I would say pardon "our" dust, but I'm not sure Bill wants any part of this!
In our first year of operation (September 2007-2008) we (I) changed our web design three times before settling in with the design we've now used for over two years.
Many shows have come and gone in that time, but our old design hung around and may have the last laugh yet. I'm going to continue testing the current theme Sunday and Monday and if anything goes haywire I'll revert back to the old design for Tuesday morning when our coverage of the brand new TV season officially kicks off.
Change You Can Believe In!?
Change is often hard, and this sort of change will be especially annoying for some of our long-time readers who were perfectly fine with things just the way they were. Indeed that setup served us and our readers pretty well, but it had some drawbacks. Mostly those drawbacks were on the back end and I ran into more difficulty than I felt was worth resolving in trying to upgrade the former scheme.
The new set up is much more updated to take advantage of improvements to WordPress and should put less strain on our servers and load faster even with the increased use of graphics on the home page.
Also, it's much more flexible in some ways and we can do things like easily feature all of the Cancel/Renew posts on the home page, which we surely will do if we stick with this design.
Some Will Love It, Some Won't
That goes with the territory anytime you change things. I don't love everything about it either. There's way too much wasted space in the header. That, I'm smart enough to figure out. I really don't like how big the images are in the "featured stories" slider at the top of the page. I'm not sure I'm smart enough to deal with that, but if it really starts to grate on me I can certainly figure out how to remove it. It we stick with it, like the previous set up, things will evolve, and hopefully improve over time.
Whether people chime in that they love the new design, or chime in that they hate it, mostly I'm looking at two key factors over the next couple of days: performance and how people use the site. So far in performance testing the new site is way faster. On the other hand that won't mean much to us if people can't find what they are looking for and page views drop by 50%!
If you get here Tuesday morning to check out how Chuck, The Event, Hawaii Five-0 and other season/series premieres performed and the site still looks like this, then we're probably locked in to the new design and will be tweaking here and there in the hope you will grow to love it. If Tuesday rolls around and you see the old design, you can say, "Ah, there's the TV by the Numbers I know and love!" and figure either something didn't work out or Bill called me up and said "put.the.old.design.back.on.or.I.quit!"