We’ve had two technical tasks, seventy five corrections, five sheets of different layouts, several months for realization, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored ideas, concepts, notions, plans….and also a designer, a layout editor, a software developer, a desire to make it cool and...me.
Not that we needed all that to restart the blog, but once you get locked into a serious wrongdoing, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that worried me was the new engine. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved that a completely new blog engine, and I knew we’d get into that rotten stuff pretty soon.
But, talking seriously, hello you. My name is Andrew Chumachenko, I am CMO at Netpeak, and I have also usurped positions of Creative Director and Redesign Head.
Moreover, in the end of the previous year we have made a strict decision to do something with our blog. The audience of our readers, the amount of email newsletter subscribers, the content quality and quantity have been growing, and our blog with the design that has already been considered outdated in a previous century, with a plenty of clumsy plugins, modifications, kludges and the integration with the site and inside project management system that is one foot in the grave, to put it mildly, are not getting better all by itself.
At Netpeak, we have never learned to do something half-heartedly, so to help you assess the scale, let me show you some original numbers:
- The global blog transformation concept has been prepared on the 1st of September, 20015 (it has been further developed afterwards, but that was the starting point of the beginning of works, and I am very happy that we have done it in less than a year.)
- The first software developer started to work on the task in October, but he has been transferred to another project without having time to actually do something. The second software developer started to work from scratch in May, 2016.
- The technical task on the blog transformation for a software developer consists of 36 pages printed in Arial, 11-point font size. The designer’s technical task is only 26 pages long.
While you are trying to digest this mad volume of data—watch the video about how our old blog used to work. We have filmed it specially for this post:
So, I guess the reason we have started all that is pretty clear. We have 40 thousands of unique visitors per month and it is time high time for us to stop to torture them.
I won’t write about how and what we have realized—it is a topic for a separate post (that I will hardly write.) Therefore, I will just tell you what’s new waiting for you, my dear reader, in the new Netpeak blog.
Transfer to the new domains
Until today, Netpeak blogs have been not only be managed independently in three languages (Russian, English and Bulgarian), but they were partly taking into account the regions they have been presented in (each blog on its own regional domain)—in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Israel, Turkey, Bulgaria, Russia, Moldova and Ukraine. We decided to get away from regional division and focus on the lingual one. So now there is three Netpeak blogs only: the Russian-language, Bulgarian-language and English-language one.
As you have probably noticed, we have completely revised the mechanism of posts output at the main page of the blog. Just like before, the post block contains a lot of information that can influence your decision—to read or not to read. The image, title, date of publication, author, category, number of views, comments and social interactions (the sum of like the post received.) From the new features, we have added the information about the time needed to be spent on reading the material and we have also changed the publication data output. We have previously indicated it in absolute numbers (for example: “1.08.2016”), but now it is pointed out in more comfortable relative ones (for example: “for years ago”.)
Sidebar and top posts lists
For sure, we got rid of the sidebar. Post rates calculated by views/comments/likes that are popular among our readers have not gone anywhere, they have just moved to a more distanced block on the second homepage screen.
I will tell you everything about a personal cabinet a little bit later, so here I want to note that now there is a possibility to add post to favorites anywhere (at the main page, in the search or within a post itself) and then go back to it later with a cup of coffee or a bit of free time. Can you see such a star over there? That’s it.
Starting from now, you will never ever miss a truly interesting article—it will be chosen by our editor and attached just to the first screen of the main page. This block will be updated in accordance with the speed of topicality loss of a particular article.
Don’t forget that the blog itself is in the end a corporate online media of internet marketing agency Netpeak. We have output SEO and PPC categories at the main page because our agency focuses on the provision of these services and has an impressive 10-year expertise within the field.
We are launching a regular updating of our youtube channel with short videos within the field of websites search promotion, paid traffic, mobile promotion and internet marketing in general.
Describing things that you see at the moment is a stupid thing—that’s is why I won’t really concentrate on this part. I think it is obvious that typographics in general became a lot more attractive. Moreover, we have revised the quotes block that are now possible to tweet in one click, and we have added a pretty awesome option for our authors and readers—connecting the post that you want to address to in the text, directly to the text. Also, we have finally upgraded the layout for maximum usability of those, who read our blog on mobile devices.
A long time ago in our old-old blog we’ve had an installed Disqus commentaries system. Our new blog has got its own system connected with the user’s profile. So to say yes, now it is possible to authorize in our blog using accounts on popular social media, complete it with information about oneself and point out some personal interests, etc. Just like before, you can read it for free, without registration and SMS. We somehow managed to transfer comments and their authors from our old blog to the new one, so that our readers and newsletter subscribers that have already had comments on the blog—surprise! Dear Sirs and Madams, you are already registered. The letter with blog access data is already in your mailbox.
But that is even more than that. We have also implemented a popular and not so new “karma” term into the user's system. We have a separate page with the information about it on the blog, but I will shortly tell you about it. For each useful action you will get a plus to your karma rate. As your karma grows, you will receive bonuses from us. But there are also several limitations. For example: with karma from 0 to 99 you cannot put a +/- mark to other commentators. So, as my cat says, “Go get it first.”
Do you want your material to be published? Do you want to get more karma or tell all something interesting to all our readers? It has now become even more simple than before (as you remember it on our old blog).There is a handy link that will send you to a special page with the information and contacts of the editorial head. We don’t have any sandpits and democracy—only the head of editorial decides whether your article will be posted on the blog. No paid permission is provided, so don’t waste your time and efforts writing us messages with such proposals.
Having talked about the registration and karma, it is stupid not to point out a personal account of a registered blog user. Aside from the standard “visit card” with a photo and description, you also have an access to several more tabs: the ability to manage subscriptions to our various newsletters (it is easy to subscribe or unsubscribe in just one click), follow the reactions on your comments, review posts that you have added to favorites and find out how do people react on your authored posts.
By the way, no words can describe (and I won’t even try) how much we have actually bothered with making the user's system unified for three different language blog versions with not displaying Russian language names at the English-language version and vice versa. Therefore, if you want to comment the post on the other language version of the blog, you don’t have to register for the second time, although you will have to fill in your personal information in another language.
A small disclaimer in the end. Our blog that has a new engine and new design, dragged a great number of posts and comments posted for during the X years of its work is now in its early beta-version. I kindly ask you not to be afraid in case something is not working the way it should. You are probably not the one who ruined it, it’s just us who have not yet fixed it. You can write in the comments about the bugs and glitches you’ve seen. We will finish it.
Thanks for being with us. Hugs & love. Happy new blog!