We have been quiet for a few weeks with regards to new content but we have been working hard in the background to get the site super charged for the new season.
We have listened to our readers and we’ve set about a major project to make the site more accessible. This has involved a body of work to make the site quicker and more accessible on mobile platforms. We have also super-charged our lightbox viewers for all our galleries.
The whole back end of the site has been changed to make it more accessible and to make it easy for our readers to find our latest coverage of their school or club or favourite competition.
We have started to populate the menu bar with the 94 different clubs and 53 different schools that we have covered over the last 10 years and we’ll continue to update those pages with more of our historical coverage throughout August, as we continue to roll out our new categories and tagging across the site.
With nearly 4,000 articles on the site it will take us a while to get to them all.
We will also continue to set up individual competition pages for most of the club and school league and club competitions in Ulster as well as the AIL 1A, AIL 1B and the Women’s AIL to give you a go to page for those competitions. These will be live for the current season when it restarts but you can see how it they will look below.
Large, well documented competitions will have an individual page per season but for smaller competitions we’ll have one page covering several seasons.
We have also been diligently tagging players we have mentioned in our articles over the last 10 years and come September we will be making those pages accessible.
This will give players the chance to trace their careers from schools to club – and beyond in quite a few cases. I’ve been tracking these as we’ve been retaging our articles and there are some great stories to be unveiled in September.
All the above has been carried out in the middle of a general upgrade of WordPress to the Gutenberg Blocks format which has really future-proofed the site and will allow us to bring you a huge amount of interactive and media rich content going forward which some of you may have seen over the summer.
Leaving aside the huge drop off in income from our quick access members over the last few months, the whole experience has been thoroughly enjoyable as we revisited some great matches. We are hugely proud of the body of work we have put together over the last 10 years. Some seasons had been more heavily covered than others but there are some great threads holding it together – we did cover a huge amount of rugby!
Thankfully, the pressure is now on to get everything finished before the new season starts. We do hope to get out to clubs throughout Ireland over the next few weeks to see how they are coping with, what must be, a difficult return to play and hopefully we’ll be seeing some friendly matches before the competitive season restarts in October.
In the meantime we’ll be resuming our photographic coverage tomorrow night with the IRFU Tag competition at Belfast Harlequins and we still have some great past matches and tournaments to flag up now that the bulk of the site upgrades have been completed.