New, improved Drivers Republic – coming very soon

We have been rather busy these past few months designing and building our full website, and we will be launching the first phase of this during the next few days.  In the meantime, you might notice a slight performance impact as our developers migrate our content to a new environment tomorrow morning.

We have listened carefully to all the feedback you have provided and have concentrated on improving usability, as well as making it easier to view our content.  It is also a little more friendly to read on your iPhone/mobile devices.  The functionality we release this week represents around a third of what is being built.  The next phase will be released in a further 3-4 weeks time.

DR (your DR) will continue to evolve as you engage with us, so please keep your comments coming, we judge our success on the basis of how much you enjoy interacting with us, so your feedback really is welcome.

  • When’s the forum coming? 😉

  • When’s the forum coming? 😉

  • Seren

    You people are awesome.

  • Seren

    You people are awesome.

  • Kier

    Need a Focus RS report asap Steve!

    lol

    Kier

  • Kier

    Need a Focus RS report asap Steve!

    lol

    Kier

  • Alan

    I am very impressed by what you have achieved so far and particularly enjoy the videos and features. One suggestion is that as the content increases rapidly, some form of indexing by car make and model would be useful to find historical features quickly. Great Work !

  • Alan

    I am very impressed by what you have achieved so far and particularly enjoy the videos and features. One suggestion is that as the content increases rapidly, some form of indexing by car make and model would be useful to find historical features quickly. Great Work !

  • Looking forward to the next phase. Can’t get enough of the great videos and features.

  • Looking forward to the next phase. Can’t get enough of the great videos and features.

  • BenS

    I cant believe this is going to get better! Cant see my misses being as impressed as I am!
    Will the features now be full screen on a Mac?
    When is the Tourismo league starting?
    Videos and features are great.
    Cant we have Richard posting a long term report on his 964 RS?

  • BenS

    I cant believe this is going to get better! Cant see my misses being as impressed as I am!
    Will the features now be full screen on a Mac?
    When is the Tourismo league starting?
    Videos and features are great.
    Cant we have Richard posting a long term report on his 964 RS?

  • Kier, just for you – Focus RS Running Report: “It’s Red. The End.” 😉

    Alan: One suggestion is that as the content increases rapidly, some form of indexing by car make and model would be useful to find historical features quickly. Great Work !

    Alan, there will be a ‘sort’ function provided in each of the content areas within this week’s update, then an indexed search function within our next upgrade in August.

  • Kier, just for you – Focus RS Running Report: “It’s Red. The End.” 😉

    Alan: One suggestion is that as the content increases rapidly, some form of indexing by car make and model would be useful to find historical features quickly. Great Work !

    Alan, there will be a ‘sort’ function provided in each of the content areas within this week’s update, then an indexed search function within our next upgrade in August.

  • Richard

    Love the content of your site, particularly the videos. My main usability concern is that white text on black background looks great but is much more tiring on the eye than black on white. From the screenshot above, it looks like you’ll be sticking with white on black for the new site. Perhaps when phase 2 comes along, you could make black on white a user-configurable option for text-heavy content?

  • Richard

    Love the content of your site, particularly the videos. My main usability concern is that white text on black background looks great but is much more tiring on the eye than black on white. From the screenshot above, it looks like you’ll be sticking with white on black for the new site. Perhaps when phase 2 comes along, you could make black on white a user-configurable option for text-heavy content?

  • Richard, you will be pleased to hear that for all the text heavy areas in ‘First Look’ we have moved to black text on a white background. We have also provided a text resizing option to make it easier to adjust the size to that which you find most comfortable.

  • Richard, you will be pleased to hear that for all the text heavy areas in ‘First Look’ we have moved to black text on a white background. We have also provided a text resizing option to make it easier to adjust the size to that which you find most comfortable.

  • stuart

    Hi DR,

    Love the website you have pulled off a real coup to get the writers that you have, however…. although your Features are fantastic quite often they are very difficult to read on my computer because if you don’t zoom in the writing is to small to comfortably read and if you zoom in to the first zoom setting quite often you can only see half of the column on the far right of the “page”, I.E. you regularly have columns which are split over 2 pages.

    From my perspective, and presumably many others, it would thus be much easier to read the features if you can either drag the zoomed section so that you can see all the column in the centre page or alternatively to design the Features differently so that this problem doesn’t exist. For your info a prime example of this is DR013 pages 4-5. (By the way for me personally this has made the Features so difficult to read that I have pretty much stopped reading them, which is a real shame when they are an integral part of your website).

    Best regards,
    Stuart

  • stuart

    Hi DR,

    Love the website you have pulled off a real coup to get the writers that you have, however…. although your Features are fantastic quite often they are very difficult to read on my computer because if you don’t zoom in the writing is to small to comfortably read and if you zoom in to the first zoom setting quite often you can only see half of the column on the far right of the “page”, I.E. you regularly have columns which are split over 2 pages.

    From my perspective, and presumably many others, it would thus be much easier to read the features if you can either drag the zoomed section so that you can see all the column in the centre page or alternatively to design the Features differently so that this problem doesn’t exist. For your info a prime example of this is DR013 pages 4-5. (By the way for me personally this has made the Features so difficult to read that I have pretty much stopped reading them, which is a real shame when they are an integral part of your website).

    Best regards,
    Stuart

  • Stuart, we are aware of the limitations imposed by the current hosted viewer of our features, and will change this shortly. To lessen the need for zooming in, you should read the features in full-page mode (F11 if viewing on a PC, although this is not quite as simple on a Mac.).

    We need to improve this and it is high on our list of priorities to do so.

  • Stuart, we are aware of the limitations imposed by the current hosted viewer of our features, and will change this shortly. To lessen the need for zooming in, you should read the features in full-page mode (F11 if viewing on a PC, although this is not quite as simple on a Mac.).

    We need to improve this and it is high on our list of priorities to do so.

  • Steve (not that one!)

    DR,

    Looking forward to the update. So far the content is bang on…but then you knew that already didn’t you? The majority of the feedback seems to be revolving around hardware related problems that were inevitable with this form of magazine.
    Personally I find my “zoom” works fine….
    *moves head nearer/further away from screen*
    Keep it up folks!

  • Steve (not that one!)

    DR,

    Looking forward to the update. So far the content is bang on…but then you knew that already didn’t you? The majority of the feedback seems to be revolving around hardware related problems that were inevitable with this form of magazine.
    Personally I find my “zoom” works fine….
    *moves head nearer/further away from screen*
    Keep it up folks!

  • RMcG

    Its slick,it beautiful, it has great content.

    That’s the good news.

    Posting cool vids is good too.

    Welcome to the revolution? participation?….what does this mean?

    If this is your brand, then, you may have a problem. (subscriber BTW).

    If there is true participation, there is subscriber content beyond letters to the editor. Otherwise its a lot of people commenting on the adventures of the journalists. Hardly a revolution and not a community. I will wait for the first subscriber article.

  • RMcG

    Its slick,it beautiful, it has great content.

    That’s the good news.

    Posting cool vids is good too.

    Welcome to the revolution? participation?….what does this mean?

    If this is your brand, then, you may have a problem. (subscriber BTW).

    If there is true participation, there is subscriber content beyond letters to the editor. Otherwise its a lot of people commenting on the adventures of the journalists. Hardly a revolution and not a community. I will wait for the first subscriber article.

  • Hi Ronan, you will be able to find out what we mean by ‘participation’ when we launch our next release in August. What we launch today will be the look-and-feel upon which the remaining functionality will be built upon.

    DR is very much about empowering the community of drivers and owners, involving you and enabling your voice. It takes both a change in mindset and the tools to achieve this and we will involve you closely in this. The ‘revolution’ will come from what you do when this opportunity is made available.

  • Hi Ronan, you will be able to find out what we mean by ‘participation’ when we launch our next release in August. What we launch today will be the look-and-feel upon which the remaining functionality will be built upon.

    DR is very much about empowering the community of drivers and owners, involving you and enabling your voice. It takes both a change in mindset and the tools to achieve this and we will involve you closely in this. The ‘revolution’ will come from what you do when this opportunity is made available.

  • David

    So far the site looks great and the content beats others like Pistonheads hands down. It seems to run a little slowly on my old PC and Firefox 3 though. Most of the time I love the integrated videos on the features, I say most of the time because there are two things which spoil them at the minute:

    1. Ads for other features that loop continuously and get really annoying as the reader is forced to listen to it.

    2. The sound on some of the videos is awful. I know that it all has to be compressed to a sensible size, but I’d rather have the sound off completely on some (p25 of the 350z Vs 123d feature) for example.

    I can’t wait to see the new features 🙂

  • David

    So far the site looks great and the content beats others like Pistonheads hands down. It seems to run a little slowly on my old PC and Firefox 3 though. Most of the time I love the integrated videos on the features, I say most of the time because there are two things which spoil them at the minute:

    1. Ads for other features that loop continuously and get really annoying as the reader is forced to listen to it.

    2. The sound on some of the videos is awful. I know that it all has to be compressed to a sensible size, but I’d rather have the sound off completely on some (p25 of the 350z Vs 123d feature) for example.

    I can’t wait to see the new features 🙂

  • hvl

    The new website looks great. Great job.

  • hvl

    The new website looks great. Great job.

  • We are having some problems with Dialogue, after migrating to our new environment and our development team are working on it this evening. You can still continue to post as usual, and we hope to have the images sorted by tomorrow morning.

  • We are having some problems with Dialogue, after migrating to our new environment and our development team are working on it this evening. You can still continue to post as usual, and we hope to have the images sorted by tomorrow morning.

  • Sinclair

    Looking good, much better. Now if you will just embed the “features” into standard webpages without the need for the clunky viewer and it will be perfect 😉

  • Sinclair

    Looking good, much better. Now if you will just embed the “features” into standard webpages without the need for the clunky viewer and it will be perfect 😉

  • Alan

    Steve, the updates are great and I was keen to register early and sis so using stage 2 of registration. It did not then bring up a stage 3 ??. Am I missing something or is something else to come regarding registering (and if so what).

    PS. I am looking forward to the merchandising and being a Dr, the DR logo will carry an interesting double meaning !!.

  • Alan

    Steve, the updates are great and I was keen to register early and sis so using stage 2 of registration. It did not then bring up a stage 3 ??. Am I missing something or is something else to come regarding registering (and if so what).

    PS. I am looking forward to the merchandising and being a Dr, the DR logo will carry an interesting double meaning !!.

  • Kier

    [quote]Steve
    15th July 08 at 9:23 am

    Kier, just for you – Focus RS Running Report: “It’s Red. The End.”
    [/quote]

    Ahhhh, you mean your ST, I’m on about you getting a new Mk2 Focus RS and having a comparison with your and mine STs (ie leand the RS to me for a while!)

    Cheers…

  • Kier

    [quote]Steve
    15th July 08 at 9:23 am

    Kier, just for you – Focus RS Running Report: “It’s Red. The End.”
    [/quote]

    Ahhhh, you mean your ST, I’m on about you getting a new Mk2 Focus RS and having a comparison with your and mine STs (ie leand the RS to me for a while!)

    Cheers…

  • Very impressed with the changes being made.Particularly like the video pages in the first look section. Look forward to all the other improvments being made.

    Any idea when the TTS vis Caymen test will be appearing?.

  • TTS vs Cayman Feature plus videos will be appearing from next week. Sorry for the delay.

  • TTS vs Cayman Feature plus videos will be appearing from next week. Sorry for the delay.

  • Alex Gordon

    When I try to read an article I can only ever get to see up to about page 7 or 8 (of however many there may be)

    Don’t know what the problem is, but it is very frustrating!

  • Alex Gordon

    When I try to read an article I can only ever get to see up to about page 7 or 8 (of however many there may be)

    Don’t know what the problem is, but it is very frustrating!

  • Phil

    Most of my web-time is now spent on here. You guys are obviously doing something right. Keep up the good work.

  • Phil

    Most of my web-time is now spent on here. You guys are obviously doing something right. Keep up the good work.

  • Alex, I think this has something to do with your Adobe Flash settings. Right-click when your cursor is over the page, then select ‘settings’ and then move the slider tab to increase the amount of local information that can be stored on your computer. I have mine set to 1MB, so I have never experienced the issue that you describe. Please try this and let me know.

  • Alex, I think this has something to do with your Adobe Flash settings. Right-click when your cursor is over the page, then select ‘settings’ and then move the slider tab to increase the amount of local information that can be stored on your computer. I have mine set to 1MB, so I have never experienced the issue that you describe. Please try this and let me know.

  • Mike

    Hi Steve, loving the site but also get the problem of features not showing as complete as above, also the embeddded videos wont run and after accessing one feature I have to close explorer and re-open to get another one to work.

    Cheers
    Mike

  • Mike

    Hi Steve, loving the site but also get the problem of features not showing as complete as above, also the embeddded videos wont run and after accessing one feature I have to close explorer and re-open to get another one to work.

    Cheers
    Mike

  • And

    Hi Steve,

    I’ll be glad if you solve my surname problem (“Cetin”, remember?). Thanks! 😀

    And

  • And

    Hi Steve,

    I’ll be glad if you solve my surname problem (“Cetin”, remember?). Thanks! 😀

    And

  • Jason

    Hi guy’s…

    I bought the latest copy of EVO (can I say EVO on here!) a couple of days ago and realised a couple of regulars were missing. After some searching to see why/what happened I tracked you down to here (I’m not a stalker honest!).

    What a great idea, and an even better execution, the site looks great, it’s impressed me enough to have signed up for membership in support of the ‘revolution’ .

    All the best with the future of DR.

    Best regards

    Jason

  • Jason

    Hi guy’s…

    I bought the latest copy of EVO (can I say EVO on here!) a couple of days ago and realised a couple of regulars were missing. After some searching to see why/what happened I tracked you down to here (I’m not a stalker honest!).

    What a great idea, and an even better execution, the site looks great, it’s impressed me enough to have signed up for membership in support of the ‘revolution’ .

    All the best with the future of DR.

    Best regards

    Jason

  • Housey (Steve G)

    Well I think it’s coming along well Steve and I am getting more and more use to the style and the look and feel. I am glad you finally added the ability to watch video’s in full screen and I need to get to grips with the other elements before I can add fully objective comment. So far so good however!

  • Housey (Steve G)

    Well I think it’s coming along well Steve and I am getting more and more use to the style and the look and feel. I am glad you finally added the ability to watch video’s in full screen and I need to get to grips with the other elements before I can add fully objective comment. So far so good however!

  • JamesW

    Another report of slow response of the new look and feel site with Firefox 3.

    Having a page open on your site results in Firefox consuming in excess of 60% CPU on my PC. Closing the tab on your site causes the CPU to drop back to almost nothing, so it’s defintely your site. This sort of CPU loading is invasive which is not good on a work PC!

    The site is much less of a CPU hoover when running in IE.

  • JamesW

    Another report of slow response of the new look and feel site with Firefox 3.

    Having a page open on your site results in Firefox consuming in excess of 60% CPU on my PC. Closing the tab on your site causes the CPU to drop back to almost nothing, so it’s defintely your site. This sort of CPU loading is invasive which is not good on a work PC!

    The site is much less of a CPU hoover when running in IE.

  • Ben

    Great Site!! I don’t know if anyone else is having this problem (I am based in Australia) but the videos don’t seem to be able to stream. Even if you pause the video to let it load, it will only buffer about one minute of video. It’s not a bandwidth problem on my end. Any suggestions?

  • Ben

    Great Site!! I don’t know if anyone else is having this problem (I am based in Australia) but the videos don’t seem to be able to stream. Even if you pause the video to let it load, it will only buffer about one minute of video. It’s not a bandwidth problem on my end. Any suggestions?

  • Ben, it is because we are running our media platform on a shared server. Most of the time performance is fine (i.e. it depends on bandwidth usage), but we will be moving to a dedicated platform within the next month.

  • Ben, it is because we are running our media platform on a shared server. Most of the time performance is fine (i.e. it depends on bandwidth usage), but we will be moving to a dedicated platform within the next month.

  • MatteoB

    Sorry to break the love in but I am bitterly disappointed. Not by the content but by the fact that I can’t access it. The magazine reader will half load up a feature then I get an error on page note and the rest is blank. Returned to the site several times to try again but same old and frankly life is too short.

  • MatteoB

    Sorry to break the love in but I am bitterly disappointed. Not by the content but by the fact that I can’t access it. The magazine reader will half load up a feature then I get an error on page note and the rest is blank. Returned to the site several times to try again but same old and frankly life is too short.

  • Matt, none of us can recreate your problem which means that it relates to your PC and/or your settings. But I that shouldn’t be your problem, so you will be pleased to hear that we are moving to a simpler and more reliable platform in the next fortnight.

  • Matt, none of us can recreate your problem which means that it relates to your PC and/or your settings. But I that shouldn’t be your problem, so you will be pleased to hear that we are moving to a simpler and more reliable platform in the next fortnight.

  • Mark

    I have to say your original DR website layout was brilliant ( wide screen format). Whatever you’ve done to the video it’s now giving 10 secs of video then buffers for a minute (for me). This is terrible considering I have cable broadband and can watch streamed videos anywhere else without a problem. What a shame, I thought this was going to be my default motoring website. Fix this and the site is a winner.

  • Mark

    I have to say your original DR website layout was brilliant ( wide screen format). Whatever you’ve done to the video it’s now giving 10 secs of video then buffers for a minute (for me). This is terrible considering I have cable broadband and can watch streamed videos anywhere else without a problem. What a shame, I thought this was going to be my default motoring website. Fix this and the site is a winner.

  • Mark, we are a victim of our own success and as the volume of users has increased thus has impacted on certain aspects if our site (I.e. Videos). We are in the process of migrating our media server to an upgraded platform which should fix the situation you mention.

    These are typical growing pains for a site that is growing as fast as we are, but rest assured we are working hard in the background to address them, whilst continuing to widen the functionality of our complete service.

    Next major upgrade in our site will be in just over a week’s time.

  • Mark, we are a victim of our own success and as the volume of users has increased thus has impacted on certain aspects if our site (I.e. Videos). We are in the process of migrating our media server to an upgraded platform which should fix the situation you mention.

    These are typical growing pains for a site that is growing as fast as we are, but rest assured we are working hard in the background to address them, whilst continuing to widen the functionality of our complete service.

    Next major upgrade in our site will be in just over a week’s time.

  • Ian Kuah

    Richard’s Pikes Peak story is simply brilliant.

    Being in the business too has made me blase about most motoring stories published in any media.

    But this production had my attention completely riveted to every word and frame!

  • Ian Kuah

    Richard’s Pikes Peak story is simply brilliant.

    Being in the business too has made me blase about most motoring stories published in any media.

    But this production had my attention completely riveted to every word and frame!

  • Ben

    You guys claimed in the new article that the GT-R has an inline six on the last page, the spec page. It does not. It has a V-6. Though you would like to know the error.

  • Ben

    You guys claimed in the new article that the GT-R has an inline six on the last page, the spec page. It does not. It has a V-6. Though you would like to know the error.

  • Well spotted Ben. And the prize for spotting that ‘deliberate’ error is… (ahem!)

  • Well spotted Ben. And the prize for spotting that ‘deliberate’ error is… (ahem!)

  • James

    Why can I no longer download the features to pdf. As I am more people then me like to read the features again when not connected to the web.

  • James

    Why can I no longer download the features to pdf. As I am more people then me like to read the features again when not connected to the web.

  • James, I am not happy about the quality and integrity of the PDF downloads and sometimes the pages are in the wrong order. We can re-enable it, but ultimately this will only be solved when we begin publishing on a new plaftorm soon.

  • James, I am not happy about the quality and integrity of the PDF downloads and sometimes the pages are in the wrong order. We can re-enable it, but ultimately this will only be solved when we begin publishing on a new plaftorm soon.

  • Bryant

    Well, put me down on the list of people looking forward to the upgraded video platform. Apart from the repeated buffering, I’ve also tried to let the video stream from the start (i.e. start playing, then pausing to let it load), but after too long a paused duration it refuses to play at all.

    Apart from the technical issue, I must say that the content is top notch and I have high hopes for the future of DR!

  • Bryant

    Well, put me down on the list of people looking forward to the upgraded video platform. Apart from the repeated buffering, I’ve also tried to let the video stream from the start (i.e. start playing, then pausing to let it load), but after too long a paused duration it refuses to play at all.

    Apart from the technical issue, I must say that the content is top notch and I have high hopes for the future of DR!

  • Satnav

    Hi Steve

    Not sure what updates are going on with the site but I posted a comment on the Corvette ZR1 over the weekend. It was there for a couple of hours and then has not re-appeared.

    I am also suffering from streaming problems with the videos.

    Any ideas?

    Satnav.

  • Satnav

    Hi Steve

    Not sure what updates are going on with the site but I posted a comment on the Corvette ZR1 over the weekend. It was there for a couple of hours and then has not re-appeared.

    I am also suffering from streaming problems with the videos.

    Any ideas?

    Satnav.