Why hello there, faithful reader/listener! Unless you live in RSS land, you’ve no doubt noticed quite a few changes on our website today. I believe I owe you an explanation for the changes to sooth your
outrage excitement curiosity. The biggest change you’ve noticed is with our logo, as the Halloween font that has graced us since our site first launched last year is gone. The font wasn’t terribly bothersome, but it was felt that with a change in the overall site a logo redesign was also warranted. The artistic Rontourage got to work and we bounced back some logo ideas and concepts until we finally settled with this one. Not only is it sleek and more professional looking, but we feel that it embodies what The Noisecast is all about. It is a tad techy, a tad shiny, and a tad fun, without overdoing any one of those aspects. Also, this new logo would look awesome on a t-shirt that might be given away as a prize for a contest or something (hint hint).
The new site layout is not a drastic change from the old layout. To a certain degree it is, but it also stays close to the original design. You may ask why a redesign was warranted so soon after the first redesign in March and rest assured that our reasons weren’t entirely selfish. As time goes on The Noisecast continues to grow and it slowly discovers the niche that it fits in. The limitations to the previous site design quickly became glaringly apparent from both readers and writers alike. As we added regular columns and features the site became quite bloated and heavy on the back-end (yes, I mean that in both ways). The site had become quite sluggish and clunky in terms of usability. To put it frankly, we didn’t think that far into the future back in March.
However, we did like the look and feel we had established with our site. We know people hate change on the internet, as recent redesigns with both Gawker and TechCrunch have caused a fair amount of community uproar. We feel that our redesign, on the other hand, doesn’t deviate too much from the old. Sure there is a noticeable cosmetic difference but creeping out from behind those changes is the essence of the old site. It’s different, yet it is still the same, which was extremely important in making sure that you, the reader and listener, would not come here today and ask yourself whether you typed in the URL correctly.
From a usability perspective
you probably noticed right away the difference in load speeds it is supposed to be a much faster site, however, because we are on a shared crappy server, no matter how basic our design is it will always be sluggish. A lot of fat has been trimmed and the new site is up to date on all the latest web standards. It uses far less processing power yet provides many more useful features. Most noticeable are the new Reviews feature (which you will see soon), related posts at the end of each individual article, a more prominent featured article slider, and the new menu bars with the revamped categories. The first menu bar at the very top contains the search box and pages that deal with site and contact information. The next two menu bars are stacked on top of each other below our new logo with our regular features listed on the right hand side and our new categories listed on the main menu bar.
Speaking of new categories, we consolidated our categories down because the category situation of the old site was overwhelming. There were just way too many categories and sub-categories, some of each were empty to this day. We learned that post tags existed for a reason, and that was so you didn’t have a billion categories to work with. Everything has been consolidated down while still leaving room for expansion.
This post is longer than it should be, as there really isn’t that much that is “new” in terms of site functionality. Click around, see what it has to offer. If you find any bugs or have any suggestions be sure to let us know. Lastly, the logo and site changes are proof that we are growing, and that growth is not possible without the ongoing support we’ve had from you, our readers and listeners. You guys and gals are absolutely awesome and you’re the reason we continue to enjoy doing what we’re doing! Enjoy the new site and logo!