Those of you who came by the site this weekend may have noticed a new look on Cranky. I tried to do it on Friday night when traffic was lower so that if it blew up in my face, I wouldn’t anger too many people. Fortunately within an hour of it launching, it was in good shape.
It’s a pretty subtle change, but I think it’s a good one. I’m hoping that you’ll take a look around and let me know what you like and what you don’t. Here are some of the bigger changes:
- The new look is cleaner overall with less clutter and clearer distinctions between areas. It’s also now grown beyond its previous 800 pixel width to about 950 pixels.
- I’ve taken a lot out of the sidebar and put key links into a navigation bar at the top to make it easier to find what you need
- The post area is now 20 pixels wider and it’s been slightly tweaked to make it easier to read
- Post categories have been moved from the bottom to the top of the post to make it easier to find related pieces
- The comment areas should be easier to read and use of avatars is encouraged
- I’ve added a directory which will grow to include all sorts of travel resources. Right now, it only has airlines, but I will add more soon. Click here to see how to get your site listed.
- I’ve added a second sidebar to accommodate more prominent advertising. I’m trying not to interfere with the content itself, but, honestly, I did want to at least make the ad positions more attractive to advertisers. If you are interested in advertising yourself, I now have more options available than before. Look here for more details.
I hope you like the changes. As I said, hit the comments below with your thoughts.
i think it is an improvement
Look’s fine to me.
I’d suggest that you move the Bookmark rollover away from the Comments link. It keeps popping up and covering the link when I’m trying to click it. Aside from that, everything looks good.
Roger – That’s a good suggestion, but sadly I’m not sure I can figure out how to do that. It comes as a widget, and I have yet to figure out how to change placement. If I can do it, I will.
I’d get rid of the whole advert sidebar. it doesn’t look good. This blog is better as a 2 column blog. You could blend the adverts into the comment posts and below the topics.
I like the new look. One suggestion if I may……I would like to see your external links open in a new window, or tab. When I click on your BNET posts, forums or ads, I move away from your site, and then I have to navigate back to where I was reading.
Nomadic Matt – Thanks for the feedback. Most of what I heard when I spoke with people about this is that they’d prefer to have the ads and the content kept separate to avoid confusion and annoyance. I realize I probably won’t be able to please everyone all the time, but I’m pretty comfortable keeping this set up that way.
Matthew – That’s a good suggestion. I will do the work to add that when I get a chance.
Cranky, I’m sorry, I don’t like it. I don’t like the fonts or the overall layout. I know what you’re trying to do but it doesn’t feel as warm and “homey” as the old CF.com. :(
Matthew – Upon further discussion, I’ve decided not to have the links open in a new window. Instead of popping up the window, I’m going to give the choice to the user. If you want it to open in a new window, right click on the link and it will give you options on how to open it. I hope that works for you.
One small suggestion — add the year to the date of each post. It’s useful when old posts come up in searches or links. Right now only comments have a year.
Ron – Believe it or not, that takes more effort that it might seem, but I’ll put it on the list. For now, if you look in the url when you’re on a post, you’ll see the year in there. Not perfect, but it’ll get you the information you need until I can fix this.
@Ron one reason CF may not want to include the year is because a post is evergreen. When someone is seeing a blog post or the post in a search result and see that it’s old they may unnecessarily discount it because of its age.
Some things are timeless and you wouldn’t want people to discount something that stands the test of time.
Jesus- the last post brought this up in my emails… I posted 4 years ago. My God, how time goes by… Well, CF, I’ve been reading your blog here for a nice chunk of my life….
Well, glad you’re still hanging around, Axel!