Raceday 360 has a new look
By Dana Byerly
Welcome to the newly updated Raceday 360! We’ve updated the entire site, both the original content area and The Wire, to use a fully responsive, mobile-optimized design. Now, whether you’re at your desk or out and about you’ll have an easy time viewing our site. We hope to bring you more original content in 2014 and wanted to start a fresh with an updated and more functional design.
The biggest reason for the update is that it’s been long overdue. When we acquired the site from Jessica Chapel in 2010 we revived original content using WordPress. Because the original version of The Wire used an open source platform called SweetCron which meant the two parts of the site weren’t integrated. This was always something we wanted to address.
There’s nothing like a bunch of technical issues to push you into updating something that’s long been on your to do list, and The Wire was no exception. While it was still speedy you may have noticed that many, if not all, articles were double posted. Given that SweetCron was an old, abandon platform without a developer community there was only so much we could do!
While we feel the new design is welcome upgrade, it’s not without a few known issues.
1. The formatting using the Reader in Safari is bad, especially for The Wire. We apologize for this for of those who like to use this helpful feature. We hope to address it but for now it will remain on our to do list.
2. Without going into too many boring technical details (about how WordPress doesn’t use true cron and someone has to visit the site to actually initiate a cron job) you may, on occasion, experience The Wire loading slowly (approx 8-10 second… we know, sorry!). When this happens it’s because the server is fetching the feeds and reloading them. This should not happen to you very often, but it probably will every once and while.
3. Again, because of many boring technical details (cron, ahem) we had to do quite a bit of pruning to the feeds included in The Wire to minimize performance issues. From an editorial point of view we’ve decided to focus specifically on Thoroughbred content. So if you’re looking for the harness racing content you used find here you can visit these (excellent!) sites directly:
View from the Racetrack Grandstand
HANA Harness Blog
We also removed many sites that don’t publish regularly or that are not publishing regularly at the moment. We assume that this will fluctuate through the year and we may swap feeds in and out as they become active or inactive. We also removed a few feeds that either caused performance issues or had formatting issues.
We will actively monitor all of these and bring in content that we feel our readers are looking for (based on our traffic and outclicks!) using our Pinboard account, something we were already doing at The Wire.
4. The previous version of The Wire archived posts going back over one year, and while we like that idea it was rare that people visited the older page so the updated version is focused more on current posts. This decision will also help ensure optimal performance.
5. And finally, we also won’t be using tags anymore, mostly because we our new system doesn’t have that capability but ultimately it was a feature that was underutilized, which made it easy to chose a solution that didn’t offer tagging.
We hope you like the update and will continue to find the site useful! Please feel free to drop us a line if you have any feedback or questions.