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Friday, July 1, 2022

LT Update: Website and Server Upgrade report

Headlines LT Update: Website and Server Upgrade report

Welcome to our first LT update post for 2013. Undoubtedly, New Year’s day, the day we decided to change our servers and the web site looks, turned out to be a disaster for us. We have never had our inbox fried with emails full of unprintable adjectives, which we usually just ***** .

After 14 days of working hard to stabilise things, we feel it is time to explain what we are trying to do to move the web site forward.

First of all , while people got used to the old designs and totally fell in love with the old site, the truth is that the old site was very slow and had a lot of things that were broken and just impossible to fix. There was so much clutter in terms of content, the facebook connection kept breaking down, the archives were useless and totally unusable, smilies never worked from day one and many other things.

So, we had to focus on the basics this time, such as site load speed, user experience, comments system and working archives. Once we have these things in place, we can easily build on top of them.

Site Load Speed

The current site speed is faster than the previous site. The previous site used to take 15 to 20 seconds to load on average. The current site is able to load at an average speed of 3 to 6 seconds. This is definitely not impressive and we continue to work to make it load at under 2 seconds, which is a standard.

User Experience

This is an old debate-reading on paper or computer screen. Various research reports have shown that reading from the screen is slower than reading from paper because readers perceive the text on the screen less accurately than paper. Further, research has demonstrated that readers on the screen have reported high fatigue caused by eye strain .

While research in screen technology continue to evolve to address this issue, we have realized that we can do something about our designs of the web site to help with this issue.

In this new site you will notice that we have put in a lot of effort into finding the right combination of the fonts and line spacing that don’t cause a lot of strain to the eyes.

We have worked on cleanliness and clarity of the fonts that make up the words so that sentences are readable without causing too much eye strain. We have also made sure that there’s enough white space between the items on our website.

We leave you to test this by reading the same story on other sites and judge for yourself.

Comments system

The comments system has been with us from the days we started running Information Dispatch back in 1999. That is 14 years! Even if we belong to a country that does not endorse dual-nationality, shouldn’t we give the comments system first class citizenship on our site?

Well, we have. More efforts and resources have been poured into the comments system to enhance our users’ experience. Comments have even a much better font clarity and line spacing than the rest of the site.

We have also made sure that when posting comments, the entire page does not reload. This will be particularly handy with the upcoming AFCON tournament. You will be able to watch a live match and comment at the same time without disturbing or reloading your live stream of the match.

We continue working on the comments system and expect more features that will enhance your comments experience on Lusakatimes.com

Site Archives

The real value of this site will come into play 20 to 30 years from now. We forsee a situation where people will come to this site and go back in time to just see what were the issues at the time. And for us to be ready for that, we thought getting the archives right is P1 (priority number 1).

We have fixed the archives and it works beautifully. You can navigate to any year, month and see all the stories we ever published. Our job now is to keep adding servers to our system to keep this data safe and responsive.

Going forward

We are not done yet with the changes on the site. There are still a number of things we need to bring to the site. Our mobile site is still a disaster (We have to cater for the blackberry people, they are in the majority camp in Zambia). Since this is a moving train, we shall be silently introducing most of the features.

Lastly, thank you so much for your support to lusakatimes.com in 2012 and we are inspired to work even harder this year to serve you better.

LT Team

28 COMMENTS

  1. good work. continue striving until you reach that high level of efficience. dedication and perceverance are the keys to success. good luck and God bless.

  2. I like the votes on the new site. The other day Mushota got 35 votes to 1 all against her and I have seen she has changed since then and started commenting sensibly

    • That is becoz she had her fill of Nshima no umuto wa kasepa during her last visit, which has given her some sort of “Reset!”

  3. There is a notion that we Africans do not strive for perfection once we build something we never maintain or update it, well am glad we are showing our perfection mentality keep up the good work LT been a programmer myself am quite impressed

  4. Thanks for the update, also u dont block comments anyhow like the ZWD… Pipo have diverse views and they should be allowed to air them unless it goes to the worst. ZWD is a let down on this one, PLEASE KIP IT UP ***

  5. LT stop wasting time on this unworthy news.
    Why on earth have you not got a section for jobs? or an education section ?

    I am not happy I am afraid

    Thanks

  6. 2012 was the year to make the change over, go responsive, please go mobile LT.
    If you focus on Making the Website Responsive there really will be no need for a separate mobile site, the BlackBerry App can take a wait aswel. 🙂

    PS. I have noticed the Bootstrap implementation but am not seeing the bs css in action, for instance the first time I read this report I rushed to the coner of my screen to minimize my browser window just to see if your website is responsive but BANG it did not resize to fit the window (for those that don’t understand just google “responsive websites” then share your thoughts).

    • Thanx a lot for your contribution. actually the website is responsive, maybe they could have been a hitch somewhere. i remember the previous site was responsive. bare with them if it isn’t working for now. but i know they are working round it…

  7. 2012 was the year to make the change over, go responsive, please go mobile LT.
    If you focus on Making the Website Responsive there really will be no need for a separate mobile site, the BlackBerry App can take a wait aswel.

    PS. I have noticed the Bootstrap implementation but am not seeing the bs css in action, for instance the first time I read this report I rushed to the coner of my screen to minimize my browser window just to see if your website is responsive but BANG it did not resize to fit the window (for those that don’t understand just google “responsive websites” then share your thoughts).

    • Twitter bootstrap is a good thing, they can try either that or html5boiler plates, i like the positive results, am just wondering whats happening to their results on the ads page.

  8. Im glad you are no longer a stoog of the ruling party.Your news is now unbiased unlike during mmd rule and the first year of pf misrule.

  9. …. its really a show off… who asked you to explain your changes? Then explain us how you also changed your sex life.

  10. Rebase your editorial grammar please LT. And stop holding my comments hostage. Why not instantly flag them if you feel they contain things you don’t like? Kupusa. ????

  11. good of LT, 4Mushota plz hv a boy friend to help spend yo free tym wth than always being #1 on commentary. grow up y-G

  12. Thanks for the update!

    One other thing I hope you could work on would be to add captions to the stories in the right hand column. It was nice before when we could read the first sentence or two to get an idea of the content of a story before having to click on the article.

    Good luck with your changes.

  13. Happy 14th birthday. Please invite me to your 21st. I’d like to think as you progress so will we. I’d like to personally hand you each a key (from my keyboard) 🙂

  14. As I never cuss I guess you over moderate me for kicks 🙂 After my birthday I’ll never be serious again so it’s probably right you get in to moderating mode now 🙂

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