Some overdue ‘repairs’

You may notice some “construction work” taking place in various areas of the website in the weeks ahead. Much of the work is minor in nature. But one major project concerns how visitors get around the site. The American Mafia website menu, which has (for too long) occupied the rightmost column of the screen layout, is being condensed and moved to a horizontal drop-down menu bar at or near the top of the page.

American Mafia history website article page with new menu bar
The new menu bar will be seen at the very top of most pages.
American Mafia history website home page with new menu bar
It will appear a bit lower on the home page, with a logo and the Today in History box occupying the very top of the page.
American Mafia history website Rat Trap article page with new menu bar
It will take the place of the cumbersome American Mafia logo at the top of Rat Trap articles on the site.

In addition, a condensed text-only menu will appear at the bottom of every page, along with the copyright notice. Freeing up the column (which occupied as much as 50% of a screen window, depending on the device being used), should permit greater flexibility in article layout and easier readability for article text.

While doing the work of juggling layouts to spread content over the wider available area, we are also editing and updating. The web links page was the first to experience this overhaul. Non-functioning links were eliminated, others were updated and a few were added. The logos for linked pages were eliminated in favor of a cleaner-looking and better organized listing.

American Mafia website Web Links page
The new Web Links page

We are also making a few concessions in the interest of search engine optimization (nothing that should affect the visitor experience in any way) and taking back some concessions made to our affiliate advertising service. We had allowed an “experiment” in the unrestricted placing of ads that resulted in ads being plastered all over the site, including full-screen advertisements at the top of main access pages and others thrown at visitors before they were permitted to access linked pages. While this did generate additional revenue and was probably considered a very positive change for advertisers and the advertising service, in our opinion it was not worth the terrible disruption in the visitor experience. We are working to ensure that ads do not occupy the top portions of any pages and do not impede visitor access to linked pages.

Written by 

Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website Moderator of Mafia-related online forums. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.

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