It is a pleasure to announce that we have completed and launched the first complete redesign of Mexico News Daily since we began publishing in June 2014.
It has been a long and low process. Frequent power outages, equally frequent internet outages and internet speeds not much better than they were in the days of dial-up access have been among the frustrations.
Probably the biggest challenge, particularly when you want to incorporate new technology into web design, is cross-browser testing.
Take two mobile operating systems and two for desktop and then throw in all the many mobile devices and four main browsers and dozens of versions of each and you have a time-consuming job on your hands, even with a good broadband connection.
But with download speeds that are rarely above 3 Mb per second and uploads typically about 0.5 Mb? Try accessing a browser on a remote server somewhere in the United States. Page load speeds are ridiculous, and if you want to actually scroll to get a peak at the entire page?
There were occasions when a better use of time was to go out for tacos and beer. Two beers: one to wash down the tacos and the other to wash away the frustration.
But there’s no room for excuses here, we’ll just blame the idiot who chose to run a news site from a somewhat remote location in southern Mexico where you cannot take things like electricity, telephone and running water for granted.
But the power was always on long enough that one could get a good look at the light at the end of the tunnel and soldier on.
Today, I think we have met the goals of reducing clutter, creating more open pages with room for larger photos and more of them, a better search function (still in the works), faster page loading, a more user-friendly front page and more readable type faces.
At least that’s I think we have achieved, although tweaking has already begun to improve some small details here and there.
If you have other ideas, let me know.
I should also mention the people at Kinsta, upon whose servers we reside and rely. We moved there last fall and put an end to some horrendous problems keeping the site up and running. We simply had too much traffic.
But the icing on the cake has been the transition. Switching a WordPress site to a new design used to be a gut-wrenching, time-consuming headache. With Kinsta’s excellent staging option the process took just minutes to complete.
Now it’s time for more tacos and perhaps even three beers. This time round the second brew will be to celebrate. The third will be to toast our readers, whose keen interest in news about Mexico has made this project possible and worthwhile.
Thanks for reading.
The writer is publisher and editor of Mexico News Daily.