Blog : AROnline Mk5 – our latest facelift

It’s been a while since I’ve needed to dive in and do some serious work on AROnline – call it a case of the old site theme working very well, and my time being at a bit of a premium at late. But rather like the Morris Marina‘s desperate need for an update by the late-1970s, the site was beginning to get creaky round the edges of late – hence my need to develop the AROnline Mk5 facelift. Our version of the Morris Ital, if you like.

So, it’s with pleasure that I’ll pull the covers off this iteration of the site – and here are a few of the improvements.

  • Fully responsive design – the old site did work with mobile or tablet, but certain bugs meant pictures didn’t display properly. That’s sorted now.
  • Landing and index pages – these help lay out all related content. So if you go to the menu and select Cars -> Austin-Morris -> Metro you will get a potted history of the car, followed by all of the stories about it. At the top of the list will always be a detailed development story about the model concerned.
  • A better homepage – our showcase, and therefore, very important indeed. There are more places to serialise the longer stories, and I’ll be using that to great effect in the coming weeks. We’ve finally got rid of that awful old showcase, which meant two clicks to open all new stories!
  • Easier to read – the site now displays beautifully on all devices, and the fonts have been specially chosen to make all of the stories less taxing to read.
  • Better image handling – we’ve been around since 2001 and, in that time, we’ve used many ways of displaying images. This version of AROnline should make all of them look the same.
  • Better surfacing of old stories – there are many treasures on AROnline. So many, in fact, that I sometimes forget what’s on here. There is better ‘related posts’ functionality, and story spotlights that will showcase the best classic content from the 8000 or so stories.
  • Better SEO – believe me, this is important. If people stop coming here, then the word ceases to spread, and the misinformation starts to take over, once again.

As always, please get in touch or leave feedback below if you find anything that’s not working. I hope this latest update will help enhance your enjoyment of the website – it’s certainly re-energised me in coming up with new feature ideas, as well as digging out more stories to keep you informed and amused.

Keith Adams

Keith Adams


  1. I look at this page either on my phone or my tablet and it wasn’t a chore to read on handheld devices at all in the old format, however it does now look sharper and more polished. Job well done I’d say.

  2. This latest update looks really good.

    Thanks for all the work that has gone in over the last few years.

  3. Like the new update.

    For some reason though my comments seem to disappear when trying to post them on older articles such as the Rover V8.

  4. About a year ago I posted about a glitch on AROnline where I would write a post, hit “post comment”, and it never actually appeared on the site. I could do that several times and nothing would happen; then after a gap of a few hours if I tried to post it again, it would be ok. Your reply at the time was that it was something to do with clearing caches within the site, which only you could do.

    That problem still exists. This is at least the 5th time I’ve tried to post this message. I’m on an iMac using Chrome.

  5. To add a bit more info……on the occasions when I posted a message which doesn’t appear, I’ve saved it in another format and then tried to re-post it later. If I do that, I get a message from AROline saying something like “You can’t post this as it’s the same as one you’ve already posted” even though it’s never actually appeared.

  6. If anyone else is having the problem, they may not be able to post about it !

    To give a bit more info……When I try to post, I get all the spinning wheels and a message saying “Submitting comment”, but ultimately nothing appears.

    On those occasions, I’ve saved it in another format and then tried to re-post it later. If I do that, I get a message from AROline saying something like “You can’t post this as it’s the same as one you’ve already posted” even though it’s never actually appeared.

    …and this is my 3rd attempt at posting this message

  7. So far, so good. I particularly like the fact that ( I hope I’m right about this ) the whole thing does not jig about up and down as different bits load, which I found infuriating as one often clicked on something, only to find that you had in fact clicked on something else. Good work if I may say so

      • Well now, something very strange is happening : last night when I posted the two comments, they appeared at the top of the posted comments, despite being nos.12 and 13. This morning, the comments have reverted to the order which i would have expected i.e. with the earliest comments at the top of the sequence. Strange !

        • Christopher,

          Well, my guess is that, on re-reading your second comment of yesterday, Keith realised what the issue was and has now made the requisite behind-the-scenes modification.

          Anyway, thank you for drawing the matter to our attention – Keith seems to have spent much of his summer break on AROnline’s latest facelift, so I think he will be pleased by the positive feedback received to date.

  8. Much better – appreciate the work you continue to put into the site.
    On the previous version selecting/opening a new article was very hit or miss (using Firefox).
    Minor point but the five squares on the top moving banner are not obviously selectable and could do with a thin border so they show up on white backgrounds?

  9. Keith the blog is driving me mad.
    The post comment button keeps disappearing.
    A times I have typed a whole response (probably nonsense)
    Only to find it impossible to post and my tablet messing up copy and paste and having to type it all again…..
    Android with latest marshmallow os.

  10. I was going to say “much better”, but it was great before.
    Thanks for all the hard work keeping the site fresh.
    I generally browse the site each weekend and can often find myself avidly re-reading something from ages ago !

  11. I’m not sure about likening the changes to the Marina to Ital alterations. Surely that would mean that the site is still rubbish and now even uglier!


  12. The appearance of the revised site is improved but I find it’s more difficult to locate new articles..

  13. Another change which I’ve just noticed – when you log in with your password, there’s a box which says “Remember me?”. In the past, I could see the text saying “Remember Me?” but I could never see the box to tick. Now for the first time I can see the box and can tick it.

  14. Brilliant, thanks Keith – really appreciate all of your hard work on the site – how do you fit it in with Parkers too? French site soon?

  15. This sight is really important to me, one of only three that I would say I look at regularly (BBC News and a footy one are the others). Thanks for all the hard word and dedication from all those involved.

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