Weekend Update

This weekend (actually starting at around 5:00 PM Pacific Friday night and continuing into the weekend) the DevCentral team will be implementing a new blogging platform and a new look and layout for DevCentral.

A New Look

Our new look is based on Twitter's popular "Bootstrap" framework and will not only provide a modern, clean, professional look along with a device-adaptive layout for DevCentral, but will also help us better organize content, make it easier for visitors to navigate while dramatically reducing the payload of our pages - something we know our international visitors will appreciate – all while giving us a platform that will help us better support F5's overall online brand in the future.

A New Layout

One of the things we’ve been wanting to do for a while is clean things up a bit around here.  Like a lot of  large sites that have been live for a long time; over the years things got added here and there and we did things one way back back in the day but do things completely differently now.  While those pages and navigational structures made sense at the time, they don’t always make sense anymore and can actually create dead ends, confuse people and make it pretty hard to a newbie (or even a veteran F5er) find what they’re after on DevCentral.  So one of our goals here is to clean up our navigation and standardize page layouts and section around a set of modern standards.  This is going to take some time, and will be an ongoing effort to make sure

New Blogs

Our new blog consolidates things by moving blogs off a stand-alone application and tightly integrating them into DevCentral itself improving not only the experience for our users, but for our many F5 bloggers as well. The new blog platform elevates our AMEA and APAC contributors, delivers better content presentation, SEO, URLs, taxonomy & folksonomy, content discovery, related content, organization not to mention comment spam prevention. Bloggers will see improvements in the on-boarding & publishing process, self service features like avatar and author bio management and of course getting DevCentral cred for their work through their online profiles.

What to Expect

The majority of the work will be completed in one evening, but since many of our pages will need to be fine-tuned by hand, we expect to make it out to the far edges of the site by the end of the weekend.  During this transition the site will remain up and completely functional, albeit from time to time a specific page we're working might look a little wonky. We ask for your patience over the weekend as we work to deliver a better, leaner, more focused, better performing DevCentral.

What’s Next?

We have a number of projects in the work at the moment.  Creatively we’ll continue to refine and define the look here on DevCentral, moving from straight up Bootstrap to something that’s more our own – likely borrowing some queues from the good looking work over on f5.com recently.  We’re also focused pretty intensely on improving page performance, especially payload (which this updated addresses quite a bit) and we have some pretty sweet upgrade and new functionality planned going into 2013. 

We’ll keep you posted about all of it  here on the blog.

Tell Us What You Think

We’d love to hear what you think. Post up your thoughts, opinions & suggestions below.