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Welcome to the new-look Head for Points!

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

OK, we’re back after a couple of hours of downtime.

Things look a little different as you can tell ……

After eight years of using a layout which was, to be honest, already dated when we started using it in 2012, we have pulled the site into the 21st century. 

I know that our core readers didn’t really care how we looked but the old theme was starting to take its toll.  HfP should hit 20 million page views this year (we are around the 450th biggest UK website) with a further 9 million articles read via email.  However, the old look was starting to impact our ability to attract new readers and secure large advertising contracts.  We hope you like what we’ve done.

I don’t want to say any more at this point because my prime consideration today is making sure that everything is working as expected.

If you see a technical issue – a broken link, a formatting issue, something which simply looks wrong on your device – then please tell us. Do NOT comment in this thread.  There is a separate ‘noise free’ thread for technical issues which is here.  Post your problem and we’ll get onto it.

If it’s a formatting issue, please say what device you are using.  We expect some issues with some mobile devices.

If you simply want to say that you like or hate the new look, then feel free to say that in this thread!  If you have any requests for new features we could add in the medium term, please also put your ideas in this thread.  The other one is exclusively for short-term problems requiring a quick fix.

You will see some minor differences around the site in terms of menus and layout.  However, there are no fundamental changes and all of the old content remains.  There are no changes to the usual ‘three articles, all posted by 6am’ scheduling.

Tomorrow I will run an article explaining exactly what has changed in terms of site functionality.

In a couple of days I’ll write a longer piece on what we’ve done, why we did it, who did it and what we learnt whilst doing it.  Given that we started approaching design agencies back in November, it has been a long process.

Thank you for your continued support, especially in the current climate.  Our revenue may be down but our page views have been consistently higher than the same period in 2019 which keeps us motivated.

Rob

PS.  If you made a comment on the ‘old’ site this morning then you might find it has disappeared.  Apologies.  Please feel free to post it again.

Comments (209)

  • Fenny says:

    Just getting to the new design (I was in the office yesterday for the first time in ages).

    I agree with all the comments saying there’s too much white. After a Zoom meeting this morning that triggered my migraine, this is just burning my eyes.

    Secondly, when we move to the next (previous) page of comments, it goes back to the top of the article again, rather than just to the top of the comments, as the old page did. I’ve read the article. I don’t want to have to page down through it all again.

    Third, on the top level page, it seems to give 4 articles, then a wodge of adverts & stuff, then more articles below. To me, the wodge of adverts & non-article stuff indicates I’ve come to the end of the page, but I have to go further down to find the next bit I want to read. Isn’t that what side bars are for? The central bit is for content.

    • Rhys says:

      We’re aware of point 2 – that’s a bug that we’re trying to fix right now. With regards to point three, we tried to include more ‘evergreen’ reference articles that otherwise get lost! Things that always come in useful.

      • Rob says:

        The aim is to have a front page which shows a mix of content for the first-time visitor. The old ‘only news’ layout wasn’t fully representative of what we offer. This is better. The key issue is how we structure it to avoid unnecessary scrolling.

        Possibilities:
        * we tighten up the grey middle area (already done, realistically, as far as we can, unless we shrink the images)
        * we put four items instead of three in each area above them

  • Freddy says:

    The actual design is fairly simple (no offence!) – is a website like this expensive to set up, is it mainly salary costs which are high or does the actual site cost alot to run? Sorry if that sounds nosey!

    • Rob says:

      The highest quote we got the website redesign was £45,000. We ended paying much less but still substantially into 5 figures. I assume you don’t think that simple = easy or simple = quick. Simple is SUBSTANTIALLY harder to do properly than ‘complicated’. Most people would say that an iPhone is ‘simple’ but weirdly no-one else has yet invented a way of doing it as well. Why has no-one ever invented a ‘simple’ TV remote?

      You can run a blog from home for £10 per month in web hosting costs, using a free WordPress theme. Throw in three staff, a City of London office, exceptionally high capacity hosting etc and suddenly you’re spending £10,000 per month (excluding what I earn).

  • Stephan Whelan says:

    Great job Rob and team. The new design looks fantastic and very representative of what a great set of content you publish. I know how hard it is to do a redesign of a popular website – lots of people will have opinions of what is good or bad. Personally I think it’s clean, modern and a great design. Well done!

  • James says:

    Rob, the new design is top notch. Functional and clean, just what was needed. Well done to all involved

  • Andreas says:

    HFP team – this new design is looking great, and looks very nice on PC! The way the adverts are done is excellent – they are not irritating and flashy, they don’t play sounds, and they don’t obscure the articles. I wish more websites did adverts like this!

    I do have a suggestion for the whiteness of the site – add a toggle to switch to a dark mode. An example of a light / dark switch can be found on arstechnica.com. Then everyone can just choose whether they have a traditional black text on white website, or use an inverted white text on black for eye strain and nighttime reading.

  • reddot says:

    I’ve seen several comments on dark mode. I’m using Firefox on the iPad iOS 13.6 and Firefox can be set to automatically dark mode all pages. Some web pages come out funny but yours look splendid. I went over to Safari to see what everyone’s talking about it being too white, and I have to agree that it is.