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Welcome to the new-look Head for Points

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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.


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 (207)

  • Dezbez says:

    Very slick & modern, looks great!

  • cinereus says:

    Have you finally got a modern comments plugin for Wordpress?

    • Rhys says:

      No, still the same old Wordpress one! We like how it works with moderation etc 🙂

      • cinereus says:

        It would be great to have one that deals with large numbers of comments better. Also more visual contrast between content (middle column) and navigation/ads either side would be helpful to UX by my eye.

        • Rhys says:

          There are various tweaks we’re looking at doing very soon as we get used to the new layout, including to the comments

        • BJ says:

          There is a fine line to tread here though as adding more to provide contrast can get to the point where there can be too much useless detail that just distracts the eye and starts to feel cluttered and over the top as opposed to clean and slick. A simpler solution that might meet your needs better would be to view the site on mobile view on a phone. I had a go with that and while I am happy with the site across devices I think mobile view on my phone is probably the easiest on the senses.

    • Rob says:

      No. We have improved Search though!

  • Chris says:

    Looks great!

  • Rh says:

    Thanks Rob!

  • BSI1978 says:

    On Desktop at present, but also on Andriod phone and everything seems to be working ok and looks good.

    Initial thoughts are that following the comments thread may be a little less ‘easy’ but in truth that may just be me having to get used to the new layout, and there are few comments at present…

    • BJ says:

      I feel that the names in the comments are a little bit lost, need to stand out more. Would benefit from the avatars but that is a bit rich from me given that I never used one myself.

      • Pid says:

        I agree it is a bit difficult to tell who is a site moderator, where as before you could tell by the avatars. While regular users can tell by the names, Newbies will find it difficult. It is important to know if a response is from HfP or not.

  • BJ says:

    Quick first impression before I head out to lunch: Clean & slick, looks and feels good. Retains the HfP ‘genome’ so is immediately comfortable, and at first glance seems to be devoid of the styling I dislike on many websites these days. Looks better than any of the competition from my point of view. Look forward to a closer look later. Well done to all concerned 🙂

  • Peter K says:

    Not sure if it’s a technical issue or a design plan but there is no “click here to go to the next article” button at the end of the articles. I found that very useful.

    • Rhys says:

      Sorry, we removed it! You should see the three daily articles in the ‘Today’s Top Stories’ box though!

      • Charlieface says:

        I think you should put it back also.

        • ChrisBCN says:

          Agreed, if I’ve missed two days of articles it was always easy to start with the latest and keep clicking through the links to the next article until I got to the last one I read. The top stories won’t work for this use case, neither for those days where there are four articles.

          • Rob says:

            True. We might put in a small ‘Previous / Next’ button which won’t take up much space and means we wouldn’t be reapeating the headline of the previous / next story, which will already be in the box.

    • BJ says:

      I found I rarely used that in navigation myself but I can forsee a few shouts for its return.

      • Pid says:

        I regularly used it but happy to wait a few days to see how the new format works before asking to revert back. Like most things it will just take a few days to get used to doing things in a new way.

  • Le Chiffre says:

    Not bad, mister Bond, not ad…

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