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New website

Wednesday, June 19th , 2013

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The www.andyhayler.com site has remained essentially unchanged in style since 2006; those who may recall the old site, dating back to 1994, will appreciate that it has been a big improvement on the original one, but is now rather long in the tooth. Consequently the site has now been completely rebuilt. The new www.andyhayler.com website has many new and improved features, including:

1)   There is a new rating system. The old out of 10 system was familiar to those who knew the UK Good food Guide, but was counter-intuitive to everyone else: 4/10 is a good score in the system, but at school 4/10 sounds like a fail. In the new system I have simply added 10, so 4/10 becomes 14/20, 7/10 becomes 17/20 etc. This will be easier to follow for newcomers, and allows me some flexibility below 10/20, useful for certain restaurants. For existing users, just deduct 10 to get the old score e.g. 16/20 is the old 6/10. 

2)   The site is quicker and more reliable in terms of response time.

3)   There is greatly enhanced ability to search for restaurants on location e.g. “show me all restaurants reviewed within 10 miles of Barcelona”

4)   Searching is now vastly more flexible. You can combine any criteria e.g. “London Michelin starred restaurants scoring at least 15/20” or “show me all reviews of Mexican restaurants in Madrid” or indeed any level of multiple search criteria. The search on the home page searches all review text, something not possible earlier, while the search on the restaurant guide page searches on restaurant name only (both search types are useful at different times).

5)   Maps are dramatically quicker to load, and you can see all restaurants result searches via a map view, as well as the exact location of individual restaurants, not just the three fixed maps on the old site.

6)   There are many previously unseen photos, due to a technical restriction in the previous site design being removed.

7)   Restaurants that have had multiple visits now have separate tabs for each review, except in cases where they are just minor comments, making it easier to read lengthy reviews where multiple visits were involved.

8)   The whole site has been rebuilt using the latest web technology and a completely fresh design approach.

9)    Minor typos have been eliminated, though doubtless some remain. Please let me know if you spot any.

10)   My tweets are linked to the site automatically.

11)   The site is better for phone and tablet use, and significant further work will be done to improve this aspect further in the following weeks.

12) The 3starrestaurants.com site will be wrapped into the new site i.e. will no longer be separate. The content of the current microsite is covered on the Michelin section of the new site. You can now create your own lists using the filters on the restaurant guide, and view the results in "historical" form, which will will show the Michelin history dating back to 2000.

I hope you like the new site; there is a feedback form in the footer of the home page. My sincere thanks to the dozens of regular readers who participated in the beta test of the site and gave invaluable feedback, and to the team at Webigence who have done a very professional job in building the new site.

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