Site news: No more flicker and a special new feature for WP8.1 users

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I have some news for our loyal readers who have been complaining of some site rendering issues.

The good news is that, if you are on Windows Phone 8.1, the issues should be gone, and the page should simple load and remain as one expect.

There is now also a welcome new feature – if you turn your phone from portrait to landscape the site will show a more desktop-like view meaning you can read more more articles without clicking through.

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Windows Phone 8.1 users can of course also take advantage of our great live tile, which can be accessed by pinning the site to your home screen.

Don’t forget in IE11 on the desktop you can of course also pin the Live Tile, and the site also supports Swipe Forward, where you can simply swipe from article to article Flipboard style.

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Given that 70% of our readers are outside UK and USA another overlooked site feature we think is the translation box on the left sidebar, which offers a vast number of languages and seems to do a pretty good job, even on mobile.

The bad news, unfortunately, for Windows Phone 8 users (about 30% of our readers) is that we are unable to eliminate the flicker.

The reason unfortunately needs to be laid at Microsoft’s door.  The flicker is due to a special script we use to constantly feed IE10 the proper CSS viewport to make sure the responsive site is formatted properly. Without it IE10 users will have massive lay-out issues if they dare to rotate the screen.

The good news is of course that we expect this demographic to shrink pretty rapidly over the next 30-60 days as the WP8.1 update rolls out.

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Regarding site speed; while some readers have complained the site is slow to load, in our testing the site loads into a useable state in around 5 seconds, which is pretty fast and comparable with other websites. Testing using online tools show that while there is room for improvement (mainly by ditching the ads and our revenue stream) the site scores pretty well and again comparable with other websites.

Sometimes the site may have loading issues, due to our Content Delivery Network, Cloudflare, having issues, but this is out of our control, and Cloudflare is pretty amazing when they are not having issues.

We thank our readers for their feedback and patience, and will of course continue to look for ways to improve your experience.

Surur

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