You might notice that 9to5Toys has changed. Indeed so has the whole network. Long before the page size/speed and advertising controversies, we knew that we needed to rethink how we presented ourselves.
While we were one of the lightest and fastest sites in our field, our feature creep and advertisers were adding complexity and page load times, which is especially crucial on mobile – an ever expanding percentage of our growing audience.
We decided to start over…
You are VIPs (so we are VIP)
One thing we’ve loved for years is our hosting provider: We’re hosted on WordPress’s own top-tier VIP. That means we have tons of global redundancy and speed, the latest WordPress code free from hacks and exploits, and the smartest backend help around. VIP is the same platform and servers that Bloomberg, NFL, NBC, Time, NYPost, CNN, Quartz, Fortune and many of the world’s top websites use.
VIP obviously costs a lot of money, which is why we’re the only Apple site that puts this much of our resources into our hosting. What this buys us (and you) is:
- The fastest page loads around the world
- Outages/slowdowns almost unheard of even during huge events
- Unparalleled safety and security
VIP is worth it. You are worth it.
We’re also proud to work with 10up, who executed strategy, design, development, and ad integration for our latest iteration. We’ve been one of 10up’s earliest clients, since Jake Goldman started the agency on his own in 2011. 10up has grown to over a hundred employees, and it services the same top-tier class of clients. The fact that we’ve grown alongside 10up says a lot about both of our organizations.
What’s new? Everything (else).
We started with a clean slate and questioned everything on the site. If it wasn’t integral to the experience, it’s gone. If it’s important, we cleaned it up and made it better.
We’ve killed the tag lines on our logos. We’ve killed the right sidebar because it prevented us from doing full width imagery, media, and writing, and it wasn’t great for mobile. We’ve cleaned up search, social, tags, and category placement. Our new fonts are fresh and more readable across a wide variety of devices. The front page scrolls ‘infinitely’ with date and stock price line dividers while article pages load up relevant stories to continue to read. “Asides”, our coverage of niche stories with a one line title, now have images and will open up in-line.
The focus is on beauty and usability across all platforms. From Phone to bigscreen and everything in between. We love it and hope you do too.
Ads are a particularly painful part of my life, and I could and probably will write a book on the what/whys/hows etc. The bottom line is that banner ads currently are a very necessary evil, but we use DoubleClick for Publishers and Ad Exchange, which are industry standards for speed, reliability, and quality.
The good news is that with the sidebar gone, there are fewer ads, and ads only appear between every two posts on the front page. Ads will only load up as you scroll. That makes the page itself quicker and uses much less data than loading up the front page full of ads right away.
New Site! (Electrek.co)
The news that Apple and Google are working on electric cars and building huge solar farms is recent, but we’ve been covering the “post fossil fuel” transportation industry for two years on Electrek.co (a hobby!). With new writers Fred Lambert and Jon Jivan, we’re now going full time.
I believe we’re in the early stages of a huge transition away from fossil fuel. Coal and natural gas are being replaced by wind and solar power. We’re at a tipping point with electric cars where they are starting to cost less to use than gas (even at reduced prices). That’s before climate change action by people and governments kick in.
We’ll be documenting it all.
Expect full coverage every day of:
- Electric cars from Tesla and other automakers
- Autonomous driving
- Electric boats, planes, trains, bikes, skateboards, and any other means of transportation out there
- Wind and hydro power
- Hobby to large scale solar and sustainable living
Enjoy! (and what’s next)
As always, we very much appreciate your comments and feedback. We know there will be some “cheese moved” and missing, damaged, or broken stuff. We’re currently hard at work making everything perfect. Please, play around and help us find issues.
While this is a huge step for us, we’re already working on some new video and podcast ideas, building out the community sites for general use, improvign comments and even finishing a few apps by our own Benjamin Mayo. We’re now over 20 international writers network-wide as well as a whole back office full of folks dedicated to bringing you the latest news, information, and entertainment about the technology you love.
Thanks so much.
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