90 Ford F350 4x4 351W/NP435/Sterling
2003 Ford Ranger V6/M5OD/8.8--Detroit True-Trac L/S, Hurst Short Throw, 4" Suspension, 3" Body Lift, Mustang Cobra Rear Disc Swap, and a few other mods....
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

Ray Cecil
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
I still dont understand why any change is needed. It works just fine for me. I post links to garys website anytime I run across bullnose guys on the internet. I think a couple guys have registered upon my invite. Honestly, if you want to drive traffic, maybe the name of the URL is not specific enough. No one knows to search for "garysgaragemahal". Maybe www.thebullnosebible.com would be more searchable?
Ray Cecil
1982 Flareside 300 Six, Hedman Headers, 4x4, SROD 4 Speed, 1 Wire HEI "Little Blue 82"....
1969 Impala Custom Coupe, 86,000 miles, 327, Powerglide.
1999 Silverado, 346,000 miles, 5.3 Automatic Z71 4WD
2008 Tahoe (wife's)

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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

Gary Lewis
Administrator
The suggestion for change came from someone from the outside that is more knowledgeable on websites than I.  And the main impetus for the change was to get the very big picture off the page for two reasons - real estate and bits downloaded.

On the real estate front, I almost always come to the site via a link from an email I've gotten from "the system" that tells me there's a new post.  And that link takes me to the post and I skip right over seeing the "big picture".  And if I hit Refresh while on the main page of the forum it has the Bullnose Enthusiasts label at the top of the page - and I don't see the picture nor the prayer.

So, bottom line: I never see the picture unless I scroll up.  Do y'all?

On the bits downloaded, even though I normally don't see the picture, it surely gets downloaded.  And it is a large file as it is on the "website" and not the "forum", and I can put big pics on the website.  So perhaps a compromise would be to put a picture with less bits in it on there?

As for the folder(s) for the stickies, I'll see what I can come up with.  It does make some sense to put things dedicated to the forum on the forum itself instead of in the menu of the website.  But, do y'all understand the difference?  Am I the only one that thinks about that?
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

85lebaront2
Administrator
Gary, I personally do not have any problem with the site as it is. That being said, one of the other forums I am on, a Chrysler one called Allpar, has an arrangement somewhat like you describe.

When I first open the site I have several options, across the top in a black band are: Home, Tech/Help, Chrysler/News, Social. All of these have a down arrow on the right end. Each of the tabs brings up a sub menu, I usually go to Forums under Social, but that area can also be reached from the Home tab.

The home page has a bunch of small pictures etc. this might be a thought on organization, maybe when you get a chance you could look at it. https://www.allpar.com/index.php is the landing page.

Just keep up the good work!
Bill
"Getting old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
Darth Vader 1986 F-350 460 converted to MAF/SEFI, E4OD 12X3 1/2 rear brakes, traction loc 3:55 gear, 160 amp 3G alternator
Wife's 2011 Flex Limited
Daily Driver 1994 Taurus LX
Project car 1986 Chrysler LeBaron convertible 2.2L Turbo II, modified A413
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Bill - Thanks for those votes of confidence.  I appreciate them.

I've taken a look at allpar.com, and it like FORDification sites, as well as some others, I found it confusing.  But, since many others do things differently, maybe I'm the odd duck?

Roughly 50% of the traffic is to the forum itself, as shown by the statistics below, which are for the last 90 days.  (The forum is on the home page, so it shows as "/" in the listing."  Given that, I like having the home page of the site being the forum.

Anyway, I'm trying to think through what would be better than what we have, and I keep coming back to what we have works well, but maybe we can improve it some?



Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

Steve83
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
Gary Lewis wrote
I never see the picture unless I scroll up.  Do y'all?
I see it every time a page loads because my ISP is so slow (right now).  But when the page finishes, it jumps down so only the bottom of the pic shows.
Walk softly and carry a BIG SIX!!!
https://www.supermotors.net/registry/2742#album
Memphis, TN, USA, Earth, Milky Way
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Steve83 wrote
I see it every time a page loads because my ISP is so slow (right now).  But when the page finishes, it jumps down so only the bottom of the pic shows.
YES!  That's the explanation I was looking for.  

The permalink the web browser was given was to the post, assuming you are following a link in an email.  But until the picture gets loaded it won't go to the post.  So, on slow ISP's you get stuck looking at the top of the picture for a while.

If I downsize the picture it'll load faster.  I'll try that in a bit and let's see if it helps.
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Ok, let's see if this makes a difference.  I downsized the file from 1 Mb to 236 Kb.  Please let me know if it loads faster.  And, if the quality is acceptable.
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

Rembrant
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
Gary Lewis wrote
So, bottom line: I never see the picture unless I scroll up.  Do y'all?
I only ever see it for a blip of a second as the page loads. It goes straight to the forum on both my iPhone and laptop PC. I use an icon link direct to the forum on both devices.
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

grumpin
Rembrant wrote
Gary Lewis wrote
So, bottom line: I never see the picture unless I scroll up.  Do y'all?
I only ever see it for a blip of a second as the page loads. It goes straight to the forum on both my iPhone and laptop PC. I use an icon link direct to the forum on both devices.
Same here. I’m usually on an iPad now.
Dane
1986 F250HD SC XLT Lariat 4x4 460 C6
1992 Bronco XLT 4x4 351W E4OD
1997 Mazda 626 LX 2.0L G25M-R
1998 Suburban LT K2500 454 4L80E
Oregon
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

Steve83
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
Gary Lewis wrote
...following a link in an email.
Never.  I just use the plain domain URL, and then browse the threads.
Walk softly and carry a BIG SIX!!!
https://www.supermotors.net/registry/2742#album
Memphis, TN, USA, Earth, Milky Way
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Steve - You do know that you can use Topics View and see the latest posts in chrono order.  Right?
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Website Revision - Potential New Home Page

Steve83
This post was updated on .
Never tried that - the threads appear in chrono order of most-recent posts anyway, except the folders & stickies are always at the top.

...and I can't tell a difference in the way the page is loading, but we've established before that Chrome behaves weirdly for me.  I don't know that it's actually showing the new (smaller) version of the image.
Walk softly and carry a BIG SIX!!!
https://www.supermotors.net/registry/2742#album
Memphis, TN, USA, Earth, Milky Way
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