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  These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things..

With a new look and a plethora of new features, you might have missed a few of the coolest things we added to version 3.0

By: Paul Kingsbury
Published: 9/7/2018 12:23:25 PM
 


Hopefully by now you have had a chance to explore the new IdahoSports.com. We spent the bulk of the summer working to have it ready and we think we came up with a truly new and improved version. The new IdahoSports.com has been up for a couple of weeks now. In case you missed them, here are some of my favorite things about the new website. 

I'd be ungrateful if I didn't give the bulk of the credit to Dustin and Jeff Wixom who programmed and designed (respectively) pretty much everything that makes the new website possible. Feel free to shoot them a quick email and tell them thanks! (jeff@wixcorp.com & dustin@wixcorp.com)

The last time that the website was redone was 2009. Dustin and Jeff had a hand in that one as well. Before that, it had undergone a few minor face lifts and feature upgrades, but nothing as serious as what we launched a decade ago. We entirely redid the database structure and rebuilt the website from the ground up using completely different code. That version did its job pretty well for the past nine years. Since then, we upgraded our webcasts and added a few new polls, but really not much has changed since 2009. 

IdahoSports.com 3.0 is a mixture of old features getting a facelift and new features being launched. I know you have probably already found all of these on your own, but I wanted to put down a list of a few things I am most excited about in this new version in case you missed them. 

1. Mobile-Friendly
For the past three years or so, one of the most asked questions about the website was, "When will you become more mobile-friendly?" Now we are - mostly. In order to launch the new site at the start of the school year, there are a few inner pages that still require you to scroll around with your fingertips more than you probably want to. Don't worry. We know and are working to go through the entire website and fix each page one by one. 

2. Editorial Content
IdahoSports.com started as a basic website back in 1997 as a place to find schedule and scores. That was pretty much it. Features were added over the years like action photo galleries back in 1999. Online galleries were a pretty big deal back then. Then we started video streaming games in 2004-05. That's when things really started taking off. While we expanded our webcasts and action photos, we have always wanted to evolve in to a more content-driven website. 

We moved Sven Alskog from Sales Manager to Content Editor and the rest is recent history. Sven has taken on the job of not just writing the bulk of content, but making assignments, editing stories, tracking down photos and even starting a weekly podcast (we'll talk more about that below). Our goal is to keep adding quality content as often as possible to keep you coming back every day to see what is new. 

3. New Menu System
The old site had menu buttons that were pretty great ten years ago, but it took a few clicks to get to the information you were looking for. Now we have a sleek new drop down menu system that gets you to what you want to see faster and easier. Take some time and go through each heading and see where you can go and what you can see. You can find these polls in the main menu under "Standings/Polls".

4. Conference Standings
One of the coolest things we created is the new Conference Standings section. Before, the only way to see conference standings was inside each school’s individual sport schedule. We set out to create something that would be a destination all on its own. You can now see full conference standings for every conference and for most sports. We also added information like point per game averages, opponent points per game and point differentials. We basically did the math for you and display it on the page. Plus, we added the schools' logos for added awesomeness free of charge. 

5. Action Photo Galleries
This is probably my second favorite thing we improved. There is no question that we have the best action photographers shooting games statewide and posting them on IdahoSports.com. This year we are excited to expand our photographer list even more (and are always looking for more!). Before the website redesign you would click on the gallery you wanted to look at and then wade through pages and pages of pictures. If you wanted to buy a print you would click a link that would take you to the personal site of the photographer where you would have to hunt down the picture you wanted all over again. It was clumsy and hard for you the viewer. 

To solve the problem we created IdahoSportsPhotos.com. Steve Conner has taken the reins as Director of Photography and really done a great job getting the new photo gallery website up and running. You can now click directly to the gallery you want to see and look at all the available photos on one page. Ordering is now a TON easier as well. We also standardized prices among the photographers on IdahoSportsPhotos.com so there is no confusion about what you are going to be paying gallery to gallery. 

We already have thousands of great action shots up, so take a few minutes and check them out. More are added almost every day from all over the state. 

6. Coaches Polls
A couple of years ago we started asking coaches what they thought about ranking teams. The response was great and the IdahoSports.com Coaches Polls were born. For two years we have only done football and basketball. This year we want to give more coaches a say about how teams in their sports are ranked. We've added boys and girls soccer and volleyball is coming soon. During the winter season we'll be bringing back wrestling team rankings for each classification and hopefully even individual rankings. 

7. IdahoSports PrepCast
This is what we hope will be the first of many new shows and podcasts. Sven Alskog hosts the PrepCast with new episodes released every Wednesday. Being able to deliver this type of content has always been difficult, not just from a capability standpoint but it takes a lot of time and energy to get it done (and done right) every week. Kudos to Project Filter for stepping up and sponsoring the PrepCast. Sven has a lot of cool things planned in the upcoming weeks. 

Spend some time exploring the new website and see what you think. Don't be a stranger - come back and visit often!
 

 

 


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