An update on the new web site

An update on the new web site

by -
The Martha's Vineyard Times
— Photo by Steve Myrick

Peter-OberfestThe roll-out of the new site continues, with many comments from readers – as part of the comment feature visible to all readers as well as feedback provided directly to us – to help us out. We’ve recovered from major server issues that coincided with the launch, and are focusing on fixing the site where we need to.

In some cases you’ve identified technical hitches and oversights, and we’re working that list down as quickly as possible. In others you’ve liked, or taken exception to, fundamental design decisions that we feel are important and will work well but may need some time to impress you.

Here’s an update at midday, Friday.

A number of technical issues have been resolved. The movie listings have been re-worked, and links from the news page to all the opinion and letter pages are operating as they should. Similarly, links to opinion and letter pages are working on mobile devices. The court report is now in a more prominent place, at the bottom of the news page. We’re still working on webcams, and live links to community organization pages, which will be up and running again soon.

Much of our re-design has been shaped by a need to accommodate mobile devices – phones and tablets – a trend some of you don’t like. We feel we have no choice; we want folks to access our content any way they choose, and their choices are very rapidly favoring mobile (almost half the visits to our site now come from mobile devices). The new design seems to us, and to our mobile users, a great improvement.

Another important re-design decision, and the least popular we’ve made, is to give up the drop-down menus that previously dominated our approach to navigation. We believe that as our site grows there will simply be too much content to concisely organize in drop-downs on the home page. The major tabs – news, on island, a+e, etc. are meant to do the heavy lifting and get you directly to the right landing pages and the particular content you’re looking for.

We appreciate your comments and ideas, we’re fixing things as we go along, and we’re open to the idea that major functional changes we’ve made are still subject to reconsideration as we gain real world experience.


  1. Thanks. If you can put the number of comments next to an article headline, without having to click on the article to open it, we would be able to follow the more lively discussions– when they take place. The Gazette does this on their headlines page.

    1. We indeed had the count visible on our previous site and will get a new system up soon. Thanks for being patient.

  2. The classifieds are inaccessible tonight.
    After a number of attempts it keeps saying ” OOPS!”

  3. Pleased to read that you are retaining your webcams. It is always reassuring to open my browser anywhere in the world to the schooners in Vineyard Haven Harbor. Currently in Reykjavik, looking out over a harbor filled with enormous fishing vessels and a sun which is crossing low above the horizon. The cod are still plentiful in these waters, although closely regulated to maintain the stock.

      1. The obituaries are found on the news section landing page, just below the large photo.

  4. Don’t like the new site at all. Where are the tide charts. Shouldn’t change things that work. It doesn’t always make it for the better :(

    1. I agree. I understand why it was done but I don’t care for the new format. Another thing I have to re-learn.

    2. The tide charts are still in the On Island section of the site. You’ll find them in the “Useful Information” section at the bottom of the On Island landing page.

    1. The comment function appeared here in error, and it’s no longer operable. Thanks for pointing it out.

  5. Peter: Is there any way that maps, charts, blue prints ,etc. can be clicked on and shown in a higher resolution that might be even slightly legible when enlarged?

  6. was there a problem with the site? because I think it was better before. In every way. One especially annoying new feature: the movies listings.

    1. These are both good suggestions. I’ve put them on our punch list for getting back to normal.

      1. Thank you. By the way, the “Buy Photos” link in the footer isn’t working correctly.

    2. An RSS feed is in the works. We’ve never had a site map before, and it could be a big project given the size of the site – we’ll look into it as soon as we can.

      1. There are tools that will automatically generate a sitemap for you. Google does one that will also help with how the search engines view your site.

  7. I’m slowly getting accustomed to the new format. I realize change is inevitable. I’m looking forward to the return of the web cams. Is there any way you could make them STREAMING cams?

    1. Thanks for giving the new site a chance. We think it will grow on you. I don’t know much about streaming cameras but it sounds like it may be down the road a bit.

  8. I use a tablet and since the change I can only see today’s events on the calander. Even when I change the dates it loads a new page but the events are still on today’s.

    1. The link is definitely broken, and it’s taking longer than we hoped; we appreciate your patience.

  9. wow.. I know there are always glitches whenever changes happen, but what is surprising is Peter Oberfest’s articulate and thoughtful responses to questions and complaints on this forum… thank you Peter, your responses are helpful, respectful, and worthy of your profession..

  10. Peter – I think the new site looks great! Could you tell me where to find Birth, Engagement and Wedding Announcements on the new site? As a vineyard native who now lives elsewhere, these are sections I check quite often.

    1. These were omitted through oversight, and will return in a box toward the bottom of the On Island landing page. Thanks for the kind words, and for your patience.