It’s hard to believe that They’re Our Kids, which turned 10 years old in November, is now entering its second decade of existence.
With 2017 on the horizon, my own absence from creating original content for eight months (oops!), and a handful of other issues with the site, it was time for They’re Our Kids to get an update.
So for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working feverishly on revamping TOK to make it more user-friendly for you, more user-friendly for me and, hopefully, resolving some of the issues I had with the last version.
I’m still tinkering with some things, so if you experience some hiccups along the way, please let me know so that I can fix them.
Here are some of the major changes to They’re Our Kids as we head into 2017:
- Visually, the home page is cleaner and more sleek. The two main pillars of They’re Our Kids — our membership directory and our blog — are super easy to access now. As a whole, TOK is a lot less cumbersome because…
- Button-driven pages are gone. Keeping up with hundreds of businesses, organizations and resources available to Hendricks County parents was a logistical nightmare for just one person. Our membership directory has helped with that load a lot over the past several months, since those businesses, organizations and resources now keep their own member card updated. It also keeps information fresher and more accurate for you. I still have a few more resources to move over to the membership directory, but the information available through the vast majority of the old buttons now appear in our highly searchable directory.
- TOK is now a responsive website. In non-computer-nerd terms, the site resizes and reshapes itself based on what size device you’re using it on. Most Villagers access TOK via mobile devices, and the previous versions have looked funky on phones and tablets. That issue is now solved, so TOK should now be much easier to navigate and view on mobile devices.
- The Village is now powered by WordPress. The blog will give you a slightly different look now, but most importantly, it makes creating original content a lot easier for me, and it allows me to explore some options — such as utilizing multiple bloggers — that were too cumbersome to accomplish with the other platform. I didn’t bring the old content over to the new blog site, but you can still search old content by way of a big green button in the sidebar.
- You can now read The Village in the language of your choice. English isn’t your first language? No problem! We embrace all Villagers here at TOK, no matter what language you speak. And to better serve those who speak something other than English, Google Translator has been added to the sidebar of The Village to translate the entire blog into just about every language known to Google.
The rest of the changes — the ones that have consumed most of my time, actually — involve stuff you’ll never notice, so I won’t bore you with those details. It’s kind of like changing the oil and the spark plugs in a vehicle. You don’t see any difference, but it runs more smoothly when you’re done.
As I said, TOK is still a work-in-progress, so please let me know if you encounter any problems. To be honest, I’m a little nervous about whether or not the automated emails will go out correctly with the link to this blog post, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed until 6 a.m. tomorrow.
Please wander around the new site and see how you like it.