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Changes to HJ Part 2: Updating Haunted Hotel, Ghost Tours and Paracon Sections

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In Changes to HJ Part 1, I explained that we’re in the process of changing a few things around here. In Part 1 I focused on how we added a Writers Wanted section and are currently “hiring.” (Have to use that word loosely since the pay is so minimal.)

Now I’m going to tell you about some improvements we’re making to the following sections:

  1. Haunted Places
  2. Ghost Tours, Walks & Hunts
  3. Paracons & Horror Fests

Haunted Places Revamped

In the Haunted Places section, you’ll now find the following:

(Posts) vs. (List)

You may have noticed (and be wondering about) the parentheses.

If it says “(post)” after it, that means it’s a compilation page. Any post we’ve slated in the “Spooky Stays,” “Eerie Eateries & Pubs,” etc. categories will appear on those pages.

The ones with “(list)” are our listings of haunted hotels. (We formerly called them HJ’s List of Spooky Stays – U.S. and HJ’s List of Spooky Stays – International.)

Changes to the Spooky Stays Lists

We’ve never been thrilled with the layout and look of haunted hotels listings. We knew they weren’t very user friendly, but we didn’t quite know how to fix that.

We’ve tried a time or two in the past (and got started only to abandon the attempts a time or two also), so the pages were looking a little ragged and neglected.

We’re hoping we’ve begun remedying that. We added tables with jump links for what we hope will be a more user-friendly experience.

So if you go to the U.S. Spooky Stays and are interested in looking at what haunted hotels you can stay at in a particular state, you can now select the state from the table, click it and be taken to your state of choice. (Or very near. Our coding skills are rudimentary so we haven’t been able to land exactly on the target state, but it does zap you in the vicinity. You’ll see what I mean when you use it.)

The same holds true for the International Spooky Stays, except instead of states in the table, we’ve got countries.

More Spooky Stay Info

Predominantly our haunted hotels have been just a list, no info. If we had written about it, or if the hotel had a link on its site about its ghosts, we’d included that.

However, we’re going to be adding more info links, this time from sites we list in our Resources and Haunted Directories & Maps sections.

Bye Bye Drop Down Menus

More people are accessing info via their smart devices. Drop down menus can sometimes impeded this process.

In an effort to keep our site as streamlined and user-friendly as possible, where possible we’re eliminating drop down menus.

Thanks to a handy plugin called Link Library, we were able to consolidate all links in their respective categories in both the Haunted Directories & Maps and Ghost Tours, Walks & Hunts sections.

Another Change to Ghost Tours, Walks and Hunts

In addition to consolidating everything that was on the Recommended Ghost Tours page with everything on the Ghost Hunts page into one section, we’re also moving a couple of other pages.

We used to list tours from some of our affiliates under this section. They’re getting put into a brand new section which we’re really excited about: a Boo-k It! section. (Emphasis on the “Boo,” get it?)

We’ll be debuting the Boo-k It! section soon (it’s still under construction), and it’ll be the focus of a Changes to HJ Part 3 post.

Updates to the Paracons Page

We want to love our Paracons Page, but sadly, we just don’t.

Mostly because, like the Spooky Stays lists, it’s a LOT of information on one-page and hasn’t ever been particularly user-friendly or easy on the eyes.

We’re hoping our maintenance has remedied that.

Like the Spooky Stays lists, we’ve added a table. It displays the months which are hyperlinked to their corresponding namesake on the page.

So if you click June or October, bam! That’s where you’ll be zapped to. (Or, again, near. Refer to our note about our coding skills in the Changes to the Spooky Stays Lists part of this post.)

But we’ve also decided to create a second table that will include states and list paracons that way too. That’s going to take a little time so if you frequent that section you’ll see the work being completed as we tackle each state.

Enjoy?

Hopefully you’re enjoying, or will enjoy, these changes.

If not, shout. We take suggestions and try to implement them if we can. (Read that as “If we can figure out how to…”)

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit our site!

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her on a tennis court somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
http://www.courtneymroch.com

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