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Before this year, anyone looking to learn about Hillsdale Chargers ath­letics had to use the “Ath­letics” section of the school’s website. That all changed Sep­tember 26 with the launch of a new and modern home on the web for the Chargers.

“The old site was lacking in many, many ways,” said Brad Monas­tiere, who was in charge of the old site and spear­headed the push for a new one. Monas­tiere serves as sports infor­mation director for the College.

One of the biggest struc­tural changes with the new site is that it is now a sep­arate URL from the main school website. This was inten­tional, as was the design of the site, in an effort to remove its asso­ci­ation with the school’s current website. This change brings Hillsdale in line with the current practice of other schools, which sep­arate the ath­letics department from the “.edu” address of the main site.

Some of the ben­efits of the new site are imme­di­ately visible on the homepage: it now has over 60 links to various aspects of Hillsdale’s ath­letics, up from 20. A three-paned box gives quick access to current infor­mation about sea­sonal teams. When you go onto an indi­vidual team’s page, the box changes to reflect this. Standings, results, and schedules are all right on the site. Embedded video is now pos­sible, giving the school a much “wider pallet” to inform about its pro­grams. Each team now has a feature video, created by sophomore Genna Hilgen­brink. These videos seek to give recruits and fans an idea of the people and facil­ities at Hillsdale, and include inter­views as well as game footage. The new website even includes a mobile edition, bringing more traffic to the school and making it easier for anyone to look up infor­mation on the go.

Many changes are visible to the casual user, but it is what goes on “under the hood” that is perhaps more important. Although the site was designed in-house, the final code was written for the school by PrestoSports, a company spe­cial­izing in these kinds of ath­letics web­sites. Because of Presto’s under­lying archi­tecture, the schools they do web­sites for can share infor­mation and resources auto­mat­i­cally. Since Presto even manages the site for the GLIAC, standings and results from other schools are updated instantly on Hillsdale’s site.  The process to update Hillsdale’s own site, which pre­vi­ously took 10 – 12 steps, can now be com­pleted in three.

Monas­tiere has many plans for the site’s future, including live web­casting of sporting events, which should be available around 2013. He also plans to include newly-created archive pages with sports infor­mation and records from the history of Charger ath­letics, and to give club and recre­ational sports more prominent space on the homepage.

Bill Gray, the director of mar­keting for the school, thinks the new site “gives a better reflection of Charger ath­letics,” while intro­ducing an ath­letic feel that wasn’t pos­sible with the old site.