New Look & Features 2008 Spring Cleaning for 2008

It's been about two years since we upgrade the site to the Drupal based CMS? but it was time to freshen things up and lay the groundwork for the future. Since it's April, we figured now was as good a time as any for some Spring Cleaning. As we noted in this article, we rolled out some new features earlier this month. While those changes were essentially a few features we wanted to share, we still had more work to do -- and that work is now complete (sure, we're still cleaning up a bit but have you ever noticed how that part of the job always takes the longest!).

As part of our continuing efforts to improve our site and quality of services for guests and clients, we have completed the upgrade to Drupal 5.7 from Drupal 4.7. Here's a brief run down on what's changed and why:

  • New Look and Feel: We gave everything a fresh coat of paint but still maintained our standard color scheme and basic layout so things will still feel familiar to our long time visitors. In addition to freshening things up, the new layout gives us room to grow with respect to features and making it easier to communicate new content to our visitors.
  • Security & Performance: The upgrade to Drupal 5 gives us better performance and some improved security features which are always good things. The upgrade to Drupal 5 is also important as we continue to monitor information related to the newly released Drupal 6 which has us excited about the future!
  • Easier Maintenance: The fact Drupal 5 makes it easier for use to maintain and update both the site and it's content makes it a win-win for us and you, our visitors.
  • Article Revisions: Any time we make a major revision to an article a special link is created at the top of the articles page. Our registered users (who log in) will see a Revisions link; click that link to compare between different versions of the same article. It serves a few purposes, not the least of which is making it easy for us to track changes and keeping our regular readers informed as to both what and when we might make a significant change to content.

Of course we also added some new features so here's a quick run down:

  • Recent Polls: We now include the most recent poll on the front page. If you have registered to use this site, just log in and you can vote, post comments, or visit any of our older polls.
  • Log in: We've cleaned up the front page and moved the log in link to the top of the screen. That log in link also gives you access to create a new account or request a replacement password.
  • Two Column Layout: We've moved to a two column layout to make it easier to navigate the deeper sections of our site. Your personal navigation elements have always been on the right, and they haven't moved. When you are visiting the PowerCADD User Learning Center or any of our Learning Center or FAQ sections, the supplementary navigation for those areas now appears in the left column.
  • Search Field: We've move that to the upper left column for easier access. That location puts it right in your sight line to make it faster to find what you're looking for.
  • Primary and Secondary Navigation: You no doubt have seen we've moved cleaned up the navigation area. Now all your primary and secondary navigation links are accessed from the top of the screen, from any page. This gives us room to grow and makes it easier to find what you're looking for.
  • e-Postcard: You can now send your colleges a link to our site by using the Send e-Postcard link in your personal navigation area. Thanks for spreading the word!
  • Foward This Page To A Friend: When you read any article, you'll see a Forward This Page link associated with it. Click on that link, type your message and you can send the content to a college. Note: we always respect your privacy and we do not collect your email address -- it's simply required so the person getting the email knows who sent it!
  • Rate An Article: With several hundred articles on this site, we decided a rating system would be helpful so visitors can see, at a glance, what others thought of a given article. You see a preview of the rating when viewing a summary. When you read the whole article you can click on a rating button. If you change you made a mistake no problem; just click on the rating button again.
  • Digg: We've made it easy for you to share helpful articles here with the rest of the web workd by using XTNL URL Just click the Digg link displayed at the bottom of any article to add it to your Digg account.

Don't forget we added some other features earlier this month so check out this related article for details.

We hope you find the changes helpful and if you have any thoughts or comments please feel free to use the comment link below or the contact us link at the top of every page. As the year progresses we'll be looking at other means to provide additional features, services, and continued first rate PowerCADD and Mac OS? X related content for the CAD professional.

We hope that helps

If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak, Co-founder and Managing Editor, -

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