JUST SHY OF ITS SIXTH BIRTHDAY, A Way to Garden [dot] com got a new look and new features in January 2014, including improved navigation; easier-to-read type; one-third-bigger photos to accompany stories; better display on mobile devices; plus printable articles, with more to come. Get reacquainted in a little Q&A (or take yourself on a tour by rolling your cursor over the navigational words up top, to see what reveals itself).
First, please bear with me as I uncover glitches. I am just one person sorting through 1,500 stories and many thousands of images for wonky stuff. If you find issues, details at the bottom of the page explain how to let me know. Thanks! Now let’s start our tour:
a q&a on the new a way to garden
Q. What were those three new photos across the top on the homepage?
A. Those new “featured areas” allow me to showcase something timely but that might not be the latest story I’ve written on the blog. For example, I could post details of an upcoming open garden day the week or two before, or pluck a juicy story from the archives that rates reading again. I might create a collection of related stories—like my best ones on seed-starting when it’s prime time—to help you find the best stuff. And so on. The new slots up top help me to help you.
Q. So where do I find the most recent story you’ve written, the “blog,” that used to run down the middle of the homepage?
A. Easy! Just below the three featured items across the top, look for the words LATEST POSTS. And away you go! You can still read the blog posts in reverse-chronological order, hitting the “next page” button you’ll see after every five short summaries of recent stories, browsing all the way back to 2008 if you like.
Q. How does the new navigation work—it used to be on the left-hand side but…?
A. Good news: You can now drill right down to what you want, so if it’s tomato information you’re after, just hover your cursor over the word PLANTS up top, and drop right down to Tomatoes—or to Bulbs or Trees or Herbs and so on.
Same is true with RECIPES (above), or the big HOW-TO bucket: Put your cursor up there and you can then jump right to Composting or Weeds or Shade Gardening or any of the other practical stuff.
Note: Some things are so popular that they rated their own “sub-navigation” row of clickable words near the top—things like the chores by month, garden faq’s, top 50 stories and so on. Shortcuts! Use them.
Q. Whoa! When I scroll down the page, the navigation buttons from up top seem to come with me. Why?
A. I decided to take advantage of what’s called “sticky” navigation, so that even if you’ve scrolled deep down into a long story or the comments, you can do a search, or go to your next area of interest without scrolling back up top. Again: a shortcut.
Q. What if I want to really pinpoint something—like one single plant, or a recipe for applesauce?
A. Use the Google Custom Search tool, which you will always find at the top of your screen in the center. It looks like the photo above. Type in your hoped-for item, and hit SEARCH.
Q. Are there any new departments in your archives I should check out?
A. Yes! All my food stories have been filed better, for example, into areas such as Soups or Desserts (the obvious stuff) but also Pickles & Condiments and even a whole Freezing & Canning archive. Simply place your cursor over the RECIPES up top, and the menu will display.
For science-y geeks such as myself: under NATURE, I’ve added Insects & Worms, and also Mushrooms & Other Fungi—so you can shortcut right to those. (Gross, huh?)
Even my ABOUT area is more detailed: You can shortcut right to a page about the website, of course, but also to ones about my garden (with a slideshow); my garden tours and other events; my e-newsletter; my radio podcast, and yes, even a whole page defining “woo-woo” (the second half of my company motto, “horticultural how-to and ‘woo-woo’”).
Q. How do I print something?
A. Use whatever key commands on your computer that you would to print anything else, and the story you are on will pop up in a pdf format, ready to print. You won’t get the stuff in the sidebars or other non-essentials.
Q. Something looks wrong to me, or isn’t working. Help!
A. If you find any issues, please email them to awaytogarden [at] gmail [dot] com, but here’s the thing:
To fix problems with how things look, I need to know what browser you were on when the trouble occurred (including the version—for instance, Firefox 26 or Safari 6.0.5) so I can try to replicate the trouble. A screenshot if you want to attach one also helps. Thanks!