`

A New Watts Bridge Website

Coming Soon

There's a new website coming to Watts Bridge. And it's completely brand-new, not just a tart-up of the current (this) site!! Way back when, the original site went to air in mid-2003 and at that time the internet, and indeed electronic communications in general, was very different to what we have today.

  • There were no smart phones or tablets. Just desktops and big heavy laptops. Screen sizes were limited to 640 x 480 pixels or 800 x 600 pixels which were the standards of the day. Larger screen formats and high definition displays were just starting to appear.
  • For most people, connection to the network was still dial-up with ADSL just appearing. No 3G or 4G mobile broadband. Certainly no fixed point broadband or fibre. Meaning that images had to be kept small and sparse to keep download times reasonable.
  • There was no (anti)social media. Affordable digital cameras were still expensive and limited quality. A 'selfie' was still a thing of the future.
  • The technologies used to create and serve up websites was archaic by today's standards. Every page was laboriously hand crafted with many practical constraints on creativity and eye-catching design.
  • Understandably, viewer expectations were much lower then than they are today.

In 2013 a major upgrade of the website was undertaken which addressed many of the issues created by larger screens and the relaxed limits which had been imposed by low bandwidth connections. But the reality is that this was soon to be seen as a band-aid solution. The explosion of mobile communications, be it smart-phones or tablets meant that more and more viewers were accessing the internet on devices other than conventional computers. On smart phones in particular the existing website is difficult to use, both visually and navigation wise. On modern computers the site did not take full advantage of the larger screen sizes and resolutions which were now common place.

And then in late 2018, for the first time, the number of viewers accessing the site on mobile platforms surpassed those using computers and laptops. It was obvious that to remain relevant the Watts Bridge website required a complete redesign from the ground up. Fortunately the technology used to create websites and content has undergone an absolute revolution to keep pace with the expanded requirements imposed by the multitude of viewing platforms.

Page building software such as WordPress, WIX and Square Space offer a design philosophy known as "responsive design", allowing web pages to be designed which seamlessly respond to the screen capabilities of the device upon which they are being viewed. Page layouts are now remarkably fluid and adaptive.

Generally speaking, responsive design pages look quite different to their forebears. There is much more white space on the page, images are larger as are the fonts used for headings and text.

Following a thorough review of the Watts Bridge website, the decision was made to undertake a complete redesign of the site, using the most current tools and techniques available. The review highlighted that much of the historical content on the current site was worth preserving but not porting to the new site. So an archive has been created which presents the articles as they originally appeared.
 

And so here we are - almost ready to go ....

The brand new website is now complete and ready to go. Due to various technical requirements the change-over will not be instantaneous, so we are taking this opportunity to update a variety of server-side issue at the same time. Over the next week or so, the old site will go off-air for a day or two to make way for the new site.

The screen shots above give a snapshot view of what's coming soon.

So has it been worth all the effort??

Ultimately our audience will be the judge, but we feel that the new website is a huge improvement on the old. First and foremost the site looks good and works well on all viewing platforms. And that's so important!
Navigation is much improved - it's simply easier to quickly find the information that you're looking for. On a more subjective level we feel that the new site is so much easier to read, features a clean modern layout, and presents the airfield as a forward-looking organisation entirely relevant to its members and the wider general public.
 

As they say "Watch this space........."

Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield is strongly committed to a "Fly Neighbourly" policy ensuring good working relationships with other land owners in the district.

Pilots are requested to download the Fly Neighbourly Chart to be aware of and avoid where operationally possible, noise and over-fly sensitive locations adjacent to the airfield.

Download the Fly Neighbourly Chart.

Watts Bridge Memorial Airfield requests that all members and visitors using the airfield's internal roads adhere to the signposted maximum Speed Limit of 20kph.

The Speed Limit maximises safety for all motorists and pedestrians, significantly reduces damage to the airfield's roadways and minimises the generation of dust which has an adverse affect on aircraft, buildings and human health.

Download the Drive Neighbourly Information Sheet.