New look and feel for Grain Central website

Grain Central, February 19, 2019




WELCOME to the new-look Grain Central website.

Readers will note some significant changes to the appearance of the site, its content and layout, and the way it functions.

It’s our first major revamp since launching the site 2.5 years ago, and considerable thought has gone into upgrading and enriching it to improve the reader experience.

We’ve designed the new site with a cleaner, simpler look; made it easier for readers to navigate; and have added a host of new features and functions to reflect industry trends.

Inevitably with such extensive re-design transitions, there are some kinks still being ironed-out by our web developers. Some readers may have experienced multiple pop-ups of subscription offers, for example. This is not supposed to happen, and our web developers are working on it.

We appreciate the feedback readers have been providing this week, as we identify and remedy the small glitches that need attention. We appreciate readers’ patience, and we’re confident they will all be resolved in coming days.

Some readers using outdated versions of the Internet Explorer browser have reported problems with how the new site responds. In order to get the optimum viewer experience on Grain Central, we strongly advise upgrading to a contemporary browser, such as Chrome, Firefox or the most recent version of Internet Explorer, called Microsoft Edge. Browser updates are free to install.

Here’s a brief tour around some of the site’s new and improved features:

Home page

Open stories simply by clicking on the headline, picture or ‘Read More’ text.

To return to the home page at any time, click on the ‘Grain Central’ logo at the top left.

Access past stories or stories on a particular subject by entering key word/s in the ‘Search’ box at the top right.

Upgraded site menu

An improved site menu (accessible via ‘Menu’ icon at top left of home page) has two functions, which when opened can be interchanged by clicking on either the ‘Section’ or ‘Network’ options:

  • Clicking on ‘Section’ produces a drop-down menu listing Grain Central’s various sub-sections, such as ‘news’, ‘markets’, ‘weather’ or ‘property,’ for example. The arrows located at the right of each section title open up a second menu, featuring content housed within that section.
  • Clicking on ‘Network’ accesses various other associated websites, including Sheep Central, Beef Central, Jobs Central and Property.

Industry dashboard

The deep blue-coloured ‘Industry Dashboard’ on the home-page has been significantly upgraded. Seven key industry graphs are now presented, accessible using the scrolling arrows at left and right of the dashboard to navigate. By hovering over each data entry, the figure and the date of entry are shown. Graphs are now larger and easier to read. A new table of ASX-listed ag-related stocks is included.

What readers are saying

Immediately below the Industry Dashboard graphs is a new “What readers are saying” feature, sampling recent comments posted by Grain Central readers on articles. Each article’s summary on the home page includes a small speech bubble and a figure indicating the number of reader comments posted to that article. Readers wishing to post comments can now post a separate response to an earlier reader comment, to establish a ‘thread,’ as well as initiating new comments.

Today’s news/Most popular tag:

The Today’s news/Most popular tag found at the top left of the home page has interchangeable functions. Readers can click between the two (deep blue colour indicates the active mode) to provide displays for ‘Today’s news’ – the most recent articles posted to the site – and ‘Most popular’ articles (ranked by reader traffic, accumulated over the previous week).

Print size 

We’ve slightly enlarged the print (font size) in the body text of articles under this week’s upgrade. Readers can enlarge or reduce it to suit their requirements by using the small font size icon (Aaa) on the upper right of the home page.

Printing articles

Readers can now easily print articles appearing on Grain Central, simply by opening the required article and right-clicking ‘print.’

Section content

By scrolling down the home-page, readers will find summaries of the four most recent articles appearing in each section (e.g. Markets) of Grain Central. Clicking on the section heading takes the reader through to that section, opening up the section further to where all articles on the topic are housed.



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