You have probably read about it already: we are planing to release a new theme for Ghacks soon.
Since this is a rather delicate thing to do, not only to avoid angering or irritating users of the site, but also making sure that functionality is retained, that everything loads fine, that there are not any breaking issues, and that the site will do fine SEO-wise just like before, it is important to test the new theme thoroughly before release.
I'd like to ask you to give it a try, and let me know what you think of it. Also, please let me know of any bugs or issues that you encounter, as well as improvements that you would like to see.
To test the site using the new theme, use the following URL: http://www.ghacks.net/?theme=ghacks
Please note that you need to append ?theme=ghacks manually to URLs as it is not carried over to pages that you open.
Here are four links, one to the homepage, one to an article page, one to a page, and one to a category page for your convenience:
What I'm particularly interested in:
- If the fonts used, new article width, and other article related changes work for you.
- If a page does not load or looks problematic in one way or the other (e.g. sidebar not on the right, but below the article).
- If you encounter any issues while browsing the side, e.g. stuttering, images not displaying, comments not working properly.
- The loading time on your end (faster, slower) If slower, help us out by pressing F12, and checking the network tab of the Developer Tools to find the elements that took the longest to load.
- Your overall opinion on the theme and the change.
- If you are proficient when it comes to SEO, if you notice any issues related to that (e.g. nofollow links, robots text incorrectly configured, redirects, missing tags, bad use of headlines, aso).
Why a new theme?
You are probably wondering why I have decided to launch a new theme. We have used the old one for a couple of years now, and while it works fine, it is not suitable anymore for a number of reasons when it comes to the tech it uses.
First, it is rather heavyweight, with lots of scripts and CSS code that prolongs load times and is heavier on the resource side of things than it should be.
I wanted a theme that retains the overall feel of the site however. I know, as a user, that new designs that change everything around are not liked a lot. We tried to retain much of the look and feel of the old site.
Some things are different of course, but the changes are, in my opinion, not overly drastic or problematic.
I also wanted to move the main ad displayed underneath the title. This is an experiment right now. I don't really like the location of that ad at all. It depends however on whether the new placement for the ad -- in the rightmost header area -- works earnings wise. I'm prepared to accept a dip in earnings, but if the dip is too large, I will have to move it back to the original location.
I'd like to thank each and everyone of you who will help me test the site.
Issues that we are aware of:
- The comment form does not show up if there is no comment yet.