The new design and re-organization is finally up! There are a couple of things that aren’t completely finished, but I wanted to go ahead and get the new stuff up.
Details on the re-do:
About the redesign, re-organization and new additions
First off, my apologies for taking so darn long to get the “new” site up. It took A LOT longer to do than I had expected. But I hope the wait has been worth it.
Anyone who has seen the main page in the past will notice a fairly big change from the old layout and graphics. After having some sort of Tudor rose vine on it since the pages began in the mid-90s, I finally got rid of it. Sorry to those who liked the vine, but I thought it was time for something different. The picture you see there now is one I took of a stained glass window from St. Gredifael Church on the Isle of Anglesey off the coast of North Wales, in the town of Penmynydd. The town is on Tudor ancestral lands and the 14th century church is the burial place of the uncle and aunt of Owen Tudor, the grandfather of Henry VII. The lettering around the window translates from the Welsh to Unity is like a rose on a river bank, and like a House of Steel on the top of a mountain. The Welsh of “House of Steel” is Ty Dur, or Tudor. (Thanks to http://www.anglesey-history.co.uk for the information!)
Also, you may notice the new Tudor rose that is in the upper left hand corner of all the pages now. Like the vine, I decided that the rose needed a change, so I made this new fancier one. And again, apologies to anyone who liked the old one better.
All the pages at the site now have the same layout, which the exception of the main page, the Tudor Monarchs intro page and the Six Wives of Henry VIII intro page. The Tudor Monarchs getting listed all together on the main page was done to help simplify the layout (which is probably still a little too cluttered, but that may change as I continue to tweak everything). I hope that the layout of the individual pages is more user-friendly and easier to navigate and than before.
The Who’s Who pages have been reorganized somewhat. Any person whom I had multiple images for have had the images split off into a separate gallery page (although I use that term loosely, since in most cases it’s only two or three images). If they had only one, it’s under their name and dates like before. I’ve also cross-linked a lot of people. So the entry for Elizabeth “Bessie” Blount has links to Henry VIII and Henry Fitzroy, for example.
I finally went through and checked all the links, and removed or corrected broken links, which was a task I was a year behind on. I’m hoping to be able to check and fix links about every two to three months in the future. People who report broken links with the form provided certainly help though! You will also notice that all the links now open to new windows. I’m sorry if you find that annoying, but I think that was a better way to organize things, and it makes it a lot easier when I go through and check to make sure links are still good.
Visitors to the old pages will also notice a reorganization of the Pen Pals (now under Connect With Other Tudor Fans). You have to go through an additional page now to get to the submission form, which I hope will cut down on spam and pranks and make absolutely clear how I intend the page to be used. I also only list the current month’s messages before they are archived (but there are links to all the previous months, so nothing was deleted). This is to cut down on the size of the individual pages, for quicker loading and (hopefully) a little less bandwidth usage.
The Query page has been renamed to Ask or Help Answer Questions. It’s still not a bulletin board, but I hope to make it one eventually. I want to put measures in place to keep it from being abused, but will also keep me from having to keep too close an eye on it, since that will take time away from working on other things.
The Life in Tudor England has now merged with the Topics in Tudor History. There is still a lot left to do on those pages!
The Chronologies are all back now, in a hopefully easier to use form. I’ve also done a little reorganizing of the Glossaries. There is now one big master glossary, which contains the general stuff in addition to all the terms in the topical glossaries (Food and Drink, Architecture, etc.). The topical ones are still there as well, and I’ve sort of finished the Courts. I say “sort of” since I know I’m missing some, but will add those at a future date. I also will get a Law and Legal Terms glossary up eventually.
I have added a partial index of the various image gallery pages. Hopefully this will cut down on the number of emails that I get saying “I can’t find any pictures of _____ (fill in the blank with the name of someone or something that I have pictures of on the site)”.
The long-promised Frequently Asked Questions pages are coming along too. I went through literally thousands of emails from the discussion list and things people have sent me directly to find out what topics come up the most often. I ended up splitting the pages into two sections, one that deals with Tudor history and the other with me, the site, etc.
Last but not least, I’ve added a section called Help Support This Site. I long ago decided that I wanted to keep banner ads off the site, although I probably could have made quite a bit of money off them over the years. But since the popularity of the site has gone up over the years, so has my bandwidth and hosting costs. To hopefully cover some of those costs (and pay off the credit cards that have had those costs billed to them over the years), I’ve added a Cafe Press store and an Amazon bookstore. More information is available on the page.
I think that just about covers it all! As always, you can check out the Latest Update page for info on what’s been added with the most recent updates.
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