We hope you and those close to you are doing well during this difficult time. While the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to impact all of us, Mondoweiss will continue to work and provide important coverage that you rely on.
We are excited to share with you some of the big changes coming for the Mondoweiss website. In the first week of April we will roll out a new, streamlined website. As a member of our website and a loyal reader, we wanted to give you a preview of the new site and share with you some of the factors that are driving our online development.
Reasons for a change
The current version of the Mondoweiss website was designed back in 2012. It was a huge step up for us, but the site design is showing its age in design and the technology is falling behind. Last year we began working on a new site that will incorporate the refreshed identity design we adopted, bring the site’s software up to contemporary standards, scale better for visitors on mobile devices, and give us greater flexibility in how we present articles, images and video.
The new website will carry our newly refreshed identity design. Gone are the rounded letters! In its place we have a unique wordmark based on a classic serif font. You may have already seen this wordmark in our email newsletters, now it will be found there, on the website, and across our social media presence.
Mondoweiss began its life as the blog of an individual. It eventually grew to host multiple writers and today it is a robust news and analysis publication with dedicated staff writers. The new wordmark reflects a maturing publication producing original journalism.
Mondoweiss runs on the popular WordPress content management system, along with a number of plugins that add functions. The new site will add some new functions and remove some old ones. You’ll find them below with a brief description of why we’re making the change.
Over the last year, our visitors are coming to us in new ways. Over 60% of our website traffic now comes consistently from mobile devices. There are periods when up to 75% of our traffic is from mobile devices. The new site is fully responsive to different screen sizes and will provide a consistent appearance and functionality to our visitors on all devices. We believe this will help increase our traffic as the site will be more easily navigated on mobile devices.
In the past year WordPress developers introduced an entirely new editing system that gives publishers like us an expanded set of tools to create and present articles and content. The new editing system is amazing and will let us present much more engaging stories, full width photo essays and properly integrated video content. The new site will be able to take advantage of these new tools and we’re excited to develop our multimedia storytelling capacity.
What is changing
Removing: User profiles
We know that some of our most loyal readers and commenters enjoy the user profiles, however because of their maintenance costs, low usage, and software performance we are removing them. For context, the user profiles receive about 1/10th of 1 percent of our overall site traffic. With software and staff time costs considered, they are one of the most expensive features on the site. Please note that none of your data (comments and profile information) will be deleted.
Adding: Expanded commenting
Our community of commenters is a core part of Mondoweiss. We are adding new tools to the commenting section to make it more usable for our members.
Some of the new features include:
- You will be able to react to a comment with a thumbs up or down.
- Comments will be sortable by date, reaction, and reply activity.
You can choose to receive notifications when someone replies to your comment.
Comments now have basic formatting options such as bold, italic, links, bullet lists, and more.
You will also be able to subscribe to the comments on an article and receive an email notification when new ones are posted.
You will be able to search the comments on a particular article and filter for author name, content, or email address.
Improving: Expanded search
Mondoweiss has published nearly 30,000 articles since it started in 2006. That’s a lot of content, and it can be difficult to sort through when looking for a specific item. In the past year we have greatly upgraded the search engine on the site. In the coming months we will roll out further upgrades to the search system that allow for filtering based on multiple criteria to help narrow down the returned results.
Improving: Site performance
The new site will load faster and provide a consistent appearance across devices. It will allow us to roll out more email newsletters, photo essays, and other media publications.
Improving: Lots of back-end systems
In addition to the changes that our visitors will see and interact with, we are making big changes to the back-end of the website that we, as publishers and writers work with every day. You may not see these changes, but you will experience them by visiting a better running website.
Preview of the new Mondoweiss
Preview of the home page
A section listing on the home page
An article layout
Related articles are displayed with images