Home Page Job Listings

We’ve changed the way jobs are listed on our homepage. Previously jobs were listed by the date they were posted, with the most recent job posted being listed first. We now list jobs according to the most recently logged in host family – so each time you log in your job appears at the top of the list on the homepage. We did this to encourage more applicants for jobs, with host families, that are most actively looking for jobseekers. The most recently posted jobs are, however, still listed by post date on the side panel of the jobs listing page.

New Homepage design

We’ve just launched a new homepage design, The new responsive homepage replaces the older one, which has existed in one format or another for about three years or so. The new, cleaner, design cuts down on visual clutter and prioritises the functionality based on feedback we got from heatmap of visitors’ interaction of the page. This new page retains all the functionality of the old page, so there’s nothing missing in the new version.

Added SSL to site

Yesterday the site was down for about two hours, while we switched over to SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), SSL transmits all data transferred between your browser and this site in an encrypted format. You can tell the site has SSL enabled now, due to the https:// (instead of http://) in the address bar.

Besides the trust element of seeing “https://”, and the fact that Google now uses it as a ranking signal for its search results, I’m not sure what the benefit of having it on the site is. There seems to be a slight increase in load times for certain pages, so we’ll keep an eye on that and decide, based on that, if we want to continue using SSL in the future.

Site Update – Work progress

Just a quick update on progress on the work we’ve been doing on the site.

We have pretty much finished converting the Host Family section of the site to a responsive design, that means that you’ll see different views, each optimised for that device, when viewed on a desktop PC, a tablet, or on a mobile phone. There is still a small bit of cleaning-up to do, here and there, which we’ll get to as soon as the more urgent tasks are completed.

The second task we have started (and almost completed) is refactoring some of the slower pages on the site. Over the years the constant updates to pages has had an affect on the quality of the code behind those pages, it became a bit convuluted and cumbersome, this has caused them to run very slowly. We completely rewrote the code behind the Job Applications, Search Results, Favourites List, and the Downloaded CVs pages in the Host Families logged-in section, and we also rewrote the code behind the Free Au Pair Search page, which is accessed from the site homepage. All these pages are noticably faster now.

The latest bit of work we’ve started is converting the Au Pair/Jobseeker section of the site, this was only started today, 04/08/2015, and should go on for about 3 weeks.

So, that’s it really, busy bees.

Site Redesign and Refresh

We’re currently in the proces of converting the site to a responsive design (a fluid layout that rebuilds itself to suit different screen sizes), we’ve already converted the job description template, and in the last few minutes the new homepage layout has gone live. We are going to continue the redesign by converting all of the pages in the logged-out area of the site and then we’ll move onto the the host family section, followed by the jobseeker section. This will take a few months to complete, unfortunately, and until then you may experience a mixture of layouts – ie. you might go from a responsive page to a desktop page, to a responsive page which isn’t an ideal user experience, but in our opinion is a better way of doing it than attempting to convert the hundred or so templates in the background, we apologise for any invonvenience, and appreciate your patience.

If you encounter any issues in the meantime, or have any feedback, please let us know at [email protected]