State of the Blog: UMHoops v3

Dylan Burkhardt

If you’ve made it this far, you’re looking at the latest version of the website. The new design was long overdue and will hopefully be a much needed improvement. We’ve also moved to a new server which should mean less “Internal Server Error” and faster load times. You can obviously see the new design for yourself but here are some highlights worth pointing out:

  • Recruiting Profiles: We are replacing the hot boards with recruiting profiles. These profiles will have basic information about Michigan recruiting targets and also a listing of all previous posts tagged with that prospect’s name. The profiles are listed by class here: 2011 / 2012 / 2013.
  • Newsstand: A compilation of our favorite RSS feeds and tweets for the latest news across the college basketball world on one page.
  • Player Profile Pages: Updated statistics, season trends, and a listing of each player’s game-by-game bullets. Profiles can be accessed from the drop down menu above, the roster page, or the depth chart. Example: Zack Novak
  • Past Recruiting Classes: This page is a listing of previous recruiting classes dating back to 1961. Many thanks to Ron White for supplying the content.
  • Recruiting Videos: A live-search enabled listing of all recruiting videos that have been posted on the blog.
  • Related Posts: At the bottom of each post you will find five auto generated related posts.
  • New Archives Page: Made to be a little easier, you can now search a listing of all posts sorted by date and more.
  • Google Search: Instead of the basic WordPress search, which seemed to never work, you can now search the archives using a Google powered search engine.
  • I need to thank Ben Schaaf of Snow Fox Design for being the point man on the new design. This would have never happened without him.

There will obviously be some growing pains but we are confident that this will be a huge step toward taking the site to the next level. We will have significantly more content this year, mostly due to our new presence on press row, and want to try to make everything easier to find. If you do find an error or have a suggestion, please shoot me an e-mail.

We also are going to use this as an opportunity to start our semi-annual donation drive. We have put in a significant amount of work to try and improve the site over the last several months and think we’ve done a great job:

  • We acquired a press pass and added Joe to the team to make it worthwhile.
  • We ramped up our recruiting coverage – attending nine events this summer and providing scores of free recruiting updates, scouting, and video.
  • Finally, we put together this new design and added the features outlined above.

Unfortunately none of this is free. The best way to make all of this happen and help us continue to improve the site is to ask for your help. There’s no need for a monthly donation or anything like that but any donations are a huge boost to the site and allow us to continue to push the envelope. You can rest assured that your contribution will go directly toward the costs associated with the site. To contribute, click the button below:

  • KRN

    Just sent in my donation.

    The new layout looks fantastic. All I can say at the moment is that I probably won’t get much sleep tonight due to this. :)

  • Go Blue

    This looks fantastic, I like the Mgoblog feel. I will definitely be donating to this effort and thank you for a great job covering UM basketball.

  • Go Blue

    Just sent my donation,,only took 20 seconds with paypal. Now I dont feel so bad for reading this blog for 2 years without contributing.

  • Kevin in GR

    Dylan, the new site looks great! Keep up the good work…..We appreciate your efforts!

  • MaizeNBlueJ

    Looking good, Dylan. If I ever get some cash, I’ll definitely contribute, but in the mean time, if there’s anything I can do (graphic work, scouting, video, whatever) let me know.

  • BlimpyBlue

    Love the hardwood background on the updated site.

    One suggestion… You might want to consider removing the underline and bold on the hyperlinks within your posts. Right now, the page looks really busy and the hyperlinks in their current format are a little distracting while reading through a piece.

  • mitch

    I don’t like change. It actually looks really good. I like the hardwood floor look. Im really looking forward to this season for some odd reason. Maybe its the unknown, and all the new faces that will be out on the court. Lets hope for the best, and some guys really step up and suprise us. Keep up the good work

  • Gary

    I like the new site. The historical stuff is nice addition for long-time fans. I made a contribution and urge everyone else who enjoys this site to do so too. If you visit the site regularly, it has to be worth something to you.

    Like Mitch, I am looking forward to this season even though it will likely be a tough one. It is the unknown – the chance that someone will have a breakthrough season and that the team will surprise people. You have to love an underdog, especially when it’s a group of guys who seem to be working hard, having fun, and represent Michigan well.

    See you at Crisler!

  • DNich

    Site looks great!

  • Carl

    What’s up with Ray Lee’s bio:

    “Ray Lee info dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque dolor felis, tempor tempus elementum a, convallis et velit. Phasellus et pulvinar magna. Phasellus sit amet vulputate magna. Ut varius cursus metus, ut tristique urna rutrum quis. Praesent quis orci et enim porttitor lobortis sed nec tortor.”


    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Sorry that was place holder text. I’ll update his bio later today.

  • Brian W

    U-M basketball is one of the featured items on Yahoo’s main web page. The article is at…

    Detroit news also has a story about U-M today…

  • sven

    Love the new background.

  • Kenny

    not crazy about the new background, but it is great to have the function for replying a particular comment.

  • Dustin

    Hey Dylan,
    The site looks great. I just read on that Michigan added a walk-on junior to the roster, Darrick Ervin II. Can you tell us anything about him?

  • TheYooper

    When I opened up Firefox and the new homepage came up, I let a “Woahhhhhhhhh.”
    Lovin the look.

  • Like the new layout and features, not so keen on the background–looks a little country, rather than hardcourt for my money, could use more Maize and/or Blue. I suppose you tried bringing the black M from centercourt to mid-page? The borders, as it stands, are super-thin; maybe they could be reinforced with blue and maize.

    As always, the content is the thing and like others I appreciate it.

  • Like the new site, great job on both that and your contributions over the last three years. I will miss the old banner, though.

    GO BLUE!

  • SteinerBlue

    Love the redesign, Dylan! Great to see the mobile site is now working as well. Thanks for all your efforts.