Redesign Complete

Hey there guys. As most of you noticed last week we started implementing a redesign around here. I didn’t post about the change or mention it out loud because I didn’t want to say anything before it was actually finished. Well… as of yesterday we finished it, so here I am posting about it.

There were a couple of reasons for the change. On the technical end of things, for some reason the layout and theme we were using was putting a HUGE strain on our servers. In other words, the CPU power being used by the site was FAR beyond what it should have been and we were never able to nail down the culprit or the root cause of that system resources hog. This new theme and layout has fixed that completely. Our servers are now MUCH happier and running very smoothly. As a result, you should notice the site is functioning and loading faster and more consistently.

From a practical point of view, with new information appearing on the site changes so rapidly, posts and articles disappear off the front page within a day or two. Our best navigation system for finding older and special content is the sidebar area. I wanted to implement a true “3 column” layout with more space for us to highlight certain content with. ALSO… if you go to an individual post’s page, you’ll notice the first thing in the side bar is now a “More Recent Posts” heading. This means if you read or comment on an individual story, you can click on the next recent story without having the head back to the front page first. We thing this will come in handy for our regular commentors and for first time visitors who land on one of the individual post’s pages.

I know not everyone will like the new layout… every time I’ve changed people talk about how much they hate the new design and loved the old one (which they all said they hated before). I know it will take a little getting used to, but I honestly think this layout and new back end with help make the Movie Blog experience a better one.

Also, a special shout out to Pia, our technical Guru who oversees all our coding and site maintenance, and Dan, who has become our defacto concept artist around here (he also designed the DVD cover for my Prince of Peace – God of War movie). They did a great job pulling this off for no other reason than they wanted to give back and contribute to the Movie Blog community. THANK YOU GUYS!

So there you have it. Feel free to comment or give any feedback you’d like on the design… or request new features… whatever. Thanks guys.

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25 thoughts on “Redesign Complete

  1. Hey Jhon! I hope you read this.

    A little usability concern: the link to make a comment is too small. You have to nail a 2 pixels square to click it right. Make it bigger, gets more comments.

    Thats it. The rest is very nice and clean.

  2. I’m very glad the longer frontpage posts are back.. The short ones were alittle annoying. I like this latest design. Hopefully you stay with this one for alittle while..

  3. I like it. Very clean and user-friendly. Didn’t like that for a while I had to click on the More link to read the entire article, but now it’s back like I like it. Great job.

  4. I love the new design. Avid reader here and was a little thrown by it at first. But here we are a few days later and I am really diggin it. Keep up the great work.

  5. i opened the site the other day n thought that something might be wrong with the internet line. i was thinking – “am i really on the movie blog?”

    it felt weird first but i really like the new design. it eases navigation and better still, eases the eyes! good job John! and to Pia and Dan, great job! i really appreciate it!

    take care!

  6. Great to see you here Darren. I really think the ‘recent comments’ box on the main page is a big improvement of previous TMB incarnations. Now people can, and are, commenting on much older stories and we’re able to quickly see the discussions that are being brought up again.

  7. Love this recent design! I totally agree with Chung, I never really read all the stories when i have to click to continue and usually always endup reading all of it when the entire article is out there. Not sure why but I do!

  8. Like the new design. A BIG THANK YOU for re-including the entire article on the front page, and not forcing us to click links to get to it…UGHhhhh I hated that.

  9. I like the redesign, but is there anyway to make the pictures themselves a link to the article?

    That’s the only flaw I see with the site design right now.

  10. John, I love the new design! I think the new logo, header and navigation turned out great!

    Overall, I’d say ‘great job on the new look’ to design and editorial team!

  11. ok, (LOVE the new design btw!) but this is more related to the movie blog in general.
    u guys should have more hot chix like Ashley on the live shows, or ANY of the video podcasts, like Serena, or Johns unbelievably hot redhead friend Sharon. not that we don’t all love u guys, but (in all honesty) Doug’s not the prettiest face in LA. altho, John, my friend Tiffany did say u have a really great voice.

  12. Hey Darren,

    Dude, I’ve ordered more copies of the dvd into production and as soon as I get back to Canada I’ll have them delivered and the movie will be available again.

  13. Hey man! I like the redesign, but I have a slightly unrelated question:

    When are you going to be selling the POP/GOW DVDs again? I have a bunch of people lining up to buy copies, and the “purchase online” option on the official site didn’t seem to be working the last time I checked.

  14. Hey Andrew,

    The company looks after all the back end stuff for me, but they couldn’t identify the problem either with all the system resources being hogged up. I wouldn’t care about that except that it was effecting the readers load times and experience… so I made the decision that a leaner, faster, less resource expensive set up was needed.

    As far as “fans” go… Movie Blog readers contribute to the site in many ways. Some with news tips, some by commenting, some by volunteering their talents to participate in and add to the community.

    Basically, people like Pia and Dan emailed me and said:

    “I’ve been entertained by, and reading the movie blog for years, and I want to contribute and give back something”

    So they email me and offered to help. Community is great that way.

  15. I like pretty much every aspect of the new design, but especially the fact that the site has started to load a lot faster and is somewhat less tiresome to read through… not that it was before! Just that the black-on-white is a welcome change!

    Now if only you could do a similar revamp for the video content, something that’s still high quality, yet loads a little bit faster would be much appreciated! Perhaps even consider adding a little download link as a .mov or .wmv file, it’ll be a nice touch!


  16. I do like the new header – it’s very aesthetically pleasing.

    But I thought you guys were owned by some major company now and didn’t have to worry about all the back end bullshit. Why do you have “fans” designing your site and maintaining things? Just curious.

  17. I like the new navigation. I’ve seen all of the sites various incarnations and this one seems to blend the witty editorial side of the site with the design best. Ie: “About, all about us.” Honestly, you could have made the site uglier and I’d continue to read daily because CONTENT is what rocks most, although the new design is definitely badass.

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