21 Apr Big changes coming to 10and5
We’d like to let our community of friends, fans and followers know that we have something up our sleeves.
From Tuesday next week you will see an entirely re-designed 10and5. Some of you might have seen what it looks like if you’ve been on the site a few evenings while we were testing it. We will give you a preview of what the site will look like today from 13:00 – 15:00 where we will switch over to the new design and give you some time to get used to the new version. We’ll switch it back after that, but from Tuesday we’ll be good and clean and fresh.
We’re pretty excited about this, we have had the same design since the day we started and this marks a big step for us. Not only are we moving away from the traditional blog format of a stream of content, we’re also making the site faster as well as including a number of new features.
The site will still use WordPress, but we’ve found a theme that suits us enough to be flexible, yet provide a number of great features out of the box.
Some new features we have:
Easy customized logo and backgrounds – We’ve been meaning to get contributions for logo’s and backgrounds for a while now, and this will allow us to do so easily without any dev work.
Top Level navigation – a key thing for us is discovery of content in our content pillars (illustration, photography, art, graphic design, agency work, etc). The top level nav will allow users to quickly head to sections that they want to browse and hopefully help in content discovery.
Featured articles – this is a huge thing for us as we’ve never had a way to make articles “sticky”. The new featured content slider will allow users to quickly get an idea of what is hot on the site at the moment. We also found that a big story would fall off the main page as the day progresses. This will allow the story to be top of mind when users visit the site.
Faster pages – This might be a bit of a contentious issue for some of our readers as it will no longer be possible to view all the work by just scanning the homepage. The homepage will now feature thumbnails and post excerpts, where we previously had the full post image or creative work, as well as a short bio. This has however been at the expense of page load times as users would need to load ALL the article images, which ended up making the page quite heavy. We’ve trimmed that down and users will need to click on an article excerpt in order to view the full creative piece. This not a tactic to increase our pageviews (as some might think), it’s to lower our page load time and give users a bigger picture view of what is happening on the site.
Better Facebook sharing – we’ve used all the latest updates from Facebook and sharing and commenting on story’s via Facebook should be even easier. We still haven’t allowed authentication via FB or FB comments as we don’t believe the site requires this just yet.
A few more ads – you might have noticed in the past week that there are a few more ads running on the site. The new version also includes a couple more ad spots. This is inline with our monetization strategy (on it’s most basic level) and we will soon have better, more relevant ads for our audience. We’ve also segmented the ads so that advertisers can target specific sections.
Better readability – the articles are now a lot easier to read – the text is bigger and includes better formatting. This should make articles easier to read, and also allow us to style the posts better. The formatting for things like forms, quotes and lists are also much better.
News Section – we’ve always had a problem with industry news as we don’t really want to feature industry news in the main creative content stream. The new layout allow us to have a section for this that will sit separately from the featured articles.
Better Comment styling – comments are now styled a bit better and includes avatars. Not a biggie, but still nice to see.
We hope that you are as excited as we are with the new design – it’s something that we’ve been meaning to do for a while now, and we’re finally happy enough to kick-start a new era for 10and5. Please leave your feedback on this article when the site goes live for it’s maiden voyage today at 13:00.