Welcome to the new WFNY, you guys

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Well hello there. Thanks for stopping by. Like what we’ve done to the place? Pull up a chair, would ya? They’re nice and comfy—brand new. Bounce up and down. See? Take a look around. Scroll a bit. Like what you see?

Well before the Browns traded up to wreck the league with Johnny Manziel and LeBron James penned an essay Cleveland fans will never forget, the team here at WFNY set out to make the reader experience better than it has ever been. We liked our old digs—we really did. It was customized for us, allowing original content to be promoted while giving you all the quick-hitting stuff that everyone else was talking about, be it at the water cooler or on Twitter. We went to one sidebar (remember that old two-sidebar layout?), keeping ads as far down as possible. We added separate sections for our content, realizing that not every post was created equal.

But something was missing.

Those of you who visit us on a daily basis while at work or home, we couldn’t be happier to have you be a part of this endeavor. You take your shoes off and stick around for a while—the average time spent on WFNY is well over two minutes per visit with more than two-thirds of you being returning customers. I think they call that “loyalty” or something. We call it “awesome.” But nevertheless, those of you who hang out either through Windows or Mac represent only half of those who pay visit to this very establishment with forty-nine percent of our readers attempting to absorb our material through mobile operating systems. This is right in line with the changing landscape of media consumption, but one we were not aligned for on our end. We had a “mobile” site, but it was clunky, only worked on occasion, and, quite frankly, took away from the whole WFNY experience. Today, and going forward, WFNY’s new responsive design will allow for the same, improved experience to all readers, regardless of operating system or device. Even you, Windows Phone guy.

Are you reading us on an iPad right now? Turn that bad boy into landscape mode. Sitting at a computer? Try shrinking your browser window a bit. Pretty cool, right? Everything rearranges and resizes for you; there’s no side scrolling involved.

So what else is new? Oh, where to start…

Let’s start with the home page. You’re obviously not there right now, but we do hope you’ll head back there as soon as we finish our little tour. When you’re there, depending on what device you’re using, you’ll see a high resolution quilt of sorts that will provide you with the six pieces that we wish to feature at a given time. At the old digs, if there was a breaking news item or a video we thought you would enjoy, you’d have to search for it a bit in it’s given section. Now, we can put it right there, front and center, awaiting your click and comment.

If you’re on a mobile device, including tablets, you have a few home page options at your disposal. You can slap your thumb against the left corner of that menu bar at the top, leading you to a drop-down—go nuts from there. Otherwise, you can scroll to each of our six featured posts, layered for your visual enjoyment, and then directly down through our original content. Looking for our latest podcasts? First, subscribe to our iTunes feed; secondly, scroll down to the footer where the last 10 installments of Craig’s dulcet tones are awaiting your arrival. Your welcome, ears.

If you’re on a desktop, buckle up. You’re seeing a slightly different layout than your buddy over there reading this on his iPhone, starting with the menus at the very top of the screen. Hover over any of the team names above and you’ll be presented with a team-specific drop-down menu, providing you with the latest and greatest we have to offer on said organization. Below these, you’ll find the same six featured posts are above the fold, allowing for scroll-free options, complete with comment count so you know who’s talking about what. But if you want to see what else we have to offer, give that mouse wheel a little tug would ya? Yeah, check that out—content galore. You’ll see down on the left hand side of your screen, the most recent edition of While We’re Waiting…. Rather than having this buried amonst the news items, we decided to give it its own in-law suite. Down there on the right, we present you the latest installment of our award-winning podcast. Did I mention that you should subscribe on iTunes? A little bit above that, we have what can best be classified as our other stuff. Here, you’re provided more options on how you wish to view—you can go with “What’s Hot,” a server-based list of what’s being read and talked about the most, or you can go with “Most Recent,” which…yeah, you get it. In between all of this resides our original content—stories, features, analysis, you name it. It’s there for the having.

Now about the individual posts. The first thing you’ll likely notice is our real estate. At the old digs, we were often sequestered within a 600-pixel maximum, leaving plenty of unused space on newer, more modern wide-screen monitors. Alas, we blew the walls out of this joint, adding 27 percent more space to the individual posts. Our high-resolution images can shine, but more importantly, our text can be that much bigger, allowing you all to be able to read our wisdom without having to do that reverse finger-pinching move on your phones or blow up the resolution on your desktop. WFNY cares about your eye sight. Still not big enough? If you’re mobile, you’ll see little A- and A+ icons to the top right. Click on those to reach your desired size.

Below the title of the posts, you’ll find updated share functions. Clicking and executing these help us more than you guys know. Before, it was entirely too cumbersome for the readers to share pieces they enjoy with the rest of their like-minded friends. This isn’t the case any longer. Please share away and help spread the good word.

For desktop and landscape tablet readers, you’ll see a customized sidebar made specifically for in-post pages, leading once again with the “What’s Hot” or “Most Recent” options. Just because something isn’t on the front page any longer doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be talking about it. This allows us to do just that.

And finally, the comments. We here at WFNY continue to have lengthy discussions about the future of comments—many sites have discontinued them, others have gone to Facebook to provide the conversation fields. Some hang on to them, but they’re largely unused. While we see all sides of the discussion, we feel that most of you add to the site in a way that would be dearly missed if we altered this function of the site. Thus, the community will go unchanged—all of you returning, loyal, awesome folks will get your chance to talk shop, share your GIFs and discuss just how much you miss Lawrence Vickers.

The best news? This is only the beginning. We hope to have some even better news for you in the coming weeks, news that will only serve to further add to your experience here at WFNY. If we missed anything, please let us know in the comments—as with any changes we make here, whether its new paint on the walls or a completely new addition, we want your feedback.

So go ahead. Take a look at the place. Open the drawers, try out the faucets. Use our decorative soaps—we don’t mind. Stay as long as you wish and continue to come back for more. It’s shaping up to be a fun couple of months here in Cleveland, and we just want to make sure you get to take it all in with us in the best, most effective ways possible.

Cheers.

  • http://shoutitoutdesign.com John Young

    First day with the new car – just trying to make sure it gets down the road :)

    IE9 (and obviously IE8, IE7, etc) is going to struggle with responsive sites overall. Google stopped supporting it about a year ago, so unfortunately that’s the way of the world. Updated versions of Firefox and Chrome (desktop) will be much better going forward for responsive sites.

    As for the mobile, I’m using a similar build to you (36.0.1985.57) and am not seeing issues, but considering we just moved the site this morning, it’s possible that the old host and the new host are still ‘fighting’ over the content and causing some issues. I’ll keep an eye on it – thanks for pointing it out.

  • Eric G

    LOVE the mobile site! Thanks guys!

  • saggy

    the Oxford comma. It’s optional.

  • saggy
  • jewpants47

    at least thats on a clean grid. (mostly, not sure whats going in bottom right..yikes)

  • Hopwin

    Without digging too far under the hood are you guys using bootstrap and shivving IE for some level of backwards compatibility?

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    “Are other websites really starting to eliminate comment sections? I hadn’t caught that trend.”

    Yes, or using the more transparent Facebook. It’s a product of quality. Since we have had a commenting policy from Day 1, we haven’t had an issue—you guys have largely been additive. Others haven’t been as fortunate.

  • typo

    Yes that’s what I meant. Thanks Bode. I didn’t mean to sound like a kvetch. I love what you guys are doing. My point was that I come here for the content. Not better pictures.

  • maxfnmloans

    A Michigan Man does not transfer to Arkansas

  • jewpants47

    Def upgrade! I’m ambivalent about the graphic layout for featured stories. But I think more confusing is that theres are 7 groupings of articles! Is there a difference between; the top featured posts with graphics, the large central column, and the ‘Headlines’ category on the right?
    I wish there was a way to just see all the articles in the order they were posted. I feel like I have to hunt up and down the home page three times so I don’t miss something.

  • http://shoutitoutdesign.com John Young

    There is some specific IE coding in the CSS. There are likely some features like the slight animation of the top photos that might still not be backwards compatible. But looking at your original screenshot, I think the two images that weren’t showing up at the top were because an image hadn’t been loaded into the post (now they are) and that wonky block of black on the right is the ad code that is a third-party thing. Thanks sir – we’ll keep working out the bugs as we see them.

  • https://twitter.com/Steve_Not_Chad Steve_Not_Chad

    I get comma anxiety, and probably use them incorrectly.

  • Lunch

    Not bad, guys. As long as this webpage doesn’t take a long time to download on my computer, I have no complaints.

  • nj0

    It’s optional when it does not result in ambiguity.

  • nj0

    Sorry to hate, but I don’t like this new trend in webpage design. Aesthetically, it’s like someone regurgitated all the content onto the screen. In terms of usability, it makes it harder to distinguish on a glance what’s new content and what’s old. I like listed content – keeps it neat, easy, and obvious. But I realize this most likely isn’t a finished product so hopefully you’ll find a way to work around that issue.

  • http://www.eclecticworld.org/ Jim Macdonald

    I don’t mind the layout, though the font is a bit too light, and I think the Web version layout is too busy. I just miss seeing the authors of the featured articles, which are no longer on the front page. While you all have your strengths as writers, I’m going to admit I read some of you more than others and enjoy reading some of you more than others, and I wouldn’t mind that filter first (which may be the reason they are no longer there).

  • http://www.eclecticworld.org/ Jim Macdonald

    Oh, and on the web version, if you shorten the screen width at least on some browsers, some of the content doesn’t fit well, so there’s some formatting in the style template that needs to be worked out. Having designed these things myself, I realize what a headache it is to get it right across all browsers.

  • Hopwin

    I too am a master of the comma-splice!

  • Jared in LA

    The layout is rad, especially the tabs at the top leading directly to each team. Granted, I did not read the entire comments sections below, but either I’m getting old in my age (35) or it’s really really tough for me to read the light gray font in your article above (as well as the others that’s I’ve browsed). Even the comments section is so much easier to read, the text is either bolder or just plain darker. Super stoked to use this on my mobile!

  • Jared in LA

    Just had the same comment with the font on the articles, didn’t know if it was just me.

  • RGB

    I’m a man, but I can change, If I have to, I guess.

  • 6thCity

    Looking good! I agree about featuring the author. Also, on my Iphone at least, it looks like the background banner image at the top (the tower city image I believe) loads but then gets pushed down somewhere, so I only see the tag line and white space above the adds and then content. Keep up the good work guys!

  • dwhit110

    Love the new design, love that you guys are embracing the move to responsive sites.

    One small criticism, with as unique as your different voices are across the site, I’m a little annoyed that I have to scroll to the bottom of a piece to get a byline. It would be helpful to know when I start reading a piece on the Browns if it’s Rick, Scott, or Craig sharing their thoughts.

    That aside, love the new look.

  • dwhit110

    In here, there were two guys killing each other, but I guess that’s better than twenty million. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!

  • Hopwin
  • Harv 21

    where did you even find the Comments link?

  • Matthew Grant Anson

    Yay mobile!

  • James Workman

    Appreciate the effort on your part and really enjoy the new look. Best of luck with the roll out.

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo

    He keeps it on Linkdin to showcase his numerous Comment of the Day awards here.

  • Hopwin

    Your wiki page translates into some sort of poem in Spanish:
    “Alone without you. In isolation, disruption, only without you summers passed by my window without a light two winters to the anio, is a grey confetti more your presence in my mind remains I have snatched, thief in flagrante my heart his throne abenuz to feel the boom, Commandant knew which of your hair of Onyx and your personality me converti in a faithful devotee under my hood and under my hood I I promised never say that it was I a accomplice.No.No I’ll stay down now speak, the dire, get ready now have gone through this sidewalk this time I changes to the final this time there will be losing this time sere I the brave Te dire that the di does not last with our mental connection makes No lack or a Word. Don’t expect a Yes, only answer your in your life and not worry I don’t want to mess up your issues and problems and if you leave me, seniorita entering all your nooks promise not to be a hypocrite I’ll be until the end of the day don’t be afraid, I am optimistic. If the heart is your fruit am I Bowl this is the party we are.”

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo

    The Oxford comma is not optional. We are not savages here, sir!

  • mgbode

    I have it bookmarked :)

  • Denny

    It’s not my house, but I’d lose the banner ad. As others have pointed out, a stated focus on content only means so much when the content is pushed down the page in order for a google ad to fit top center.

  • mgbode

    well, he managed to lose to the Buckeyes in both jerseys :)

  • mgbode

    technically, they are free to sign him w/o contacting us. we don’t have protections. however, often the player’s agent will go to the team and state that teamA is going to sign him and see if they want to elevate the status before it happens.

    the other team has to not only put him on the 53man roster, but keep him there for a minimum of 3 weeks.

  • mgbode

    I didn’t know you were 40!

  • https://twitter.com/Steve_Not_Chad Steve_Not_Chad
  • https://twitter.com/Steve_Not_Chad Steve_Not_Chad

    This

  • scripty

    I dont have much to say now but I want to adjust –
    but you need to do something about the white font in the graphics. Need a black thick outline on them when you overlay the titles over a photo. I cant read them at all.

  • James Redfearn

    I’d like to add my vote in support of the darker text. For short bits the lighter text isn’t bad, but for longer articles it’s going to become very distracting and frustrating.

  • Tron

    Great site. Thanks for all of your work.

  • mgbode

    Just don’t look at the amount per comment :)

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    yeah i agree with this observation. i think the problem is with two sidebars. or the graphics heavy sidebars.

    but the bigger question for me is how you wound up with a solidfire google ad spot.