Dear readers: One final front page design update to rule them all

The major four major designs of TheDigitel's homepage in July 2008, June 2009, April 2010, and now May 2011.

Yes, we here at TheDigitel are prone to changing the look of our front page a good bit, so I'd first like to thank you all for being our tolerant guinea pigs. Secondly, know that we're looking to be less erratic on you.

At nearly three years old, our site has had many designs, and they haven't been in vain. Combined with Google Analytics, they've helped us learn a lot about what you want from us in story presentation, and we've extracted that information to make this latest change.

Assuming all goes well, this update will likely be one of the last major overhauls of the front page you'll see for some time. From here on out, expect to see smaller, more targeted tweaks.

As always, we're interested in your thoughts on the new homepage, too. Drop us a comment below or hit us up on Twitter @TheDigitel or on Facebook.

For the curious, here's a bit about what's different and why:

» The return of the slideshow: After disappearing for more than a year, the slideshow of the most interesting stories is back for your casual sit-back-and-relax reading. 

» The return of the latest stories by section: Though it's not so great for getting the latest headlines to you, folks really enjoyed being able to look to the same spots to find stories of interest to them and easily "clicking and turning" to the section of stories.

» The "blog" goes below the fold: The always functional blog-style layout of the latest posts has slid down the page for those of you that love the scroll wheel and want to skim the latests stories to be sure you haven't missed an update.

» Keeping you current: The local #CHS Twitter feed, upcoming events, Open Community posts, and featured stories from the past have all slid down the page with the blog to tease those of you skimming for interesting things. 

» A consolidated look: With three TheDigitel sites up and running in Charleston, Beaufort, and Myrtle Beach, one of the best things we can offer readers is consistency as they travel the South Carolina coast, so we'll be standardizing the front page looks and allowing the stories of the cities to show off the unique spirits of each town. 

» Room for growth: We built this update with growth in mind. Over the next few months, look for polish in both aesthetics and functionality, especially when it comes to making our citizen journalism Open Community easier to use.

Once again, we're interested in your thoughts on the new homepage, so drop us a comment below, hit us up on Twitter @TheDigitel, visit us on Facebook, or e-mail us at

And you can always be a rebel and live in the past with the old front page...well, for now, anyways.

— Your Geek in Command, Ken Hawkins