Astoria, Community
Mar 09, 2016

What’s New At We Heart Astoria

We Heart Astoria has a brand new look! Here’s how to navigate the site and its features.

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By now, you no doubt have witnessed the newly redesigned We Heart Astoria website—this is actually the third incarnation of the site in the almost six years (our birthday/anniversary is coming up on March 15). We’ve come a long way from those early days when we designed everything ourselves. Big thanks to Nuno Faustino, AKA Sitebreed for helping us with the look and feel, as well as functionality, of We Heart Astoria.

original-wha-homepage-astoria

Wow, remember this? Thanks, Wayback Machine.

We thought we’d point out some of the new features of the site—it’s still on WordPress and theme was custom built for us. There are some cool bells and whistles on the backend, but for the purposes of this post, we’ll focus on what you see on the site itself.

We Heart Astoria Is a Responsive Site

This is perhaps the most meaningful element for you, our readers. “Responsive” means the site changes to accommodate sizing needs for mobile phones, tablets, and desktop. At the top of this post is a screenshot of the desktop version. Here’s the mobile:

mobile-site-wha-astoria

As you can see, they layout will change, resulting in differing combinations of text, photos, and ads. We think it lends itself to a much better user experience; no more pinching the screen to get the site to the right size for your device. Plus it’s big ‘ol smooch to Google, who is demoting sites that are not optimized for mobile devices. #transparency

Featured Posts at the Top

The collage of three posts at the top are our Featured posts. It’s fairly obvious what that means—these are posts we think are particularly noteworthy. They will change over time, too, since the awesome won’t be limited to only these three posts.

The Posts Themselves—Easier Information and Navigation

The latest nine posts will display in the column. Ideally, next to the post’s photo there will be a descriptor of the post, too, to give you even more of an idea of what’s it’s all about. In most cases each post will have a neighborhood tab overlaid on it, be it Astoria, Long Island City, Woodside, or Sunnyside (at least right now—we may add neighborhoods as time goes on). You can click on those neighborhood tabs, too, and they will take you to the archive of posts associated with that neighborhood. For example, here’s the Astoria archive:

astoria-category-archive-new-wha-site

Editor’s Choice and Trending Scoops

The Editor’s Choice section is also curated by WHA Staff, five posts at a time. The Trending Scoops area has to do with what you, the reader, is paying attention to the most, for any 30 day period. Thanks, guys!

Meet Your Authors in Every Post

At the bottom of each post is a new Author Block, which has a photo and mini bio of the particular writer behind the post. This will make us more familiar to you, and you will know a bit better whose writing that stuff you love, like, or… well, you know.

Deals and Specials

This is a new area for us—well, not a “new area” like it’s unfamiliar, but a new aspect of the site. Deals are like… think of “dinner for two at XYZ restaurant”—we now have a dedicated area for such things. Deals and Specials will be announced in a regular looking post, but you’ll be able to find them en masse in this tab at the top of the page.

Events Calendar

This is still in development but we’re excited to introduce it to you in due time. We prefer it to the previous incarnation of our events calendar, and can’t wait to get it up and out. Stay tuned!

Don’t Forget Our Newsletter!

At the top of the page, just above the collage of Featured Posts, is our newsletter signup form. We send it out each Monday and it’s full of news—often times from the site itself but also from other local sources. Sometimes you’ll find out things there before anywhere else in the We Heart Astoria realm. It’s short and easy to read. In fact, you can sign up right now? 👇



Miscellanea—Social Media, Search, Advertise, Contact

You’ll note that links to our social media pages are on the top right of the site, along with our RSS feed; you can also share our posts on social via options on the left side of any particular post.

Below the top-most ad is the search function—click the spyglass and the field where you input your search terms will drop down below.

If you’d like to advertise with us, there’s a place for first contact. Be sure to reach out if you have questions, and share a scoop if you have a tip. It’s no secret that we love tips, so send us what you’ve got!

Thanks for reading for all these years, and we hope you like the new We Heart Astoria!

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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