Minor site update update

Only two three items of note:

  1. The advertisements have moved to the left sidebar, underneath the navigation links, and now show both to logged-in members and people just browsing the site. Studies show these ads are not as likely to get clicks, but putting them anywhere else just becomes too intrusive with the current site design, where content can’t easily flow around them. We’d like ads to help pay for the site (it’s been 100% donated so far), but not at the expense of making the site less friendly.

  2. Completely independently, we’ve known for a while that the site was rendering too narrow in Firefox, but not in Safari or Internet Explorer. We finally figured out the magic incantation tonight to make Firefox stretch the header (and therefore, the content) to fill your entire window, so Firefox users should have a much more pleasant reading experience now. This had nothing to do with the old ad block, but its placement did exacerbate the problem—since Firefox was rendering such a narrow column, the ad pushed regular content way down on the page. Now the content should fill the page and the ad has moved to the left sidebar.

  3. Update: As part of the changes, we’ve been able to add Google search to the top of every page, to help you find things faster. It searches this site only, unless you tell it to search the entire Intertubes. We’ve also enhanced the “Sorry, you can’t see this page” results page to tell you to join or login if you’re a member. Only members can see the pages with sheet music for homecoming to help protect the University’s copyrights on those arrangements.

We may move the site to a different content management system later this year (probably not before homecoming, because I really don’t need more pain in my life), and any major redesign will wait until then. The Pride is using Joomla now, which looks interesting.

Note that as of this writing, it’s not fully integrated into the old site—the previous link takes you to an old static page. The new dynamic site is located here for now, but we’ll help them get the regular URLs pointed to it as soon as is workable for the staff. The first rehearsal of the 2008 Pride of Oklahoma is was Wednesday night, so the 300 members of this year’s marching band have a lot to do with the first home game just ten days after the first Boomer Sooner of the year. Check out our Events calendar if you’re not up on the 2008 season yet!