Fstoppers.com Now Has A New Look

Welcome to the new Fstoppers.com. We still are working out a few glitches here and there but almost everything is working perfectly now. We put a lot of thought into the new update and we decided to keep the layout the exact same and simply add some helpful features. The update was done by the incredibly talented team at Novum Studios.

The Layout
We didn't want to change the way that you use Fstoppers.com so we left the layout of the exact same. You can still easily watch videos all from the home page and we didn't move any buttons around. We did change the colors and the fonts but the website should still "feel" the same to all of you long time users.

Top Posts
We know that many of our readers visit Fstoppers multiple times a day and watch every video we post. Others may only come a couple times a month and they only have time to watch 1 or 2 videos a week. For these readers we created 4 links at the top of our home page to the most popular videos on our site. If you are looking for the best videos on our site, now you can easily find them.

Ratings
Now it is up to you to help rate the videos that we post. If you hate it, give it a 1 star, if you love it give it 5 (or anything in between). These ratings will help others decide whether or not it is worth their time to watch. Your ratings will also help us learn which posts you like and which you don't. Please try your best to rate every video you watch so that our ratings are accurate.

Comments
The new comment system is probably our biggest upgrade. Now you can either create an account with Disqus or you can simply comment using your Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo, or Open ID account. It is now possible to easily "like" other comments and respond to them. You can also easily add media to your comments like pictures and videos.

Categories
Over the next few years we are going to have a massive library of helpful BTSVs. We wanted there to be an easier way for you to find all of these videos and so Patrick and I went back through every single post and put them into very specific categories. You will notice that on our right sidebar you can easily click on the most popular categories, or click to "expand" the list and see them all.

Who Did It
If you need any web/design work done I honestly cannot recommended Novum Studios enough. We get people all the time who claim to know exactly what they are doing but when it comes time to produce quality work, they can't. Case Sandberg and his team at Novum not only did an incredible job, they did it in about 7 days. For the next month they are giving 20% off to all FS readers so give them some business.

Tell Us What You Think
We put a lot of thought into updating Fstoppers so that it is easier to navigate for new readers and still very familiar for our long time readers. Please help us work the bugs out by telling us what you think in the comments below. If you see any glitches please let us know and we will try to fix them ASAP.

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70 Comments

I really don't like the boxes, on the main page the "post categories" look like a mess and I much preferred the old facebook links of the contributors.

The commenting system is way better though.

I've gotten a bit more used to it now but I feel like it made the site a bit less professional, sort of? When I saw it the first time I thought it was an april fool's joke in which you were mocking the Gawker blogs redesign from a few weeks ago. I guess it feels a bit jumpy and in the way of the videos.

It ressembles more a standard blog than as video blog. The previous design was more focused on the videos, whether intentionally or not.

Patrick Hall's picture

It's funny you say that because we wanted a clean and bright look that is very typical of the most popular blogs in the world (google, facebook, engadget, apple, etc).

The problem with the old blog, whether you realized it or not, was there was a lot of design elements that made no sense or looked bad. Text categories all over the place, dates, email to a friend, link to this post, and lots and lots of dead gray space between posts, ads, and comments. If anything I thought it looked really unprofessional and sort of half-assed.

I think a big problem with the old design was it was primarily dark grey and now it's light grey or white. Maybe we will post and old image of the blog in a few months; when I look at a screen capture on my computer now it looks so horrible.

I am 50/50 right now with how I feel about the overall design. There are some things that seem more like a distraction though than useful. Like there are drop shadows on the outer boxes of most of the content blocks. Keep them to 1px or just don't put them in at all. They don't really serve a purpose. The block with the "tweet" and "share" buttons might be better as a longer horizontal bar than floating to the left of the article block. I feel with it placed like that you will run into lots of weird formatting issues when it comes to making posts. These are just thoughts. :)

Lee Morris's picture

You are complaining about a single row of pixels? I think you forgot how bad our site used to look.

I suppose that is true. I wouldn't say complaining just overly constructively criticising. Honestly I could care less about the design of the site so much as the content on it. I figured you asked " what do you think" so I'm just putting it out there. :P

Really like the new design. Glad to see the vids are not auto playing when you hit the main page. Nice work all around.
Hatch

Fstoppers Editorial Team's picture

did it ever do that for you in the past? That would be really annoying!

yes...would load the main page and a few videos would play... wasn't horrible.. but.. it isn't doing that now and it's a good thing. :) Hatch

Sorry guys, you fail. Where's the branding? I don't see fstoppers logo anywhere.

Sorry guys, you fail. Where's the branding? I don't see fstoppers logo anywhere.

Patrick Hall's picture

We didn't remove any logos from the previous design. We have the constant FS logo on the rotating banner which we are working on making non flash based. If you are on any of the 4 major desktop browsers it should be showing up.

Oh, it's not loading for me, probably because of Noscript or Adblock.

marvinhagemeister's picture

It's because of Adblock. It recognizes the banner as an ad and automatically blocks it on the new site. Same here.

I don't know if anyone else is having this problem, but it's been around as long as I've read Fstoppers.

The problem is that when you post a new video, they don't update, so instead of a whole new post I have an old video with new text. I always have to go and open the new post separately to get the new video also. Even refreshing the main site won't help here.

One probable cause for this is that I always have about 30 tabs open on my browser (Firefox) so I don't "open" the page every time. It's still odd, because this is the one and only site that does this.

Kasper Fladmose's picture

I'm on Mac OSX 10.5 Leopard, Firefox 4.
I can't see the top banner at all, it just ends with the top menu.

Lee Morris's picture

This glitch should be fixed today

Lee Morris's picture

Seems to be fixed now actually

Kasper Fladmose's picture

I'm on Mac OSX 10.5 Leopard, Firefox 4.
I can't see the top banner at all, it just ends with the top menu.

Whoops, double post.

Daniel Balazs's picture

now the font is okay and the website too. just one more little thing i would not use. this is the drop shadow of the title in new post.

I love the new features, but the look...not so much. Any way we can get away from the blocky-ness and back to the elegant, simple, clean look?

Lee Morris's picture

Not a chance :) and I cannot believe that you say our last design (or lack of design as I say) was elegant

Couple notes...

1- I like the new design better than the old. It's clean, easy to read the articles, etc. These guys in the comments are off their rocker if they think the last design was better. It was HORRID. FYI, my day job is the head of the creative department for an umbrella corporation that owns over 15 different brands (thus, 15 different websites). All design comes through my department and I have the last say. The point being, I know what I'm talking about.

2- You need to duplicate the comment box to the bottom of the comments, otherwise the only way to leave a new comment (without replying to a previous comment) is to scroll clear back up to the top of the comments.

3- Get rid of the flash guys. This is 2011, Flash is no longer needed for such a simple banner rotation. Because this Flash implementation doesn't work on a lot of mobile devices, it's the wrong solution when all it does is rotate images. It would take 10 minutes to put together a jQuery rotater. This leads me to #4...

4- I don't know who these guys are that designed this, but it's clear that they just went into business after looking at their site. That's just piss-poor decision making. Absolutely no info about their firm, it's just an "intro page" and their "contact us" link is a friggin' "mailto:" for god's sake! I don't think you guys are fooling anybody here, you're either "Novum Studios" yourself or you're helping out a friend, and that's fine, but you might want to let your friend know they dropped the ball. They had a big opportunity to market themselves here. If they really are an established design firm... ouch.

Overall, good job. I like the new look, it really is more 'fresh' and tidy than the previous. There is nothing eye-catching or exciting about it, but sometimes that's a good thing when your site is heavily driven blog content.

Comments are UNREADABLE....

White text on light gray & white backgrounds in the comments makes them IMPOSSIBLE to read.

Please change this ASAP.

Other than that issue I love the redesign.
Keep up the Great work FS!

I also have white text in the comments area. Not sure why that is happening. Also, I checked the site over the weekend on my iphone 3Gs and the site will not shrink down in size. I know you guys will do whatever it takes to make it right. This site is a wealth of knowledge and I appreciate all the hard work that goes into it. Good sell on the Westin banners>

I am using Opera and cant see every second comment, if that makes sense! I have to highlight the text with my mouse to see it as its white text on a white background.

Guys, whatever you did in the last 24 hours, the comments are now unreadable, the text is all white and it's been this day since yesterday. Might want to talk to that "design firm", this should be a very quick fix and these comments are the life-blood of your site.

Patrick Hall's picture

yeah we are working on it, problem is they are on completely different time zones. Should be fixed here soon. I don't know why the mocking of their firm though. They are new and extremely talented. I think their idea was to have a few big sites in their portfolio before relaunching their own site and now they are dealing with a bit of backlash. I have no doubt their own site will look great once they have time to complete it.

Comments are fixed, thanks!

I'm only havin' fun with you Patrick. I mean, if you truly have no personal relation to these guys whatsoever, then I can't believe the unbelievable risk you guys took by hiring them to redesign such a popular blog. I mean, what materials did you look at to base this decision on? Surely not their site, and as far as I can tell, you're their first customer. Gotta think about it from my side of the fence. You're pushing their business (read: advertising) to your readership and even offering an fstoppers discount, so I just like people to be very up front about their relationship to said advertisement. You have to admit, that does open them up to at least some level of scrutiny (as does advertising anything on your popular blog).

And again, I'm one of the very few in these comments who actually like the new design, so sit back and have a margarita, on me ;)

Patrick Hall's picture

Yeah I can understand your concern. We basically just told them to show us what is possible with a mock up design we created together. Everything was hosted on their own server so we could see what direction it was going. What really sold me was talking to them on Skype. I was making some tough suggestions, and they were literally implementing them an hour later. These guys are amazing and I can't speak highly of them enough.

We've put our neck out a few times from help with the initial wordpress install, to Dan at Swell Motion Graphics designing our FS video animations, to Novum Studios redesigning the site, and so far we've done well with our decisions. Lee and I know exactly what we want for the most part and we can instantly tell if someone can keep up or if they are all talk....and there are a lot of people who are all talk for sure! Novum Studios can deliver :)

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