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HorecaSupply.com- new website

Once a while websites need a refresh. The appearance may seem outdated or just get a bit boring, but more importantly there are a ton of new features that you want to incorporate and sometimes the only way to do that is to start from scratch. I've finally managed to find a bit of time to refresh horecasupply.com and in this rambling I want to point out some of the new and improved things you can find there.

The Homepage

My personal idea of what the homepage should be is a page that gives the user an overview of what the rest of the website is all about. You should be able to get a complete experience just on the homepage and from there be able to go in more depth in specific areas of the rest of the website.

You'll see on Horeca's revamped homepage the Facebook feed, the Twitter feed, a spot for a special, a spot for the latest event pictures and the latest resource link. With this I hope to create a sense of dynamic-ness (what the hell is the word for that?) so that users have a reason to check back on the site every once in a while. There will be something new.

A bit of technical info: Facebook and Twitter's widgets are javascript based and their contents will not be indexed. To work around this, I've written a kind of "social media cache" that pulls the contents from Facebook and Twitter at most once every few hours and stores that info. It's displayed in noscript tags without special functionality like active hyperlinks and such but allows it to be indexed. Win.

Pictures pages

Another big improvement that could easily be overlooked by the casual browser is the use of hashtags for viewing individual images. Without getting too technical off the bat, it allows a viewer to copy the URL of the page while viewing a specific image and send that via email or whatever and when another user opens it they will initially start with that same image. Previously this was not possible because all images were shown asynchronously at the same URL.

The way it works is simply using a hashtag-checking function along with AJAX. This also allows users to use the browser's 'back' and 'forward' buttons to navigate through the image gallery.

Overall Look and Design

For a lot of the rest of the website, it was merely a matter of copy-pasting the old content into the new site. The big changes here is the design. The color scheme of the website is a lot lighter than the old version. To give it a clean and modern feel I've gone with white and light grays for most of the website, and kept using a aqua-blue for the highlights and red for the super highlights (rollovers, etc).

In my opinion it was the way to go; red and blue as your main color scheme is actually a lot harder than it seems. If you're just a bit careless you'll end up with a USA! look and that's not what we're going for. Anyway, I'd say check out the website and feel free to give me any feedback either through the comments here, on Facebook, or through the contact form on Horeca's website.

link: horecasupply.com

And speaking of Facebook, I would really highly appreciate any "likes" on the following pages. You guys rock.

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