Welcome to the new Hayling Cycle Ride web site

Hopefully you’ll find it an improvement over the old one.

As you’ve found the new site has the same web address as the old one.  Addresses of individual pages on the site have changed, however.  For the main pages, if you try to use the old address you will see a page telling you the new address and giving you a link to go there.

Please let us know if you encounter any issues with the new site.

We’ve made the change to:

The new site:

  • Handles devices with small screens – such as smart phones – much better.  It automatically adjusts to make the best use of available screen space.  For example, the menu across the top of each page automatically contracts to a simple drop-down list if there’s not a lot of space available.
  • Makes better use of available space regardless of which device you use.  The new design is cleaner.  It allows us to promote the ride on every page while providing more space for content.
  • Makes it easier for you to find what you’re looking for; it:
    • Uses a more logical menu structure (at least, we think so)
    • Allows you to search the site’s content
  • Allows you to change your newsletter subscription – or remove it – directly.  You can now use the site to change your email address, for example.
  • Brings all the Hayling Cycle Ride events together into a single event calendar.

There are plenty of other minor improvements that we hope will make the site more interesting and useful to you.

The old site required us to use an IT company to make changes for us – especially following each annual ride.  That cost us money.  This year one of our volunteers took over the job which saved money but made us entirely dependent on his expertise.

The new site allows us to make changes without needing specific IT expertise.  That means we can make our own changes without having to involve IT people.

Even better, the new system for making changes is much more flexible than the old one.  We can therefore present information and pictures the way we want.  We can also spread the load when keeping the web site up-to-date.

We can now send emails directly from the site so, for example, we have a simple method for sending a news item to everyone that might be interested.

The new site uses WordPress as its foundation.  That’s widely used by volunteer-run organisations.  It’s likely that we have several riders and supporters familiar with making changes using WordPress.

WordPress is constantly changing and improving.  We can take advantage of that work – and it doesn’t cost us anything.

WordPress also comes with a huge library of ‘plugins’.  Bits of software developed by people round the world to enhance the basic WordPress offering.  We are already using several plugins and we’ll be reviewing what’s available as new needs arise.

WordPress is so widely used that most Internet Service Providers take steps to make sure it is easy to set up new WordPress sites.  Should we ever have a reason to change our ISP, we can do so.

We are still exploring what the new site allows us to do.  If you have some ideas for how we can improve, please let us know.

We’ve taken advantage of the change to improve security of the site.  We:

  • Introduced code to reduce exposure to malicious hacking attempts.  All web sites are subject to frequent malicious attacks – ours is no different.
  • Automatically check new newsletter email subscriptions to ensure they come from who they claim to be – and not a spammer.
  • Use software that automatically checks new posts to the site to prevent spam attempts.
  • Take routine backups of the site and the database entirely automatically.  We keep our own backups and are no longer reliant on our ISP to restore the site should a problem occur.

Click any of the above links to see more.

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