This month’s column was supposed to finish up the series on broadband by discussing the benefits of broadband use in education. However, I’m going to postpone that discussion and come back to it next month instead. The reason for the postponement is because the new Illinois Country Living (ICL) website was released last month! Our professional staff has done such a great job bringing you a feature-rich site that I wanted to take a moment to point out some of its advantages.

Mobility. It’s the new “it” when it comes to communications these days. Everything needs to be available on mobile devices. And, there are several ways to have a website be viewable on a mobile device. One way is to set up a completely separate page (a mobile website) and then have the server auto detect when a visitor is using a mobile device. Then, the user is automatically directed to the mobile site. We chose to go another route with ICL’s new site.

 Our new site is built using responsive design. With responsive design, we don’t have to maintain two separate sites. Instead, the site automatically adjusts to fit the device it’s viewed upon. Go ahead and try it! Try resizing the window. You should notice the items on the screen changing to fit the available space. In fact, the site even switches the headers for the menus so they become a drop-down style. And, when you maximize the window, it all goes back to the full view. Pretty slick, huh?

So, let’s talk about some specific sections of the new website.

Everyone loves our monthly featured recipes. Our recipes come from church group cookbooks. The recipe section on the website now has some features that I encourage you to check out.

On the Home page, look for a section called “Finest Cooking” in the menu on the top. Click on the words and you’ll be brought to a new page that lists, by month, all of the recipes we have added to date. We have only added those used since January of this year, but the list will continue to grow over time. You can see that all of these recipes are fully available and all use responsive design. That means you can have them available right by your stove while cooking. It’s home cooking with a technological twist!

But, what if you don’t know what you want to make? Easy! Search your freezer or cupboard for a specific ingredient, and then type it into the search box at the top of the page. All of the recipes that use that specific ingredient will come up, and you can easily select one.

Of course, there is much more to the new site than recipes. After all, just as you’ve come to expect from ICL, you’ll find feature stories, safety and health information, past commentary and Powered Up columns. We also have used the web space to boost our news offering. The online “Currents” section will offer much more up-to-date information that a monthly publication simply does not allow.

 In addition, we have added an online datebook of events from around the state. Make sure you submit information that you want included on Datebook. It’s a great way to reach a wide audience for your event. And, in the future, we’ll be adding a marketplace section. It will be a paid classified posting where you’ll be able to list items.

 If you have any questions about the site, feel free to either e-mail me or leave a message on the website. And, definitely join in on the conversation for any of the stories you see listed there. We monitor the site and will respond as we see comments come in.

Until next month, be safe and enjoy those recipes!