The New Friendly Photo Zone

It's here! It's here! All these months of waiting, and it's finally here! The new FPZ is LIVE, and better than ever. This article aims to describe some of the new features in our photography community.

First and foremost, the site looks different. The new style is sleeker, faster and more compatible. The login/registration form is still found at the top of every page, but it takes up a lot less room. Once a member is logged in, this login form becomes a "control panel" with advisories on new private messages and pending connections, as well as direct links to your personal information.

Gone are the drop-down menus, replaced instead by a custom 2-level menu. The lower menu items change depending on which section of the site you're currently on. This new menu loads faster and is compatible with more systems, which should make browsing easier for everyone. The menu system is still being fine-tuned, and there might be times when it doesn't behave as expected. Please let us know if this ever happens to you so we can work to get it fixed.

The front page has seen a major overhaul. It's filled with new dynamic information! Stories and articles from around the web, a great new "Latest Forum Posts" block, lists of online and newest members, links to the latest newsletters, and all kinds of other information to let returning members know what's changed on FPZ since they were last here. Our goal was to make the front page more useful to everyone. This front page layout isn't set in stone, however. We may decide to move some of that information around, and change what we want to display on it, depending on the feedback we get. Please let us know what you think works or doesn't work!

The forum is completely new. We've replaced the old, clunky, external application with one that's well-integrated into the rest of the site. Topics of interest are organized along the right side of the page for quick access. You can now add topics to your list of "Favorites" to keep an eye on them more easily without receiving constant email updates. Over time, we'll be able to add more features and integrations to the forum.

Based on our experience with the old site, the sections of the new site have been re-organized to make things easier to find. There's now a clear separation between "Articles" and "Guides". If you have any ideas for guides you'd like to contribute, share them with us! We'd love to work with you to get them published here at FPZ.

Very soon, we'll be offering free blogging tools to all our members. This application will allow you to write down your thoughts, publish them easily on FPZ, and let everyone know about it by automatically listing your new blog entries on Facebook, Twitter, and any other service you use. Build up an audience, become famous, change the world! All that we ask is that you try to keep it at least somewhat photography-related :D

More features are in the works too! You'll find grayed-out menu items throughout the site that give you an idea of what we're planning in the near future. We'll be sure and let everyone know when these features become available.

What do you think of the new FPZ? How could we make it better for you? We'd love to hear from you!