UNA athletic department updates roarlions.com

by Student Writer Spencer Brooks

The UNA athletic department updated its website, roarlions.com, this month to give the page a more modern look.

UNA partnered with Sidearm Sports, who powers the athletic websites of over 800 collegiate programs. Athletic director Mark Linder said he was pleased with the updated site.

“It was time for us to provide our fan base with more video content and the ability to connect,” Linder said. “We believe the new design is more user- friendly and provides a great website for our fans to remain connected.”

UNA Sports Information Director Jeff Hodges said, with the help of Sidearm Sports, he and his assistant Shane Herrmann recreated the website.

“We basically redid and rebuilt the entire website from scratch,” Hodges said. “Sidearm showed us how to do it and then we did all the moving of it. It was a lot of work, but it was enjoyable creating something new that you hope people appreciate.”

According to Hodges, UNA used ShoalsWeb as its company to power the website for over a decade before making the update.

“ShoalsWeb had done a great job for us for about 17 years back when people first started having websites,” he said.

Hodges said he thinks the website does a great job of focusing on the athletes.

“It really gave us the opportunity to showcase our student athletes a little better with more video content and photos,” he said.

The desktop version provides information relating to the university’s sports programs including data about players, ticket prices, sports news and a live feed of their social media outlets, which allows viewers access to all venues without leaving the main site.

Hodges said while ease of navigation was one aspect of the new website, the athletic department’s main goal was to make a website the fans could enjoy.

“We want it to showcase our department and our university, for one, but you want it to be something everybody is going to like and appreciate,” he said. “Hopefully that is what we accomplished.”

The website’s new look is well-received by many of UNA’s students

“I really like the way it’s implemented in showing you a live feed of what’s going on their social medias,” said junior Quint Glover. “ It feels like a better, smarter route to gain more followers and subscribers.”

Glover, a computer science major, said he appreciates the info is accessible, unlike many websites.

“It’s very well thought-out with all the relevant information right there for you and easy access to the rest of the site,” Glover said, “I didn’t have to hunt for anything on the site.”

The mobile version, offering access to the entire site, puts more focus on news, events and results, those being the primary tabs on the page.

“When someone goes to a mobile version of a website, they don’t want to have to search for an event schedule,” Glover said. “Looking for it takes away the ease of what a mobile site should provide and it’s a real pain.

“On the mobile version, you literally just scroll down and there is the information. That’s all anyone cares about with a mobile version.”

Senior Michael Phraner said the update has an appealing look and helpful information at the same time.

“It looks really sleek and is very user-friendly,” Phraner said. “It’s definitely an upgrade.”

Junior Jonathan Barnett said the new website has the total package.

“Personally, I like it. It seems easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye,” Barnett said. “It also seems to have anything and everything that a person might be looking for on the website.”

For anyone interested in viewing the site, visit roarlions.com either from your desktop or mobile device for more information.