The Lounge website gets a makeover

If you are a regular visitor to the Lounge website, you will of no doubt noticed our new look and we are hoping you like some of the new features we have rolled out.

Below is a summary of what has changed on the site, why we did it and what to expect in the future.

Why the change?

The Lounge is built on a very popular website platform called Joomla, but was running a version that was rapidly approaching end of life and therefore would become unsupported in terms of fixes and security updates, so clearly it had to move to an up to date version. It was at this point, as it was a major upgrade, it was decided to redesign and restructure the way website looks and the content it contains.

What's changed?

The simple answer is a lot! The vast majority, apart from the totally different design, will not be visible to yourselves. A summary of many of the changes you will notice are below.

  • The obvious one, a totally new look and layout.
  • The addition of local news, weather and travel provided by the BBC, and the Highways Agency respectively. They update regularly, so feel free to come back again and again to check and yes, the weather really is for Alvechurch!
  • New advertisements. Ok, most of us don't like ad's, but they can provide additional funding for us. Please check out Amazon and the new Easy Fundrasing links, as these could be a major source of income for us, for very little effort to yourself and you never know, you may save yourself a bit of cash. I personally saved a few hundred pounds on a holiday using Easy Fundraising and raised £8 for The Lounge in the process! In the future we will be looking at allowing other businesses to advertise on here as well, however we promise to limit the amount we show and not become a mess of adverts and little else.
  • Search and Support. A spin off from Easy Fundraising, but if you use this instead of other search engines, you raise .5p per search. Ok so the results often mean you have to go a little further down to get the result you want, but we'd appreciate your help.
  • News Letter subscriptions. If you would like to get occasional news letters about upcoming events and important announcements, then feel free to sign up. We promise not to spam you with useless junk or pass on your info to anyone else.

What's coming?

  • New Youth site. It was decided to split the site into two very distinct sections as the two major users of The Lounge (Youth and Cafe) have very different needs. Therefore instead of trying make the two live on the same website and not really work for either of them, we will split the youth section off to a sub site, with a completely different look and feel. They will however, share common updates and links where appropriate.
  • A thank you page. Yes it's missing, but the simple reason was we have had so many people helping and donating, it was unsustainable in it's present format, so a new one will be coming.
  • Useful Sites. Quick shortcuts to some sites that you may find genuinely useful, such as Project Gutenberg (free books) and Gizmo's Freeware (free software) as well as links to major help and advice centres.
  • TBA. Yes even at this stage, we are looking at what else you may want so that you coming back time and time again.

So a final word from myself, I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone involved in The Lounge and ACT, be it the people using our services or those of us helping out.

Stu Reeves