Slight Site Tweaks
October 07, 2016

The site needed some slight changes, so I made them. Here is a roundup of stuff I changed today:

  • The site's main background image. Although a quick look at the site's front page tends to show that most new reviews coming through the site are for PC games, courtesy of both staff/freelancers and standard contributors, I've seen the occasional comment online from people who said the site really isn't for them because we don't cover PC games. The new background image includes a number of PC titles among the mix, and also some other games that have been a big deal on the site in particular over the years.

    Note: Because the site caches images to save bandwidth and improve page load speeds, you may have to press F5 on your keyboard while viewing the front page in order to refresh your cache and see the new image in place.

  • Xbox 360 has been removed from the top bar. The Xbox 360 isn't getting a lot of new games these days, even compared to the PS3, and I wanted to make room for something else. Just what is that something else? I've added PC back to the top bar. It leads to the PC & Miscellaneous page. We cover more PC games than we do games for any other platform, so it made sense (especially since the fact that we cover PC games somehow isn't evident to casual visitors and we only get one chance to make a first impression).

  • The review submission page now always defaults to standard reviews. This affects only accounts that are capable of submitting freelance or staff reviews. Once a staff or freelance review is marked as such and posted, it is extremely difficult to update it so that it appears around the site as a standard review. On multiple occasions, reviews have been submitted as staff reviews when they were meant to be posted as standard ones, so that is now less likely to happen by accident. After all, accidents happen. This change should just minimize them. And if a staff member accidentally submits a staff review as a standard review, it just takes a quick edit to fix it.

  • Only exclusive reviews will show up in the random reviews box. The box on the front page will now select only reviews that have been marked as exclusive to the site. There are over 9000 total reviews on the site, and more than 4400 of those are exclusive. They deserve extra exposure compared to standard reviews, and they hadn't really been getting it. Limiting the results to only exclusive reviews gives them added distinction, as thanks to those contributors who post a given review exclusively at HonestGamers.

Thanks for continuing to visit the site, and for your ongoing contributions. We're a small community, but I want to make the experience as positive and intuitive as possible for those who return day after day. You are the site's lifeblood!

I'm always on the lookout for ways to do that while ensuring that your contributions receive the most attention that I can feasibly direct their way, and I give serious consideration to all suggestions for improvement even if I don't implement them immediately (or ever). Keep 'em coming!

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silversuriv silversuriv - October 07, 2016 (04:13 PM)
I like these little changes that you've made, but for me, the majority of the PC boxes (nearly all of it) in the main background image are covered by the site's content making their inclusion a bit pointless. It's probably because I'm on a TV with 1366 x 768 resolution. Just pointing it out hehe.
honestgamer honestgamer - October 07, 2016 (04:21 PM)
That was intentional, actually. I didn't want PC boxes to dominate the collage. The image shows parts of a larger number of PC games than it does games for any other platform, and yet it allows space for some of the many other platforms the site covers. It's actually a pretty tough thing to make one background that gives a viewer an idea of what variety of content there is on the site, especially since there's a big box of content at the middle. I browse the Internet with 1920x1080 resolution, myself!
honestgamer honestgamer - October 07, 2016 (04:35 PM)
Ah, scratch that. Yeah, with a lower resolution, the boxes will all be pushed behind the center bar, because the background stretches across 100% of the screen regardless of its size (within reason). So it looks great at my resolution, and less and less becomes visible as screen real estate diminishes, since the site content itself takes up a comparatively larger portion of the available space.
overdrive overdrive - October 07, 2016 (08:15 PM)
"The review submission page now always defaults to standard reviews."

To be forever known as THE ROB HAMILTON SITE TWEAK!
honestgamer honestgamer - October 07, 2016 (09:33 PM)
Heh. I don't think you're the only person who has done it, but certainly, you're the only guy I can think of who has done it more than once. So I guess we can give the tweak that name.
hastypixels hastypixels - October 09, 2016 (11:19 AM)
It's good that you make subtle changes; you're responding to our needs like a good caretaker. Thank you! On that note:

I recently followed a couple writers here, including you, and found it awkward to do. I had to find a comment, click on the writer's name and then follow from the subsequent page. It would increase followership if that link were more readily clickable.

Thank you again for this wonderful site!
honestgamer honestgamer - October 09, 2016 (12:17 PM)
Thanks for the feedback, and I will keep it in mind. In the meantime, you can also click the username from the bottom of a review that you enjoy, which brings you to the same author blog page that then allows you to follow the person. Basically, any time you encounter a username on the site, whether reading a review you enjoy, or a forum post, or a blog post or comment, you're a click away from that individual's profile page.

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