Site Update: New Responsive Design

Last month, changes made by our former host killed our mobile version and forced us to leave for a different host. Instead of building another mobile version, we decided to move to a responsive design. (Responsive designs are the future of web design; instead of building apps or separate websites for each tablet and smartphone platform, a responsive design uses one code base that scales down to fit any screen.)

A few of you may have seen this up briefly over the last month, during testing. We’ve officially flipped the switch now. How does it display on your phones and tablets?

(Also, who can name the group featured in silhouette on the masthead? Bonus points if you can name the specific lineup!)

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42 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. My guess is Palmetto State Qt? Only because that tenors head looks just like Wesley Smith!

  2. My guess is Palmetto State Quartet. The tenor’s head looks like Wesley Smith! So going to guess the version of PSQ with Wesley.

    • Nope, not him. Sorry! 🙂

      • Sorry, didn’t think the first submission went thru.

      • No problem! 🙂

  3. This looks great on my phone: it appears to really like the simplistic design.

    For the masthead, they’re standing like the ending to an Inspirations song and the assumed tenor reminds me of Dallas Rogers with them in mind; otherwise he looks like Jerry Martin and it might be the Dove Brothers, but the tall lead singer (?) doesn’t look like anyone from them. So, I’m gonna go with the Kingdom Heirs.

  4. I like the new layout, Daniel. Easier on my 44 year old eyes! 🙂

    On the group at the top – I’ll take a stab in the dark and go with The Inspirations. . . mainly because the Bass has the posture of Mike Holcomb.

    • Yep, Mike’s stance is the giveaway on the silhouette. Nicely done.

      • I thought this would have been a little more of a challenge. At least Stewart made me feel better, by not getting it on the very first guess! 🙂

  5. WOW! Y’all are GOOD!

    Levi, your first hunch was right, and Dan, you were also right. It’s the Dallas Rogers-era Inspirations with the tall lead singer David Ragan – who looks tall next to Dallas, at any rate! – Melton, and Mike.

    I scoured my collection for a picture that, even in silhouette, would encapsulate Southern Gospel. When I saw this, I thought, “now THAT is Southern Gospel!” 🙂

  6. I was going to say the silhouettes. 🙂

  7. 1. LOVE the design. Reminds me of my old one a bit.
    2. My guess was going to be the Kingdom Heirs, but I suppose the bass is too tall for that.

    • Oh, and I can’t comment on the mobile version since I don’t own a mobile device.

      • No problem! I don’t own a smartphone myself. I used to, but found it more of a nuisance than a help, so I was happy to get rid of it and go to an emergency-only Tracfone which I keep turned off almost all of the time!

    • My first thought was the Kingdom Heirs because the lead looks exactly like Arthur Rice. Still can’t really see David Ragan there, even though I know it is him.

      • Jodi Hosterman is about David’s height. But Dallas was significantly shorter, to the point that David looks like Arthur Rice standing next to him!

  8. Looks great on iOS4. Glad to see mobile back. Thanks!

  9. I think the new theme is nice, and I’m glad to see I wasn’t going crazy a couple weeks ago when I came here and saw the site like this.

    • Yeah, I tested it for a few minutes here and there – never longer than ten, though, I think!

  10. Huh, I must be an exception. Before I saw the announcement, I was getting ready to comment that the redesign didn’t work well on my iPod. (My computer is taking a long hiatus with lots of Blue Screen of Death errors; mobile is not my favorite environment.)

    To be specific: in normal, vertical orientation, the headers on the left take up a lot of space and stretch out the posts so there’s a lot of scrolling. When I switched to horizontal, it was a lot better, but the text gets larger, so there’s still a lot of scrolling. (Not just a minor deal for me right now… Blame it on morning sickness, but a lot of scrolling on this small screen is kind of motion-sickness inducing. I guess that qualifies as an announcement. Lol)

    Also, the grey-on-grey in the comment box is a little hard to read.

    Now, graphic-wise, it’s great. I also like having a mobile theme that loads quickly and makes the comments readily accessible.

    • Congratulations, Amy!

      iPod? Hmm, that’s one interface I didn’t test it on. Yes, it would take quite a bit of scrolling on that small of a screen.

      • It is an iPod Touch with iOS 5. It has the retina display and should display just like on the iPhones, I think. But as I mentioned on the other post, the individual posts display just fine, and since the home page is mostly summaries, it’s probably not worth tweaking.

      • OK, thanks! I’ll have a hard time debugging without testing it on one, but should I have that opportunity at some point, I’ll take it. 🙂

    • The site appears this way on my iPhone as well. All of the text other than the header is all to the right side of the screen. Makes for lots of scrolling. hmm….

      • Hmm. I think different iPhones are set at different resolutions, and this can size down-but only to a point. That’s my working hypothesis, anyhow!

      • The latest tweak improved the ‘readability’. I understand the move towards phone friendly layout, but in conversation streams [even on computer] there is more indent then before. Which means on a long comment run the text is down to 5 words / line – which is a lot of scrolling!!

        Can you decrease the indent, or as on quite a few blogs, only indent once and keep all the supplementary comments in line?

        Just a thought. The content is very biased to the right 🙂 !

      • I’ve contemplated narrowing the depth of replies to three. That would confuse old posts but solve this problem, which crops up with every redesign.

  11. Here’s a just-for-fun tip: This doesn’t work in Internet Explorer, I think, but in Google Chrome, if you resize the window in which the site appears, you can see how it would display on different sizes of screens. 🙂

    • The design I’m trying for Musicscribe will resize the header image when I change the size of the browser window in Firefox, but when I view it on my Windows 6.5 phone, it doesn’t adjust to fit.

      Yours works great on my phone, though!

      • The default WordPress theme (2011, I think) is responsive.

      • I’ll probably stick with the one that’s up now. Everything else other than the header responds and looks “good” sized down on the the extent that any website can appear on a 4 inch screen.

  12. I saw this re-design briefly too. In fact, if memory serves it was the day I posted from work and accidentally typed my email address in the name field and asked you to delete it. That was at least partially due to the same problem I had earlier this morning with it in that the text in the name and email fields was barely readable (faint). At least now, that seems to be okay, but I am still having to type my name and emails in. (At least the first letter and then choosing the proper names from the choices).

    • Yes, I remember that discussion! Hopefully it will start remembering you before too long.

      Yes, making the text in the comment area darker was one of the changes I made this morning.

    • Hey quartet-man, here’s something I just figured out! When you are selecting from the list of names/emails after typing in the first letter, you can just mouse over or arrow down to the name(s)/email(s) you don’t want and press “Delete” on your keyboard (not “Backspace,” though I haven’t tried that).

      Don’t worry, it doesn’t remember me either. It doesn’t hurt my feelings though… 🙂

      • That’s interesting!

        I’m still hoping that it will start remembering you both again after a while.

      • Thanks a lot, Josh.. That makes it more palatable. I had tried to find a way to get rid of those from the menu, and couldn’t find as way.

  13. Android’s native browser displays the same way the iPhone users reported (which makes sense, as both browsers are based on the same base code). It’s no problem on the post view, but the index view with the article excerpt is irksome.

    If those headers could be realigned, this’d be a real winner. I like the minimal design aesthetic! I especially prefer it to the previous layout/design; that old font was a real eye-slayer. Then again, I’m a desktop Opera user, so that might account for it….

    • Thanks, Scott! If I get one at some point, I’ll probably be better able to diagnose and resolve any problems.

  14. Looks awesome Daniel. Hope that this one will last forever and ever. Very clear writing I might add! Keep up the awesome work, God bless!