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Site Redesign

Categories: Help

Written By

August 19th, 2011

Update: There have been several complaints about the lack of "recent posts" widget. I hear your complaints and am evaluating, though will likely do so over a period of at least several days.

Original post:

If everything goes ok, sometime today we’ll be switching to a new site design. While one goal was to surface a little more content higher on the home page and get more people to use the site navigation and search, the primary goal was to improve performance and stability.  I’ve run into some problems with some recent upgrades to WordPress with the current theme and had to MacGyver things a bit. Hopefully nobody really noticed that, but it’s no way to head into the fall TV season.

I’ve been working with our Zap2it affiliate sibling Jon Lachonis from TVOvermind. Some of you ‘Lost’ fans may remember Jon as DocArzt.  Jon is a very skilled theme developer, and fantastic to work with. He did a customized version of his 'Overmind' theme for us.

Though visually, the home page will look a bit different (and I think it’s a bit prettier) it’s not a radical redesign. The site navigation will work the same and as far as individual posts go, it should work the same way it always did. I know most people don't love change, and like opinions about TV shows, opinions about web site design certainly vary! But hopefully the site will be a little snappier, things won’t break when we upgrade software and I can get the duct tape off my desk and put it back in the drawer where it belongs.

I was going to hold off until 9pm PT tonight, but given the dog days of summer and that I don't feel like working late on a Friday night, I'm going to try to do it this morning. Things might not be perfect initially, but if anything is horribly busted, I'll quickly revert to the old theme.

P.S. I know the number one thing our most frequent commenters want is the ability to edit comments. That’s not a part of this redesign, but we’re very aware that you want that functionality.

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  1. Steve

    Now if only we could get a full RSS so I can skim the articles I only vaguely want to read and hit up the site on the ones that I deem deserving of comments.

  2. Matt

    Sounds good….lets see what it looks like!

  3. Julia

    I object to this. If I’m rarely around in the future it’s because of this, not a full time graduate program. I promise.

  4. Nelson

    Robert, I’ve got a question, that’s probably totally unrelated to this post, but I’ll do it here anyway:
    What happened to the iPhone version of the site? It’s been a while I can’t use that on my iPhone anymore, but never got the time (or the patience) to ask that. Maybe you even posted about this before, so I apologize if this has already been answered before.
    Thanks.

  5. SVU: Playboy Club

    Let’s hope the mobile site returns too. If not I’ll be out the door (at least until I get home and get on my computer or have to see the ratings from the previous night.) ;)

  6. Ralph Hahn

    Good luck!

  7. You could get rid of all the top navigation, and I wouldn’t even be bothered by it. I don’t know about most people, but I either wind up reading something either by finding it on the main page, on the recent posts bar, or through an RSS feed. The top navigation just makes things look sloppier than things have to be!

  8. Ralph Hahn

    Speaking of “Playboy Club”…(heh, heh, heh). I saw a promo for the show last night. It has more of that “Las Vegas” show with James Caan look than “Mad Men.” Probably will include stunt-casting or dead celebrity look-alikes.

  9. Holly

    P.S. I know the number one thing our most frequent commenters want is the ability to edit comments. That’s not a part of this redesign, but we’re very aware that you want that functionality.

    This was actually my first question…sigh… But I’d rather have a smoothly running site and you and Bill happy than editing, so I’ll survive ;)

  10. full-text RSS not coming back as a part of this and I doubt it ever will.

    we discontinued the mobile version for a couple of reasons and it will not be back with this release, but I could see it coming back in the future.

    Julia: yeah, yeah… ;-)

    Ryan, you might not like the redesign: the recent post box is going away (at least temporarily) and there will be a typical normal “scrolling of recent blog posts” under the featured stories area.

    I regret that it seems to usually be the case that changes that are made to improve things overall, often aren’t an improvement for our most loyal readers. But let’s see how it goes. :-)

  11. SJ

    I’ve always wondered why you had the R/C Index (now Summer Premiere) box pushing the content of the page down, especially since there are never any ads there and it just looks kind of awkward and empty. I hope moving that is part of the changes.

  12. Holly

    @SJ,

    There’s a banner ad next to that box for me…

  13. Ellen

    Will there be a mobile version of the site now?

  14. SJ, there IS an ad to the right of that, so the content would be pushed down 90 pixels whether we had the R/C or Summer Schedule box there or not. Though that top area of the site has been spruced up a bit. stay tuned.

  15. Ellen

    Oops, just saw you answered that, sorry ;)

  16. SJ

    Well that’s curious – now I see an ad there too. :lol: But still, 95% of the time ads (for me, at least) tend to appear below the TV schedule grid.

  17. Jeff

    This is the only site I have on google reader to scroll headlines. IMO, the main page (pre-new site) is a mess.

  18. @SJ. perhaps that’s because 83% of the ads are NOT at the top of the page. :-)

  19. GARebelman

    I don’t mind change to design, new season on the way! I do miss Disquis though, I thought that worked better :)

  20. Fake Me Out

    IMHO

    I think it’s high time you abondon this whole internet fad thingie and revert back to a nice Spitfire BBS dial-up system …

    YMMV

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