Website Updates – May 2023

Website updates for are here! Improved design, more content, better everything!





Read time:

4 minutes

Hello everyone! Drew here with the latest web news. No, not the Spider-Man 2 videogame reveal, though I am always excited to see Venom (or any symbiote) get some love. Getting back to Legend of Dragoon stuff, I’ve got quite a bit of website news to share. First, a bit of backstory.

Previously, the site was “OK,” but overall not much to look at. I had planned to wait for a skilled volunteer to help, sticking to my strengths, but I realized a few months ago that the site was in particularly bad shape. Different pages had different widths, style settings were a mess, broken links, and so on. I decided we couldn’t wait for help, so I pivoted my bandwidth a few months ago. Since then, I’ve learned so much about modern web development it’s almost scary. For the most part I’ll just stick to bullet points. Here’s what changed:

  • Uniform page width on all pages
  • Uniform layout across the entire website
  • Simple but elegant visual containers for content
  • Improved page templates
    • Project pages show Active Projects in the sidebar
    • Guide pages show Top Guides in the sidebar
    • News articles (such as this one!) show Latest News in the sidebar
    • General/Miscellaneous pages have all these sections in the sidebar, plus upcoming events
  • Initial cleanup of front page
    • Prominent welcome message and search bar
    • Events and Latest News on the left, Guides and Projects on the right
  • Revised header (navigation) and footer (legal, socials)
  • Improved font styling
  • Removed dead links
  • Return of search function
  • Improved Search Results page
  • Improved 404 page (try it!)
  • Nested templates
  • Damage Calculator is a bit more readable
  • Probably a dozen more things

This work resulted in several other benefits simultaneously. For one, we have a new Trello board just for this website. Everyone is welcome to visit it anytime to track current progress or peek at future plans. We also have a Project page for this site, which may seem a bit meta, but it helps fans get a good summary of what this site is for and how things are going without having to look at the Trello board.

Work will continue on the website regularly, and be easier now that I’ve completed a large portion of the backlog. Please do give the website a whirl if you haven’t before or it’s been awhile since you last viewed it. Project pages in particular are looking great!

What’s next? I’ll be updating our test site where we usually do larger updates and experiments to make sure they run okay. There’s also a brand new section coming to the website! Here’s a list of upcoming things based on our current Trello board task list:

Under Way

  • Testing Site readiness
  • Cut reliance on 3rd-party plugins
  • New Project Pages

In the Queue

  • Front page overhaul
  • Optimized images (faster loading)
  • New Section: Fan Content
  • Dark Mode
  • New pages

The new layout is a temporary measure, but it should serve to improve the appearance until we get under way with new design concepts for this site – known internally as Web 1.0. Ah, you’re suddenly wondering what that means, right? Read on!

Web 2.0

For awhile now, myself and other volunteers have had discussions on and off about long-term plans for the website. We knew we wanted to move away from our current setup eventually; it was just a matter of having enough volunteers to begin laying the groundwork. It will take a long time, but it will be well worth our time invested. Internally we call this Web 2.0.

How do we justify creating a whole other website from scratch? In short: full control and better efficiency (much like the in-house wiki). Although the WordPress system we use now has many benefits, it still falls short in key areas. Also, we are simply outgrowing it – WP wasn’t designed for all the things we want to achieve as a community. In addition, we expect to change server hosts at some point for better website performance and capabilities. All of this will be covered on our Web 2.0 project page, which will summarize the project and provide current status.

For anyone who wishes to see the latest discussions about the website, ask a question, or help out: feel free to browse our community Discord server‘s #website channel. Thanks for reading!

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