And welcome to the newest Waiting For Next Year layout!
It’s been a while since we gave these digs a makeover. This website has been around since 2008. In that time, we’ve had a few different site designs. I can’t even remember if this makes four or five. The point is, we’ve tried a lot of different things over the years. Today, I’m going to briefly talk a bit about this latest look.
The internet has certainly changed a lot in the time we’ve been around. When we launched, the web tended to feature fancy site layouts, although we lacked the skills or resources to do anything resembling fancy. As our site grew, though, we eventually were able to do something cool and have a layout that randomly generated a different skin (Indians, Browns, or Cavs) every time you visited the site.
Back then, not many were checking websites on their phones. Traffic was all desktop traffic, and getting links to big aggregators was the name of the game. Over time, though, mobile phones got better and better. Soon, we were getting frequent mobile traffic, but our site layout looked terrible on phones. That was when responsive design took over. So we adapted and made our site responsive so you could view it on any device.
The next evolution was the growth of social media. As mobile devices became increasingly ubiquitous, so too did social media outlets. Facebook grew faster than ever and Twitter gave everyone a quick and convenient way of sharing content. Between those two outlets, social sharing became everything. This had an interesting shift in philosophy. Suddenly traffic wasn’t starting with our home page. Instead, a lot of our traffic was going straight to whichever article they were linked to.
With this shift, fancy no longer seemed relevant. Now, function often trumped fashion. Now, don’t get me wrong, style still matters. A few years back we updated our logo and colors, and we wanted a website to reflect that look. We’re extremely happy with our new look. But more important to us was making sure everyone could find the content they wanted.
When I first sat down with John Young from Shout It Out Design to discuss our new design, he asked what we were looking for. The main thing I mentioned was that we wanted simplicity. We wanted someone to be able to just come to our site and see our articles in chronological order. We still have categories and tags to organize things, you can still search. But what you see is what you get. When you come to WFNY, we wanted to be sure that you could get to the articles as quickly and easily as possible.
We take a lot of pride in this site’s longevity. We’ve had more quality writers pass through these halls than I can even remember anymore. As the internet has changed, we’ve tried to change, too. However, as our site has reached a certain level of maturity, I think our goals changed. We’re not here to take over the world. We’ve grown comfortable in our own skin. We have a brand that we take a lot of pride in, and we’re happy just doing what we do best.
We think this design reflects our current place in time. This is Waiting For Next Year in 2019. Our goals today remain the same as ever, to bring you unique perspectives on Cleveland sports and to show the world what Cleveland sports look like through the eyes of Cleveland sports fans.
We would be remiss to not give some thanks to those who got us here. Thank you to John Young for the design work and for being a great friend and partner to this site. Thank you to our Patrons. Without your help, we wouldn’t be able to do this. Your support has never gone unnoticed and I wish there was a better way to show our appreciation. And finally, a huge thank you to all of you, our readers. Some of you have been here from the start, some of you are new. Some are returning readers, some just passing through. Some of you are loyal commenters, some are just here to read. No matter what brings you here, how long you stay, or how you feel about our work, we appreciate you taking the time to read.
We hope you enjoy the new look as much as we do, and we look forward to continuing our service to the Cleveland sports community.