The MAC launched their new website today and after a few hiccups the new site is up and running smoothly. Depending on what DNS server you are using you will see either the new or the old site, if you're seeing the old site just wait a few hours and your providers ISP should get the update.
When I first went to check it out around the end of my lunch hour I got the error message but as someone who has worked in IT for 15 years I can tell you that launching a new web platform if often fraught with problems. Unless everything is done just right you may launch your site in production and still see the message above. Then even if you do dot all your i's and cross all your t's you are still at the mercy of global DNS servers and routing rules.
It's why you launch the conferences new website in June and not September.
NERD ALERT: (The Stuff you don't see so please feel free to skip below)
On first inspection you're looking at an IIS server running ASP/.NET. That's the same platform they were running last year. It's built on jQuery which is Microsoft includes it with Visual Studio. Nothing, in terms of infrastructure technology, is cutting edge but it's still all current.
Being a LAMP enthusiast the MAC site is not the architecture I would have went with but it is a popular configuration on the internet. This is important because when you go shopping for web developers there is a big pool of people who can design for your site.
Aesthetically the new site is meant to be more visually impressive with a large image on the center of the screen. It's a bigger picture but more than the size is the fact there is no sidebar next to the main story image.
The team links have been moved across the top of the page and made to stand out more than they did before. It is a crisp, clean interface. After poking around for a bit I was rather pleased with other aspects of the layout. It's not nearly as busy as the old design but has lost none of the information which was available.
It's also worth noting that UMass is no longer on the schools section across the top. I guess if any of you thought the Minutemen were having second thoughts you can think again.
Aside from the layout what does the new website bring?
The site will continue to provide the MAC digital networks live video streaming and game trackers. Now on the site there is an Embedded ESPN3 Video Player. So for MAC games on ESPN3 and those just on the MAC-DN you can go to the same site to watch.
The support for Mobile is supposed to be improved, Ill take that for a test drive later. I know several members of our community have expressed frustration with watching MAC streams on mobile devices. Hopefully that will change this season.
One thing I am looking forward to is the deeper social media integration that is being touted. There is no time for me to look at it now but I can say that the MAC has, in the past, reached out to bloggers and other social media entities which cover the MAC.
As someone in the field I appreciate the layout changes. The old site looked like something which fell right out of the 1990's. The new simplified site design will make it far easier for the casual fan to navigate their way around the MAC site.