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Welcome to the New ARLnow.com!

by ARLnow.com November 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm 17,012 83 Comments

Welcome to the new and improved ARLnow.com!

We hope you like what we’ve done with the place. We’ve changed the look of the site, added image uploads to the comment section, and revamped the forums and the event calendar, among other changes.

As with any web site redesign, there are bound to be some technical glitches. Here are the problems we’re aware of and working to fix:

  • New user registration is not currently working
  • The user profile edit page is still being tweaked
  • The email newsletter subscription link at the bottom left doesn’t work

One change you’ll notice that is intentional is the removal of the crime map page. We hope you’ll continue to follow our weekly crime report posts for the most up-to-date listing of crimes in the area.

Please use the comment form on this article to let us know about any bugs you find as you browse the new site. We’ll add them to the list above and will work to resolve them as soon as possible. Please also let us know what you think of the redesign — good or bad.

Thank your for your continued readership and support of ARLnow.com.

  • Love the new look

  • Rick

    The font looks a little odd on the links under “Featured Events” using chrome. Also, while the new search box in the links up top looks very sleek, I’m afraid will be lost on users looking for a white box. I’ll keep toying around and comparing it to the old model, which is still up on bethesda now.

  • hermitcrab

    Is the high-rise picture permanent, or will it change around? It could be cool to have a rotating background picture.

    • The plan is to change it periodically

      • hermitcrab

        great! thanks!

  • Would LOVE an app!

  • ArlLawyer

    I like the new look. I hope that when the new look’s first Morning Notes photo shows up, it will have a caption.

    • ArlLawyer

      P.S. — I really like the photos but would like to know something about them even if it is only what and where it is.

    • Click on the photo to enlarge it or hover your mouse over it and you’ll see the caption.

  • Bluemont

    Looking good.

  • David

    What happened to the mobile version?

  • Dude

    Wanna make ARLNOW better? Clean up the comment section – get rid of the trolls – get rid of the garbage.

    • So . . . you’re leaving?

    • I could use a few less racists and haters.

      • Saying what lots are thinking

        Plenty of us could use a lot less of you

        • Steve

          Amen to that.

          • 100%

            agree 100x

        • Tough.

          • …and, as if to prove your point, 3 haters materialized…

      • DRAX, I agree with you.

    • I agree. The trolls and their bad manners ought to go.

  • We’ve loved ArlNow ever since we subscribed, and we’ll no doubt love it even more now. It’s amazing how many times we’ve shared info with friends and neighbors — info we had read here — and it was new to them. The smart ones subscribed, as we suggested. Keep up the great work!!!

  • Sorry, thumbs down is my initial reaction. But it could just be the godawful background picture.

  • brendan

    a couple points…

    – should make the background wider than 1600px… or do a side blend as well. looks weird on the 1920 width screens.
    – maybe add a scroll to the featured stories widget?
    – how does one submit an image? very excited to have this back. most exciting part of the comments besides watching drax throw a fit and get clowned on.
    – fonts are a little weird… perhaps
    – logo is kinda meh…

    overall new site looks pretty good. very clean seems to load much faster.

    • YTK

      Nice redesign, but yes, I agree — the Logo is kinda Meh-ish.

    • R. Griffon

      – should make the background wider than 1600px… or do a side blend as well. looks weird on the 1920 width screens.

      2nd-ed. 1920×1080 is a pretty standard resolution these days

  • looks legit!

  • This is different. I don’t like things that are different.

  • I like the old logo

  • Hong

    I think it’s ugly. I also want to know why you removed the crime map, I found it to be very useful.

  • Bicyclist

    Looks nice.

  • R. Griffon

    Congrats on the new site design.

    A carryover from the old site that’s always bugged me is the pictures in the Real Estate section – the 2nd page of thumbnails just gets repeated for several pages. For example, go to this listing and you’ll see thumbnails 1-6. Click “More photos” and you’ll see 7-12, then 7-12 again, and then 7-12 again.

    Small but I figured as long as you were asking…

  • Ballston

    Nice job and thanks for your hard work on your site. It’s a great resources for all Arlingtonians and I certainly look forward to my daily updates. Keep up the good work and don’t sweat the illegit critiques.

  • Guy LeDouche

    I’m not sure about the new look, though I do like looking at some of the girls in the True Story Studios ad that pops up on the right hand side of the homepage…very hot.

  • A comment

    I join the genus(“LP”) who blamed Traders Joe’s for the hurricane damage to trees and think Trader Joe’s should be blamed for the changes to ArlNow.

  • What’s going on at the Library??? I just received an “Overdue Notice” for a book I returned Tuesday and another book I renewed online [before the system crashed]. Will need to settle this with the Library but Circulation put me on indefinite “hold” when I called them. The online system seems still to be down—except for the part which tries to collect overdue fines!!!

    • emanon

      according to a recent comment from the Library folks, posted in the comments section of the Library article:
      Please disregard any overdue notices you have received in the last 36 hours.

      Accounts will be rectified once our system is fully operational. There is no need to contact the Library at this time regarding accounts. Again, thank you for your patience.

  • BallstonNotBoston

    No bueno. Also, why is this the only blog/comment section that reads new comments bottom to top? New comments should be on the top of each article…

  • Right of Center

    It’s aight. The first thing that comes to mind when I see the new ARL.now logo is ART transit. Maybe not a good thing.

  • IMO, we could use more posters like Drax, who puts much thought and–dare I say it–vibrancy–into his posts. Dog forbid anyone should take the time to think through a subject. Just react–an unfortunate sign of our times and of our political polarization.

  • Greg

    Way too much space in the margins dedicated to the background pic. Why do I want to read a website on half a screen. I don’t know why this is a trend with web developers….

    • b

      probably more than you want to know but…. the site is a “responsive” design, meaning it will automatically adapt to your device/screen resolution – but maxes out at 990px wide for the content section, which is a bit larger than most, tho looks like it’s a 15px cushion on either side so really 960… and 960px width has kind of been the design standard of late, was settled on for a variety of reasons, part of which it’s about the maximum width that the most common base resolution monitor (1024) can display within a browser. also, responsive sites are built on grid systems that work best around a flexible base number that is divisible by like 25 different combos which makes it easier to scale/size the responsive grid design to different screens.

      Some sites such as pinterest, or my favorite salmonofcapistrano.com , along with other snippet/image based sites work in a 100% fluid environment. The content of this site would not really…. So you have to design within parameters, again 960 being the standard max, and then can use a background to fill the larger displays such 1400, 1600, 1920, 2560, etc. I have no doubt we’ll see more sights expand into the 1200px+ arena soon, as our schizophrenic drive for stimulus and the resolution of monitors continue to grow while our ability to read/focus devolves…

      that make any sense… ?

      • CW

        Ok, so that was a nice little bit of gibberish but…the actual content (the text/comments) is narrower than it used to be, so I’m not quite sure where your argument that we’re running of against the constraints of the space-time continuum or whatever comes from. I just wish the actual content would be spread back out more. Agree with OP “Greg”…it is a website on half a page.

        • SomeGuy

          The pixel width of the comment section is almost exactly the same as before. There are a few other design elements that are making the comments feel tightly packed, one of which is the line height. I.e., observe the vertical spacing between lines in the article itself vs. that of the comments, and you’ll see how it’s a little more spaced out up there. The article text can breathe; comment text feels crammed. In the old design, your comments had a line height similar to the article’s line height.

          • CW

            I don’t get what you’re saying. At the highest level of indentation, the comments are narrower than they used to be. I can take a ruler and measure the amount of white space to the right. The number of pixels on my monitor hasn’t changed, so that should correlate linearly to “pixel width”, no?

          • I don’t get what you are saying. I have the old design and the new design in front of me, and the comment section width of the two is the within a few pixels, if not exactly the same.

          • CW

            Just checked a cache and you’re right. Heck of an optical illusion. Either that or I picked the wrong day to start taking crazy pills.

      • other side of the river


      • ccres

        Heads up, this site is not responsive, not even in the slightest. It’s also simply not true that this site wouldn’t work in a truly fluid environment. It comes down to design details and amount of time a developer/designer are willing to spend implementing a *truly* responsive design.

    • Josh S

      +1. White space is good, but this is ridiculous.

  • Nick

    Love the logo and generally most aspects of the redesign.

    However, the background image is a deal breaker. It’s far too busy, and distracts from the content. I can barely read the copy. And on a 1920px screen, as mention by others, it looks odd that the BG image is limited to 1600px wide. And the vertical fade washes out everything.

    Congrats on the new look. The BG image would be an easy change if my opinion is shared.

  • CourthouseChris

    I like the more efficient use of space in the comments section.

    Also, here’s to hoping the upgrade has wiped out my mandatory-moderation flag.

  • JnA

    Oh, it’s the New Massive Gentrification Through Urbanization ArlNow, just like the old Massive Gentrification Through Urbanization ArlNow, but with more Massive Urbanization

  • Brandon

    I currently see no content on the home page. I see everything else, just no articles.

  • The old design was fine-by-me, but — hey, it’s your blog and I don’t ever miss surfing-over to see what’s new. Keep up the good work!

  • Tre

    Looks good (all of it). Some serious cases of ADHD in this thread…. the background really is not distracting.

  • kdub

    Not a fan of the new font for the headlines, so many eye-pleasing fonts out there and the once being used is simply just not one of them. My two cents.

  • Major Pup McPuppo Jr.

    my two cents since everyone else is adding their’s:

    1st cent – would be cool if background was more washed out. more faded. i like it, but would look much better and easier on the eyes if faded. also cool for it to change every once in a while. awesome.

    2nd cent – literally forgot it while typing first oops

    • Major Pup McPuppo Jr.

      where is my dang avatar

    • Major Pup McPuppo Jr.

      also, new logo is sexxxy yes

  • JohnB2

    Not a fan of the new fonts and background image. Sometimes change is bad.

  • So when is the streetcar going to roll through the background, scattering cyclists and pedestrians on its way to Donaldson Run?

  • love the new look!

  • MissKittenCat

    Why did the crime map go? I found it very useful for myself and family
    R.I.P Crime Map:(

  • o k, here’s a nit-picky one: I used to be able to search for new comments by using ordinal number designations (1st, 2nd, 3rd). now I have to use just numbers, therefore picking up time stamps, pixel descriptions, etc.

    • SomeGuy

      Can you describe this further? Where were you doing these searches?

      Your point alerted me to the lack of comment-by-comment link tags which used to be on the timestamps, i.e. so I can easily link to a specific comment.

      • logging on this a m I wanted to see if any new comments had been added to the “welcome to the new arlnow” article. when I search on ’19’ I get ‘1920 width’ twice, ‘1920x 1080’, ‘9:19 pm’ ‘1920’, and ‘1920 pix’. Before, using ’19th’, I would get just comments made on the 19th. No big deal, though on single-digit month days I will get more hits on the time stamps. Warned you it was nit-picky!

        • SomeGuy

          But not very nit-picky about clarity, I see 🙂

          Your original comment wasn’t clear that you were describing a timestamp search, and thus your searches were for comments added on a particular date. I.e., your search for “19th” was working because the old comment style was timestamped “November 19th, 2012…” It was not a search for the 19th comment on the story.

          Simple solution is to place a comma after your search term, which will work most of the time.

  • Westover Leftover

    I clicked on the NETWORK link and went to Bethesda, but there was not an Arlington link to get back home.

    I did use my back button and got back here.

  • Name goes here

    Add corresponding labels above the Name/Email/URL input boxes. After you put in name or email, you should be able to see that they are in the right boxes.

  • Westover Leftover

    testing with photo

    • CW

      Looks like the photo feature doesn’t work.

  • speonjosh

    When you leave a comment, the site no longer takes you automatically to the point in the comment thread where you left it. This is a major downgrade and I hope will be fixed.

  • 1RLI

    Old, new, whatever. Why remove the crime map page?

  • Rick

    The slideshow works for some stories right on the front page (ballston story), but not for others (office building opening).

  • Douglas Parker

    I very much enjoy coming by and reading the articles on ARLNow. It has become a daily stop for me. I also very much enjoy the comments. I like to gauge the public reaction/sentiment generated by any given topic. Especially since these are local stories relevant to us all.

    Others, it would appear, would like comments to be censored. I completely disagree. People should be able to come on here and make any comment they wish. Everyone always posts at their own peril. They may be lauded or laughed at by the reading public. This is called free speech, and I value it greatly. I for one appreciate that you leave pretty much everything up and treat your readership as responsible adults, as most of us are.

    However, I do still see +1, or + whatever instead of what would be a more efficient barometer – a voting system for comments. So they may rise or fall on their own merits.

    Is this something you might consider in the future?

  • ccres

    Still curious as to why you’re using default WP comments since they’ve taken this site offline a number of times. Disqus is really really easy to drop into WordPress and will even port the data. Moderation is simple and switching to external comments it would reduce load on the database (and therefore the server) greatly by putting the load on the client/Disqus.

  • 7-11-bum

    I honestly don’t see any improvements in the new site, except maybe that the h1 fonts are more girly. But being cute doesn’t mean better. It’s neat and compartmentalized like any standard WordPress theme, but that other problems prevail.

    Problems in general:

    -The background image of the tall buildings is complete madness – overpowering, dizzying. The girly logo clashes with the masculine steel skyscrapers. Do we really define Arlington in “tall steel buildings”? I use a variety of monitors, and even on low resolution, the background image takes up too much real estate. Focus should be on CONTENT, not buildings. I would leave the background plain or do a overlay so its not so intense, and put the focus on the story photos and advertisements. Right now the background fights with other visual elements – that was OK for 2000 but not 2012.

    -The width of the left column is too small.

    -Photos in the real estate section extend beyond the container. Also in that section, the navigation disappears – not good.

    -Fonts under sidebar widgets: The body font, though sans serif, is very difficult to read. Its different from the news story body font, which is odd. Cute fonts are good for 1) artsy websites and 2) headers. Stick with Arial for body text since this is a news site. Also, the headers for “Featured Events” “Recent Comments” “Twitter Feed”are too small, font is really wierd and hard to read.

    -Search box is visually not user friendly. With the dark color and link, it looks like something is wrong rather than “type here”. Search box on the navigation menu is even worse, especially since you can barely see “Search Articles”

    -Not all photos load on iPhone 4S

    -Crime map gone 🙁 I would rather have the old site back just for the crime map.

    – Where are instructions how to submit photos for a story?

    Forum issues:

    -I completely dislike the new forums. Some Issues I’m having:

    -The body font, though sans serif, is very difficult to read. Its different from the news story body font, which is odd. Cute fonts are good for 1) artsy websites and 2) headers. Stick with Arial for body text since this is a news site.

    -When replying to a post, the reply doesn’t go under that post – that was an integral part of the banter.

    -No ability to rate comments – thumbs up/thumbs down was another integral part of the banter

    -Page numbering at the bottom is too small.

    -Page numbering for main forum – there are too few numbers – currently it’s 1, 2…70. Would be helpful to have a few more numbers.

    -There is a text editor for comments, and HTML code displays , but bullets don’t show on submission. Bullets are great – why not show them??? It seems the WSYWIG/text editor isn’t working in general.


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