Website Makeover

This summer has been a busy one. Besides finishing the first 7 chapters of Song of the Mysteries while evading viruses and hurricanes, Janny has also been choreographing an upgrade of her official website. “When it’s done!” is usually the safest response to questions about release dates, but we’re now far enough along to promise that you’ll see the new site in the next few weeks. Our early goals are simple:

  • Give it a unique character that reflects Janny’s dual hats as an author and artist.
  • Simplify the navigation so it’s easier to find things and a joy to explore.
  • Make it modern and mobile-friendly to support the way that many visitors (over 50%) browse the web these days.
This makeover is just the FIRST of many upgrades to support Janny’s (current and FUTURE) fanbase. We’ll release bug fixes and cosmetic refinements early and often. We’ll update the rest of the paravia.com universe (the Studio Shop, Don Maitz’s site, and Janny & Don’s Collaborative site) along the same lines as Janny’s site. We’ll continue to add more of Janny’s original artwork that has piled up in digital warehouse limbo, including many more pages of the Paravia Sketchbook. Most notable for people here, we’ll be replacing the Chat Area with something more modern while preserving the historical context of the old posts. No promises on release dates, but you should see regular improvements through the day that Song of the Mysteries is finally released, just in time for that flood of new fans that suddenly notice a completed series.

To help pass the time while you wait, here is a poll question that will help us hammer out the final pages of the new website: How much do direct BUY links on a Book page (to a vendor like Amazon) influence you when discovering a new book? Assuming you aren’t already a superfan, has a BUY link ever triggered an impulse buy? Are you more likely to want to write down the book title and browse to your preferred book vendor (or physical bookshop) instead?

I’ll post website updates in this thread throughout the month. Check back soon!
BU

originally posted by Daisy

Hi, I’m very much more likely to write the name of the book down and look for it somewhere else when I get the chance. Or go to the library and see if I can borrow it. Pop ups annoy me so much, especially when they start flashing so I ignore them deliberately. I understand if you want to use them as they are everywhere anyway. Love the work that’s happening with the story and the new site. Can’t wait for both to be finished.

Hi Daisy,

Thanks for your feedback. Interrupting popups are definitely the worst – "how do I know if I want to subscribe to your newsletter if you won't even let me read the article first!?"

The new site will not interrupt your visit with popup notifications or popup ads. Going further, there are no third-party ads or marketing affiliate tracking cookies (Google, Facebook, etc.) used anywhere. In fact, the majority of the site does not use cookies at all. We may consider allowing visitors to keep themselves logged into the new forum software with a cookie but we'll make sure to publicize that and require opt-in.

Regards,
BU

The first phase of the website makeover is complete!
https://paravia.com/JannyWurts/

Special thanks go out to Jeff Watson (Trystane), who brought the original website to life in the late 90s and kept it running for over a decade, and Andrew Ginever, who had the unenviable task of keeping it alive in the face of GoDaddy’s unannounced server “improvements”. We could not have come this far without Jeff and Andrew’s tireless support and methodical collection of code and technical expertise.

All old bookmarks should still work (or at least get you in the general vicinity of what you’re looking for). No release is ever without bugs, but we hope we can rely on your goodwill to help find and report problems as you notice them, especially in rarer web browsers. You can report them here or through the new webmaster email: paravia AT urizone DOT net.

Feel free to share the new website with friends on social media. Please hold off on announcing the relaunch in massive communities like Reddit for now. We want to make sure that everything is stable and that flaws are found and fixed while it’s still “among friends”.

Enjoy your exploration!
BU

EDIT: An update on cookies – there are still no cross-site ad, tracking, marketing cookies used on paravia.com. However, we are using StatCounter web analytics to monitor visitor trends (most visited pages, broken pages, common search terms, etc.) StatCounter creates 1 cookie “sc_is_visitor_unique” that helps us group individual page requests into “unique visits” when we run reports. If this concerns you, feel free to block this cookie – doing so will NOT break any pages.

originally posted by Jon Moss

Looks outstanding.

originally posted by Jeff

The site looks great, Mr Uri!!

I'm using a phone and it's easy to read and navigate. I'll check it out on a PC browser later.

originally posted by Melanie Trumbull

The new webpages look beautiful!

originally posted by DarthJazy

From another coder and tech, this is well done sir!

More of Janny’s original artwork was recently discovered in the back of the digital warehouse (probably under a digital tarp):

  • There are 18 new images scattered throughout the various albums in the Art Gallery, including artwork from Master of Whitestorm and the Empire Trilogy.
  • There are 16 new images in the Paravia Sketchbook, including images from Story Arc IV: Sword of the Canon.
Enjoy!

originally posted by Annette

Thanks for putting up the new artwork and sketches some I had not seen before.

I performed some under-the-hood maintenance on the Paravia Wiki to replace some software that was reaching end-of-life (PHP 7.2.31 -> 7.3.23, MediaWiki 1.31.1 -> 1.35.1). Please let me know if you encounter errors while browsing – MediaWiki can be finicky about upgrading.

Following the holidays, I'm now getting back to the forum migration and hope to have progress to report in the next few months.

Regards,
BU

Sneak Peek! We released an overhaul of the Don Maitz - Official Website today, with over 200 new works of art (including cover art for many fantasy classics), mobile-friendly navigation, and numerous interviews and articles about Don’s work and process. EDIT: We have announced Don’s new site to the public, so you are free to share the link willy-nilly.

With the upgrade to Don’s site, the entirety of the paravia.com empire is modernized:

I hope you discover something new to appreciate. Have fun exploring!
BU