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Redesign update: changes to comments and search!

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When we launched the redesign a few weeks ago we said we would be making some changes based on your feedback.

The first update has now been rolled out, and includes changes to the way comments and the search function work.

Changes to comments:

  • Re-introducing gravatars. Although most commenters don’t set any gravatars (you can do so here if you are interested) it can be helpful to distinguish between users with similar names!
  • Increasing the visibility of HfP comments. This includes displaying a HfP logo gravatar as well as giving our comments a blue shading.
  • Making usernames sentence case again, rather than all-caps.
  • Giving comment replies a grey background, which should help to make the site appear ‘less white’!
  • Moving the ‘reply’ button to the right, out of the way of the main comment flow. It should now be less distracting.
  • Making the comment pagination more obvious, so that it’s clear what page you are on. We had a lot of comments saying how hard it was to tell and we agreed!

Changes to search:

  • Adding the ability to search comments and posts, just posts or just comments. Unfortunately there is no way for us to display comment snippets in comment search at the moment, which is frustrating.
  • Added the ability to filter based on relevance or publication date. This should help if you are looking for recent articles.

Hopefully these changes make navigating the comments a lot easier and the search function more flexible. Let us know what you think or if you have any other suggestions. We will be introducing further tweaks across the site in the coming week.

PS. if you can’t see the changes properly, make sure to empty your browser cache! The easiest way to do this is CTRL + F5 on Windows and CMD + R on Apple Macs.

Comments (83)

  • TGLoyalty says:

    I can see gravatars are back but they seem to be showing one small image and one large next to each other?

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Was it a conscious decision for comment pages to go from newest to oldest?

    i.e. in general chat the pages flow 1 to 4 with oldest on 1 and newest on 4 but each individual page has the newest main comment first. find that very confusing. My cache has been cleared many times and can’t see anywhere to set a personal cookie setting so assuming its site wide?

    • Rhys says:

      Site wide, has always been that way. But we CAN change it in WordPress, and we may still.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        Is there a way to save a users preference? Does the WordPress commenting system allow a user to set a cookie so that they can see oldest first or even better remember where they left off.

        It’s easy if you have logins but I think it’s best in the current form where we don’t need to register

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Strange as it wasn’t this way before the update.

        It went from oldest at the top on each page and page 1 was the oldest comments etc

        • Rob says:

          No, P1 has always been newest unless you click the link in the chat thread to reorder it.

          • Allycat says:

            I hate to disagree with Rob or Rhys but my memory is the same as TGLoyalty and others, on my browsing over several years with multiple browsers and cache clearing, comments always appeared oldest on page 1, newest on page x, with them being in ascending time order from top to bottom of each page. I can’t see a link in the chat thread to reorder things ? It would be great to have it the way I and others have described as it seems illogical to have to scroll to the bottom of each page and then go upwards to read things in order. Maybe we are all too OCD 🙂

          • Rhys says:

            There was a slight change, which was down to a miscommunication. Should be back to how it was before 🙂

          • Allycat says:

            Brilliant, looks great now in proper CDO date & time order (because if you have OCD its offending that the acronym is not alphabetical 😉 ).

            Thanks, and a great improvement on the comments functionality overall

  • EwanG says:

    Gravatars are now feeding through to the RSS feed too – layout looks v odd. I don’t think they ever used to before.

    Is there a way for the RSS feed to be modified to take such gravatars away again??

    • Rhys says:

      Try clearing your cache first – if you’re seeing two gravatars, then that’s the reason why.

      • EwanG says:

        Only seeing one gravatar Rhys on the feed and the webpage, so not a caching issue. The gravatars are significantly larger than they should be (6-7 times the height of the text)…
        Back to my point, the gravatars did not used to show on the feed, and being 6-7 times the size of the name, it makes the formatting look dreadful. Can/will the feed be changed to ignore the gravatars?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Clearing the cache m and browsing data doesn’t seem to have done anything on iPhone chrome so might be why people are having issues still.

        It worked for Laptop and safari on my iPhone.

  • Andrew says:

    So glad you moved the reply button – I scroll on my phone with my left thumb and was continually hitting reply by mistake!

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    After clearing my cache (as the old stylesheet was still loading) I think this is a great improvement. I DIDN’T LIKE ALL THE NAMES IN UPPERCASE 😁 and the shading helps with the clarity of the comments flow. It’s also good to highlight when there’s a real HFP person replying as otherwise anyone can be ‘Rob’, ‘Rhys’ or ‘Anika’ and can sound official until it gets deleted.

  • ChrisBCN says:

    A great improvement, and the first time I have been able to scroll through comments without the reply box popping up!

  • Char char says:

    Not having set usernames you can register and being able to access previous posts of yourself or others is the most important thing to update, otherwise it’s ground hog day every day especially as the chat threads are now being removed??

    • Rob says:

      The chat threads are not removed, just hidden from the home page. You can find them by:

      Selecting ‘General’ under the categories menu in the desktop sidebar
      Typing into your browser
      Clicking ‘General’ under the categorisation of the current thread

      All of these bring up all the ‘General’ posts which are mainly chat threads.

  • Jill (Kinkell) says:

    Success! Had to google what to do to clear stuff on my mini iPad. Certainly an improvement.

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