Hoboken411 Updated!

5/24/2010 Update:

A few more tweaks, a few more to go…

Geek Girl Web DesignerUpdating a website that you run 100% independently by yourself is no easy task – and creates quite a few challenges.

Even though Hoboken411 was updated to the new layout two weeks ago – didn’t mean that it was perfect. There are many browser configurations to be aware of, settings, and unplanned problems that may come forward. I spent some time this past weekend taking care of a few of them, including:

  • Flash: Those that had issues with Adobe Flash should be OK now. Minor style changes made site-wide, too.
  • Iphone / Android now updated: iPhone users now have a slicker, easier to use interface! More coming on that next month!
  • Hoboken411 Title Image now clickable – This was just a design oversight that has now been corrected
  • Menu bar improved: The previous menu bar was temperamental – the replacement is now more tolerant to laptop users who may have issues navigating it. Looks nicer now too!
  • Load Time / Speed: A few tweaks were made across the board to improve website load time.
  • Bad links: Several bad or unclickable links were corrected.

Still to do on Hoboken411:

  • Better iPhone implementation: The improvements for iPhone users will continue…
  • Comment preview: Still not working properly…
  • Many other fixes and added features coming soon!

There will always be some kind of unsolved issue with one particular browser or another – and that’s par for the course in the website world. It’s hard to develop a site that’s 100% perfect for every known browser (will I go out of my way for Nintendo Wii or Xbox? Probably not…) – but send Hoboken411 an email if you encounter some specific problems, and I’ll try to rectify!

Have a great day!


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Welcome to the NEW Hoboken411.com!

As you certainly have noticed, Hoboken411 has a “new look” today!

A long time in the making (I can’t even remember when I started this project), but the daily grind of keeping Hoboken’s media leader up-to-date and filled to the brim with awesome and unique stories has always taken precedence.

I finally decided to roll up my sleeves and finish the “fresh coat of paint” I’ve been working on since the beginning of time. I’ve fixed a few things, re-arranged the site a bit, and added a couple more features that make 411 the only site you really need to visit in the Mile Square.

Website upgrade and makeover Hoboken Hoboken411

Uhh, I need help. What’d ya do?

For starters, you can see I truly did apply a new look indeed. While the basic functionality is still very similar, I’ve changed the color scheme up (I hope it’s more readable now), put some finishing visual touches and more.

So what else is new?

  • Categories now moved to the top. This I felt was the single most important change. The way wordpress works (with categories arranged like parents / children) – it kept me from further making the site more “granular.” Because my previous site had the categories vertically arranged, I was hesitant to add more – because it just took up more space. Now that I put a drop-down menu style category heirarchy – I am able to add additional ways to organize the site. You’ll see this get more fine-tuned (still a work in progress). I’m very happy with the way it worked out.
  • Post titles are now clickable again. Back when 411 started, you could easily click the post title to see the whole story. However, because of Adobe Flash updates and incompatibilities, I lost this functionality over a year ago. Complicated pain in the neck. I took care of this with the upgrade. Hooray!
  • Moved Twitter up. With the categories moved to the top – you can all see now that I do update the Hoboken411 Twitter account. If you’re a Twitter user, you really should follow me – because besides the regular 411 notifications for new stories, I also frequently update Twitter when various incidents happen throughout Hoboken – because I might be out and about, or it could just be a general interest story that doesn’t necessarily warrant a full-fledged post. I just like keeping the community in tune with what’s going on.
  • Updated Comments. The post comments section got a bit of a facelift too. I believe they’re easier to read, I’ve brought back the “Smiley Faces” (those had to go last year for technical reasons). Comment Preview is also back – proof read your post before submitting! A general improvement.
  • Relocated Search Box. I was never sure if anyone knew that you could easily search Hoboken411 for past topics. With 10,000+ stories – you might need some help finding what you’re looking for. So the rather obscure search box has been elongated and moved directly underneath the site name. Please feel free to use it often!
  • Information Section Consolidated / Augmented. I decided to add and combine a few features that might be commonly used and appreciated. So if you look at the very bottom of any page here on Hoboken411 – you’ll see a section called “More Information.” Contained there:
    • NEW: Empire State Building. Many Hoboken residents wonder every day “What do those colors represent?” Well wonder no more! Check back every day at around 5pm to see what the current colors of the NYC Skyline landmark mean!!
    • NEW: A fun “Random Post” feature – which shows a random Hoboken411 post from anytime in the past. You never know what’ll show up! (minor technical glitch at the moment…)
    • NEW: Hoboken weather. Fairly standard, but saves you a click to another site…
    • NEW: NJ Lottery Results. Many Hoboken residents play the lottery with dreams of a secure financial future. Check your numbers while perusing the best Hoboken website ever!
    • Some local links that may be helpful. (carried over from the previous design)
    • Additional features to come!

That’s about it! (for now)

I see websites come and go. I see technologies come and go. One thing that doesn’t come and go is information, consistency, and an essentially no-frills way of accessing it. Sure Twitter, Facebook and all sorts of flashy “apps” will whet your appetite for curiosity – but in the long run, what you want is substance over style – as well as passion and sincerity over money hungry business sharks – and that is exactly what Hoboken411 has provided free of charge to the largest audience in the history of the Mile Square.

Please feel free to send Hoboken411 an email with your feedback, compliments or (hopefully very few) criticisms.

Hoboken411 is, and has always been the single Hoboken website without a political affiliation, the most independent (read: influenced by no one) viewpoint, and most current up-to-date breaking news in town. No staff of paid schleppers can ever beat what a single guy with a boatload of passion and love can do. Want to know why? Because this was created in late 2005 to fill a Hoboken void. Not a copy cat, not a “coat tail follower,” none of that. Hoboken411 is a deep-rooted connection for the city we all live in – and proof is in the pudding (and the readership) – because even without glossy fliers, slick sales people, and phony good news (and reviews), Hoboken411 always rises to the top. And thankfully, so.

Have a great rest of the day everyone!!!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010 4:40 pm

I never pay much attention to fonts used on websites (they all seem the same), but these new choices are different enough to catch my eye. Artistic but still easy to read. The new design was a little jarring at first for me, but the site’s back to feeling like an old friend again.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 1:35 pm

The site loads a thousand times faster now. After giving it some time to get used to I like the new color scheme. The site looks too busy when the Google ad in the upper left hand corner is one of those laundry lists of sponsored links. I’d get rid of that if I had a choice. It looks better when a real square ad comes up instead. Great to have the weather and ESB colors down below. The random posts on the bottom right can be pretty funny. Timewarp stuff.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 7:50 am

You know Perry, I miss the old color scheme. The blue and grey pallete looks so generic! Even still nice work, it looks like you’ve been really busy.

The android mobile mode is cool, but I would often look at the old site on my Droid with no problem. I don’t bother using my computer to surf much anymore.

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