Housekeeping: Why We Changed the TTAG Home Page

The new TTAG website has been up for more than 24 hours. We’re aware that some of our regular readers aren’t happy about it. The main complaint is simple enough: without text under the headline on the home page, you can’t decide whether or not to read an article. I understand that this isn’t enough information for many of our readers, who prefer and introductory paragraph before clicking through to a second page. But here’s the thing . . .

The new “textless” home page loads a lot faster. That’s no small accomplishment (as was removing hijacking ads from the site). It also returns us to TTAG’s original “zen rock garden” uncluttered design ethos. And while the amount of initial information is less, the speed at which readers can glean the breadth of our carpet-bombing firearms-related coverage is higher. Making for faster reading decisions. And that’s how a lot of people prefer it.

I’m sorry that the new TTAG home page angers, annoys and frustrates some of our best and most loyal readers. The new site design was created to improve the TTAG user experience for the widest possible number of current and potential readers. Short of a rollback to the previous TTAG design, if you have any suggestions on how to improve the site, please leave them here. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Website design was completed by Greg Gerla. He is an Austin Based Web Developer and owner of Festifind.com.

comments

  1. avatar RDSmith says:

    I miss the “next/prev” buttons that appeared on the sides of article pages. As is, I have to go back up to the home page then scroll down and click on the next article.

    1. Next/previous buttons on their way.

      1. avatar Jim S. says:

        Woo Hoo!

      2. avatar Ralph says:

        Boo-yah! I missed those buttons.

      3. avatar Ing says:

        Nice! This is the one feature I really missed in the new site. I read TTAG cover-to-cover every day, and that makes it easier for me to feed the addiction.

        1. avatar 5spot says:

          Emailed Farago last night on this from last link on house keeping thread.
          Right now you have to go back to the main page on IOS then select the new post you wish to browse.

      4. avatar jeepers says:

        I say hogwash to a bunch of the reasons for the changes. Pictures take more time than text.
        What happen to the search box?
        Since the site has 2400 ish pages, why not have a line item hot link index page to scan headlines, if someone has been away for a bit of time, probably get 150 or so lines on a single page

        These posts below sum up pretty well, the irritation with the new design.
        plus 1

        so sad to see says:
        June 8, 2016 at 16:12

        HOW TO CHASE OFF LOYAL READERS AND FOLLOWERS in 5 seconds or less.
        Flashing
        CHEAP AMMO top of the page

        TAKE A DECENT LOOKING Website and MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THIS PILE

        The New Look is a ROYAL F up. too bad!

        so sad to see says:
        June 8, 2016 at 16:25

        OH and NOT HAVING A TIME STAMP ON THE ARTICLES REALLY SUCK TOO.
        i JUST manually found page 9 TOLD ME THE STORY WAS 1 WEEK AGO!
        THIS REALLY LOUSY looking operating SITE NOW!

      5. avatar anon says:

        forward / back buttons need to be without scripting this time.

      6. avatar Kurt says:

        No, please make it “Older” and “Newer”. That is so much more indicative of chronology.

        Kurt

      7. avatar jose wales says:

        In a previous incarnation of this site, there was the sidebar, that had
        “Recent Comments”,
        Or what people are talking about. It allowed following conversations or topics regardless of whether something is today’s news.

        Example- If someone makes a comment about a gun review, that comment might actually get noticed. It keeps the knowledge from getting buried and forgotten,
        if it’s not one page 1……………..

        You certainly got the real estate to put that feature back.

        P.S. Dan, or JWT, what ever happened to the RIA

      8. avatar mark s. says:

        I read every single comment as of 11:12 on 6/10/16 and I really can’t attest to all the knowledgeable tech. stuff , I am a absolute dummy when it comes to using these computers ( I know this more every day ) , but I do know when something is easier for me to use and it is MUCH BETTER now , for me . I previously had trouble just getting my keyboard to work without it freezing up and eventually shutting down , message would say that something caused the internet to shut down . Very frustrating . I couldn’t type two letters without it spinning . Since the changed , no problems at all . I don’t understand why , just glad it’s fixed .
        God bless and thanks .

    2. avatar Evan in RI says:

      And make them integral to the page so they load with the text and not after (i.e. a standard hyperlink). I hate being on a bad wifi or 4G signal and having to wait for the side buttons to load until I can go to the next page

  2. avatar Kerry hutchinson says:

    I don’t like it either, but you know what, I’ll get used to it. You just do things the way you like it, after all you are the boss of this site.

    1. avatar Aerindel says:

      I hope you don’t feel the same way about your gun rights.

    2. avatar jose wales says:

      So Kerry you say ,
      “I don’t like it either, but you know what, I’ll get used to it. You just do things the way you like it, after all you are the boss of this site.”

      It’s (I’ll) settle for it feelings or beliefs like yours, that is wrong with this Country.
      .
      Yes, it is (his) site (he’s the owner), but he relies on all of us (as traffic) to make it work. We (collectively) are a a community, but if we as a community happen to leave and congregate or go elsewhere, then what he has built diminishes and/ or disappears. Just like a grocery store few people go to anymore.
      He needs us, More than we need him (ttag)!.

      Yes, normally there can be good information found here, And I (up to now
      anyway, TBD) have made this a first stop when on the internet, but I (and you) can replace it VERY easily, if this not to our liking or compatibility..
      .
      Regardless of who wins the Election in Nov. I hope you don’t just whimper and say, “I don’t like it, But their the Boss” !

  3. avatar Jim Jones says:

    The new color scheme is really bland.

    1. avatar passthebrass says:

      I agree, these colors just remind me of every Prius I see on the road.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        Without the Crazy Bernie bumper sticker.

  4. avatar Wiregrass says:

    I don’t mind the headline without text aspect as much as the huge font and narrow margins against a glaring bright white background. It’s kind of dizzying to read because I have to scroll more often against that background to get through an article.

    1. avatar Hipster - Past Tense says:

      White background is not good.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “I don’t mind the headline without text aspect…”

      TTAG, you most certainly *can* get the text on there and keep the load speed fast, just get creative about it.

      Use your photo editor to add a white space on the bottom of the article picture and then superimpose the text on the article picture *itself*, making it a part of the picture…

      Q.E.D.

  5. avatar brian says:

    I’ll get used to it in a day or two, but I reserve the right to be irrationally upset by the changes until then!

  6. avatar PeterW says:

    I don’t like it, too many flashy things distracting from the articles. But it won’t stop me from coming here. I hope it didn’t cost you all too much to change.

  7. avatar Musky says:

    I 2nd the annoyance of a lack of a forward and back button.

  8. avatar Jake says:

    Please show the date of the article.

  9. avatar Swilson says:

    Getting kind of lazy as a people aren’t we? I mean having to move the cursor to the top of the screen to click Back, and having to take time to click the headline and then read the first paragraph is too much? It’s just clicking a mouse y’all

    1. avatar Mr. 308 says:

      If there are 10 posts on the main page and I can look there to see information about the posts I will be more likely to visit, and subsequently possibly to look at the detailed posts.

      If there are 10 pages of headlines, no I am not going to bother clicking all 10 to see if this is something interesting, and I probably won’t be visiting at all.

      Oh yea, I can also just google search ‘guns news’ if all I want is headlines. Actually I take that back, even they provide a few lines of text, and they do it subsecond!

      1. avatar Chad A says:

        Yeah, adding a text preview should take as close to zero as it can be to load. This is 2016 and we’re talking about the time it takes to load TEXT…
        For whatever reason whatever webpage I CTRL+click to open in a new tab, I do that to all the articles that look interesting on home page and then go tab by tab reading them… Just my habit so not affected by new website.

        1. avatar Ronald Pottol says:

          Yeah, I’m really not liking the new design at all. It does not make my brain happy, a lot of wasted space too

  10. avatar Texheim says:

    It may load faster but it also always for y’all to track more click throughs for greater add revenue potential.

    1. avatar Katy says:

      Details…

    2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      It’s all about bucks. Everything else is just conversation. The loading time bit is just spin. It’s really about clocking more clicks.

      Some will get used to it. Some will start to drift away. If I have to decide on the basis of headline alone, then I may as well just put TTAG off until bedtime and attend only to the obviously interesting stories. Then again, they’ll be stale by then and anyone interesting would have already read, commented and moved on by then.

      Oh well. Internet history is full of good things that lost their way.

  11. avatar Mark R says:

    I don’t like change, but I’ll learn to adopt to any changes. Sometimes we just don’t realize the good until it’s to late.

    1. avatar OMGun says:

      Hmmm…
      The change thing… I don’t know.
      I can / I can’t.
      I will / I won’t.
      I DO KNOW that the entire new color scheme, fonts, etc., remind me of the click bait ads on this and a lot of other sites.
      I have left other sites for good and I hate to think about leaving this site.
      I’m sure admin are busting their craniums and gnashing their teeth (at some of these comments) trying to get this right.
      My main comment would be, as stated on an earlier thread, do NOT become the R51 of the blog-a-sphere.
      Don’t gloss over real objective input.
      Don’t BS anybody (esp. on this site).
      Don’t be afraid to change again. To evolve. Until you get it right.
      (Evolution, by the way, is not a liberal concept.)
      Yes RF, this is YOUR site. But, you have CHOSEN to provide a service.
      Don’t be afraid to own it. Stumbles and all.
      I believe, as well as some others I have exchanged with, that you will garner more respect for moving forward if change is indicated again.
      Be honest. Be true.
      No guts, no glory.

  12. avatar PeterDvornik says:

    The new color scheme is really bad, you you change that back?

    1. avatar PeterDvornik says:

      **could you change that back?

  13. avatar Jim says:

    From someone who has been making their living online since 1999 – how exactly is it that text is slow to load? I am not buying that one – seems like this is done merely for the extra click and ad revenue. Sorry if I am falsely accusing, but I am just not convinced of the reason.

    1. avatar MaxHedrm says:

      I would guess it’s the additional database query for the summary that slows things down more than the fact that there is text there. Of course that means they should probably work on some more database optimization.

      1. avatar Mr. 308 says:

        And I do databases and a) if you can read the headlines you can read the first paragraph. And b) your main page anyway is all in ram to begin with.

        Sorry, this is an argument you make to people who don’t understand what they are talking about.

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          Yeah, that “it makes the page load faster” explanation is pretty flimsy. If it’s about getting more clicks and ad revenue, that’s fine, just say so.

          In any case, I find I’m skipping over more articles than before, because I’m not drawn in by the lead-in paragraph. So the new TTAG design is saving me time and increasing my productivity, if nothing else.

        2. avatar Hannibal says:

          I get the feeling they think that gun guys don’t know anything about computers. It’s the only explanation for trying to pass of such a lame reason.

      2. avatar Jim says:

        Yep, I ran and sold a very popular game download site with a couple million unique visitors a month and a crap load of bandwidth. All you need is a good dedicated server, a good content delivery network, and a decent coder and you are golden. The bandwidth excuse for text is laughable.

        If your coder is giving this excuse, fire them immediately.

        1. avatar Ned says:

          That’s true at the site, but not so much for the rural end user on a crappy DSL connection. One thing I do like, I can quickly blow off the articles that are just filling space because they don’t have enough copy to fill the page. But…I still don’t think the site is very good. On the same crappy connection, Guns.com works very well without the annoying bothersome adds and looks good doing so.

  14. avatar Carl says:

    Hillary Clinton would be more truthful.

    It’s all about the Benjamins.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Yeah, but the fact is, it *does* keep the lights on…

  15. avatar IYearn4nARnCali says:

    I like the changes, the front page loads faster, the layout allows for easier reading, all in all; the site is better.

    Good job!

    Keep up the great articles.

  16. avatar MaxHedrm says:

    Why on earth does your logo in the header need to be a 180K, 3900×1409 pixel png. You should probably reconsider your choice of design and coding professionals for that alone.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Nice catch! Yeah, if you’re worried about load times, maybe don’t include a gigantic image file in the header of every page and rely on the user’s browser to scale it down. That image alone will probably translate to a few hundred gigabytes of extra data transfer every month for no good reason at all.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        On the topic of images, the seemingly random image sizes on the home page is distracting and really sloppy looking. A couple images will be reasonably sized and left-justified next to the headline, then one will be huge and under the headline, then the next will be small again. Reload the page later, and it’ll be different stories that have the giant images. It’s a mess. A more consistent layout would look a lot more professional and less like a bored housewife’s blog from 2005.

        Also, the blue menu bar at the top takes up way more screen real estate than it needs to. Not a fan of it scrolling with the text, either – if I want to access one of those four options, I can go back up to the top of the page. The scrolling code also seems buggy – it always slops the menu bar over the comment box when I hit “Reply”, so I have to scroll before I can see what I’m typing.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “On the topic of images, the seemingly random image sizes on the home page is distracting and really sloppy looking.”

          Very good point.

          Armed Intelligentsia, is there any photo editing software out there that can be configured to auto-resize an image into a preset pixel height-depth?

  17. avatar Mr. 308 says:

    “The new “textless” home page loads a lot faster.”

    No. You are talking about a few k of data, about the size of a small bitmap.

    Sorry.

  18. avatar waffensammler98 says:

    Been around long enough to see multiple format changes. None of them bug me because published content is still top notch, even if we all take a ride on the click-bait express now and then. Keep up the awesome work.

  19. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    I liked the old scheme better.

    Wouldn’t hurt to bring back the Israeli supermodel pics either.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      I believe RF’s main squeeze put the kibosh on that…

  20. avatar Katy says:

    First, I acknowledge that the site is snappier since the update. I’ve been pretty impressed.

    Second, I’m impressed with your rapid response – the first complaint was navigation arrows, and you quickly replied that they are coming.

    Now for the complaints:

    1) the color isn’t working. It’s bright. Not bad during the day, but a night-mode for the evening would be a blessing for those of us who read during the pre-dawn commute (vanpool, I don’t read while driving) or in the evening.

    2) the lack of text could use more elaboration. As is pointed out elsewhere, text is less bandwidth heavy than photographs. I use a text based browser on occasion, as it lets me overcome slow connection speeds.

    3) the comment system still stinks. The notification system leaves you struggling to follow threads of comments. The rapid fire posting (which is a good thing) means that unless you remember your comment in a post, and go digging, you are unlikely to see replies to your original comments – and you’ll notice that most stories only have a few responses with any engagement. It’s mostly people just talking to themselves. The threading is handled poorly. When you are watching a trail and can see who is being replied to because there is no more depth, it’s frustrating.

    There are a bunch of forum and media sites that handle their comments well – MacRumors, Ars Technica – and there are some that don’t. TTAG falls heavily into the latter.

    1. avatar Meh says:

      They keep the crappy comment system because they can’t use Disqus or Livefyre and still edit peoples’ comments when they use harsh language or talk bad about certain people.

      hurr flame deleted this site is so gay it gave me prolapse

      1. avatar jeepers says:

        Overall the comment section works fine. It is the general look, feel, and navigation of this new design that sucks.

        1. avatar int19h says:

          Overall the comment system is crap, because:

          1. It doesn’t let you track responses to your own comments only (biggest gripe! especially relevant to those 400+ comment threads whenever RF posts another flamebait about Trump or abortion),

          2. It doesn’t let you track responses to a specific comment thread.

          3. It doesn’t let you reply to comments that are nested more than 3 levels deep. Or rather it does, but it hides the “Reply” link – if you manually reconstruct that link using message IDs, or if you have already subscribed to notifications and receive those emails with “Reply” links in them, it works.

      2. avatar Katy says:

        Take a look at the two sites I mentioned:

        1) MacRumors I believe still uses vBulletin, but I’m not positive. They integrate the forum into the front page, so the front page posts are threads in their the main story subforum and there are countless forums and subforums. They have also integrated into tapatalk, which I thought was dumb but is actually a pretty decent piece of software for mobile posting and reading.

        This would allow the front page to revamps while doing something about the moribund forums here.

        2) Ars Technica uses what may be a homebrew system. The front page comments will cross into the forums, but are presented as an entirely different point of interaction. I don’t use their forums, but I do comment on their front page articles.

        They recently tried updating their site to be more image, less text, bright colors, and the result was so bad, they reverted to the current system (sound familiar?). Seriously, especially if you are on a mobile device, take a look and you’ll see what I mean.

        Both of the sites can still handle moderator editing of comments, with fingerprints to show that it was edited. There is an up and down-voting system, but it actually works (since it relies on the community to police, it comes down to the kind of people in your community). Comments that get significant downvotes are hidden (since it is based on balance, enough upvotes would bring it back), but can still be easily viewed. The hidden comments tend to be of the type that are either totally unrelated to the topic or absurdly extreme in their view. It wouldn’t work in the land of Yahoo or YouTube comments, and id like to think we are Ars-class, not Yahoo-class, folks here.

        I don’t know for sure if it is homebrew, so it would be worth some additional research.

        Oh, and both sites load quickly for me.

        Now, if only this thread wasn’t buried and people would actually see the post and have an easy way to spot it…

    2. avatar Warren says:

      I second the commenting issue. It’s an all-or-nothing notification, so i leave it off, and have to go back periodically to check in and continue a conversation. After a while I have moved on from a topic, and have no idea whether someone else is wanting to continue.

    3. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “The threading is handled poorly. When you are watching a trail and can see who is being replied to because there is no more depth, it’s frustrating.”

      That’s a serious issue for me as well.

      I’ve been seriously spoiled by high-quality Usenet readers in the past that allow effectively unlimited thread depth, and that makes following the rapid-fire threads Katy that mentioned *far*, *FAR*, easier.

      I like the articles in TTAG, but the real *gold* is in the comment section…

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        “I like the articles in TTAG, but the real *gold* is in the comment section…”

        ^ This! Times a gazillion.

    4. avatar gerald brennan says:

      What Katy sez.

  21. New look works for me. But what do I know. 🙂

  22. avatar Jon in CO says:

    Since the changeover, I’ve still been hijacked to CNN* “Boy hits lottery on mom’s IPhone” 6-8 times. Just a heads up.

    1. avatar That's right (you're not from Texas)... says:

      ^^^ This!

    2. avatar Weston says:

      Same here and fairly often too…

  23. avatar Spectre_USA says:

    Well,

    I don’t figure I’ll be reading as much anymore, as the first paragraph was always “the hook” that
    got me, and presumably others, to click on the “read more…” link.

    Unless the headline itself is compelling in it’s own right, I just don’t see me clicking through any
    where near as much as before.

    1. avatar meadowsr says:

      This. In a big way. I’m too busy with job, family, and visiting the range (!) to be forced to click on every article to see if its interesting and worthwhile to me. The preview text was invaluable to this end. As a result, I’m sure I’ll be reading less, which is a shame, because it hurts me and TTAG.

    2. avatar int19h says:

      Same thing. At the very least, make it an option.

      The idea that hiding that first paragraph makes page load faster is ridiculous from a technical perspective (and I’m a software engineer). Paragraphs for, say, ten stories, combined, would add maybe 5-10 kilobytes of data to the page. That is very little even on dial-up, and is a drop in the bucket compared to all the images, CSS and JavaScript files used by the page.

  24. avatar Meh says:

    I stopped coming here regularly when every Article™ had to be Sponsored® by some no-name Company©. This comment brought to you by the Home Depot™/US Post Office©/Quik-Kill™ Rat Poison Sportsball Arena.

    1. avatar Mr. 308 says:

      To be fair, as I am one who is very disappointed in the lack of detail provided on the front page, those things didn’t bother me at all. Mind, I’m not saying you don’t have your own opinion and I do understand it. Just never bothered me.

      RFs explanation however about load speed, I don’t buy it.

    2. avatar Stinkeye says:

      The sponsored content didn’t bother me before, but now stuff like today’s plug for the frangible ammo company appears as regular content on the front page. Before, the lead-in paragraph made it clear which “articles” like that were ads. Now it looks the same as a regular article, which is a really bad idea, if you ask me.

      1. avatar Meh says:

        …and now you know exactly why they changed everything.

  25. avatar Michael says:

    As a software engineer, I’d really like to know how you’re attributing the removal of a few bytes of text to a meaningful increase in page speed.

    I think you might have confused correlation and causation on this one…

  26. avatar DickDanger says:

    My opinion doesn’t matter, but can you at least meet us half way: if you want to cram as many headlines on a page a possible, make them the same size, so “OUR SPONSER’S PAGE” is the same size as the stuff you make less money on.

  27. avatar Mikele says:

    I find that when I am commenting like now, the blue bar on top automatically comes down right above my keyboard so I cannot see what I am writing. This happens on my tablet and phone. I have to take keyboard away just to check my writing. Also this new format actually takes longer to load then the old. I press on a link and it jumps up and down loading for half a minute. And bring back the paragraph under each link! Your forcing us to click on each link to see if I’m interested. Not cool. I am sorry to be so negative but this new format just seems stupid. Like you went back in time to a 2004 format. Fail!

  28. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Faster is better…l can live with it. P

  29. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Would it be possible to have a “hover” function, where if you place the cursor over the headline, a little pop-up (or cloud, or box, or something) would appear with the first two lines of the article?

    1. avatar Illinois_Minion says:

      +1

  30. avatar Uniform Whiskey says:

    Something about the color scheme, fonts, and page arrangement make it look like your usual click-bait site.

    It won’t change my reading habits, but it’s an observation.

    1. avatar Brian says:

      Yes! It looks EXACTLY like that!

  31. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    I’m sorta’ OK with the new look. Running better…but when I tried to go back to a post of several days ago I saw it takes forever(unless I don’t know the trick to it). Add a headline DATE and I’m cool. Honestly almost left a few times as your site functioned SOOOOO poorly…

  32. avatar BDub says:

    ….because we hate your eyes. Damn! your EYES!!!!

  33. avatar ESKeith says:

    Shrink it all down a bit. Sometimes I can only see one article heading and a monster .gif or photo underneath … can’t even see if there are any interesting headlines unless I scroll. Not overly efficient for me.

  34. avatar 2AMexican says:

    Can you use the original color scheme? This one seems so cold/medicinal. It’s like trying to read a giant advert.

  35. avatar Mike says:

    -Please do something about the color,mostly the white, it hurts my eyes.

    -The size of the homepage photos are all over the place, some are nice sized, but others take up my whole screen, 1080p 55″ no browser zoom for size reference, some photos are next to an article title, others are under it.

    -The article titles would pop more if the text was just a different color, or had a light shadow box, like Concealed Nation’s homepage.

    -Please add dates or simple time-stamp, not just “3 months ago” and such.

    -I’m not tech person, but can there simply by settings to adjust how the website appears to us? Font, size, color, number of articles to display (I know this last one is unlikely due to the need for keeping the lights on)?

    -Thanks for continuing to listen to feedback, and keep up the good work!

    P.S. If anyone knows a fix to any of these issues that I can do myself can you please let me know, I’ll set follow-up notifications, thanks! Also I am aware of how many times I mention the color, hopefully TTAG will.

  36. avatar JayJay says:

    Honestly it looks like shit.

    1. avatar jeepers says:

      +1!
      Simple, concise, all inclusively correct.

  37. avatar BLAMMO says:

    How do I log in and stay logged in from visit to visit?

    Used to use WordPress.

  38. avatar Jpav87 says:

    Background is too BRIGHT!! You should change it too a light gray or have a button up top that would give you an option to change the background to black with white text.

    1. avatar jeepers says:

      Yuck, Black background with white text.
      Need to go back to the old style tan or beige craem color or whatever it was.

  39. avatar The Original JohnO says:

    I’ll get used to it soon enough. I do want to give you a BIG THANK YOU! for using a serif typeface in your body copy. Newspapers have known for 100 years that sans serif fonts are harder to read in big blocks. Web designers, most of whom know how to punch the right buttons but not so much about communications, haven’t figured this out.

  40. avatar Specialist38 says:

    I want the little paragraph thingy back to tell me a little about the article.

    Change it back or I will look less often or maybe not at all.

    I second a subdued background cut the brightness a little.

  41. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    The headline only format is great if you are publishing 30 times as many articles a la Breitbart. Unfortunately the format on a single column, low volume blog such as this is just plain moronic. The thought that eliminating intro text has sped up page loads is pure BS. Its a convenience for the poster nothing more.

    Your job is to serve content, not deliver ads. I’ll forgive poorly written click bait articles, and poorly thought out advice. What I wont forgive is laziness on delivering content, forcing additional clicks, and piss poor proof reading.

    Be a professional or get out of the blogosphere.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      Unless you’re paying them, it’s not their job.

  42. avatar KettleOne says:

    I just think will all the wordpress themes in the world this is the best you could do??

    As with all the previous redesigns, it is such a weak effort. To think you guys had many meetings and much thought went into this.

    At least clicking on the main picture doesn’t take you to a random site vs being able to read the article.

  43. avatar beefeater says:

    Since you are making changes, is there any chance of implementing an option to have white text on a black background? It’s way easier on the eyes.

  44. avatar Mike says:

    Part 2

    – Never mind what I said about using the “follow-up” feature, it is horrible! All or nothing is not how you get people engaged in a discussion. I notice several others have also complained of this.

    -I don’t trust article titles on the internet, click bait articles have ruined that, so I relied on the preview line or two to know if I’m interested in reading one. I have an older computer and cheap smartphone and opening multiple browser tabs is not practical, so removing the preview to save bandwidth just makes me skip more articles or waste more bandwidth and takes longer to load. Only fix for me is to turn my ad-block on as much as I like TTAG.

  45. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    I too look forward to getting the “Next/Previous” buttons on the article.

    I’m ok with not having the introductory paragraph. One thing that used to frustrate me was the times the content was very short with only a few more words needed to complete the full story. I often wished all of it could have been included in the intro on the home page. This new format saves me that frustration. It’s a mental thing, I know. But somehow it’s more gratifying to get the whole story after the click than just a few words……

  46. avatar Paul53 says:

    Add a link to the Israeli Supermodels?

  47. avatar cenonce says:

    Don’t mind the redesign. The blue is a little bland, but I don’t really care, TBH.

    Would like to have the comments come below just what I am replying to though, rather than having to scroll back up to re-read a post.

  48. avatar Jack Wagner says:

    The headline is usually enough to determine whether the article is worth my time but the new format is significantly easier to read. At least for me. I like the blue and the off white background makes the text easier to look at.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Off-white? You might need to clean your monitor. On my screen, it’s full-on bright white. Digitally, it’s impossible to be more white.

  49. avatar Evan says:

    Sorry but I’m going to have to call BS on speed being the reason you don’t include summaries on the home page. I just loaded the home page from a clean cache on a 75 Mbit/s connection and it took 18 seconds to fully load the page. Within the first minute there were over 1000 network requests made, 13 MB of data transferred, and 112 ad network/tracking codes loaded. With Ad Blocker & Ghostery enabled the page loaded completely in just 4.5 seconds, with only 142 requests and 6 MB of data transferred. So if page load speed was really a concern you’d do something about cutting down on all the ad network crap – and the fact that it’s all still there in the new site suggests your priority is actually the ads, and removing the summaries was actually done as a way to increase page clicks.

    1. avatar jose wales says:

      what he said.

  50. avatar Michael Moultis says:

    what is with the facebook ads that take up space on the web page?

  51. avatar Howard says:

    I will be reading less…

  52. avatar VaqueroJustice says:

    Didn’t take long to get used to it, and it does load a lot faster. the real test will come later this evening when I check in
    with my tablet.

    1. avatar VaqueroJustice says:

      Ok, MUCH more responsive on the tablet than the old site.
      Certainly not perfect, but I’m sold.

  53. avatar no more vista says:

    this new site design is TTAG’s equivalent of MS Windows VISTA
    time for 7.0 already.

  54. avatar blahpony says:

    The blurbs under the headline and picture made it easier to decide whether or not to read the article.

    This is not as good:

    Mugging gone wrong! Texas vindicated.

    As this:

    Mugging gone wrong! Texas vindicated.

    Some miscreant tried to mug a few Texas residents as they walked through downtown. Someone saw them and drew their open-carried pistol and held the muggers in place until local authorities arrived. The victims were just thankful that…[read more]

    The second gives an idea of why Texas was vindicated. The first has no information at all.

  55. avatar Rigged, For' and Aft says:

    The pictures in some of the ads make the site very nearly NSFW. They probably are NSFW at my big-corporate, totally PC employer.

    The new layout with headlines only means that I’m done checking the site daily. MAYBE I’ll check on weekends.

  56. avatar SteveInCO says:

    Please use an absolute, rather than relative, time of posting.

    And count me among those who complain about the lack of intro text (that should be darned near instantaneous next to a picture),

    And count me among those slapping you silly (figuratively) for such a huge image file used for your logo. In general its poor practice to ship a huge file over the internet just to have the end user throw away 95% of it. (In general, pictures embedded in text should never be more than about a thousand pixels wide, and smaller than that would probably make more sense. If for some reason you think some readers might want a full multimegapixel image, then link to it and show a cut down version for the rest. But this logo will never display more than a couple of hundred pixels wide, so don’t fricking send more than a couple of hundred pixels.)

    One change NOT made that would be helpful would be: when replying to John Doe, the reply window should show up just below what he wrote, NOT clear down at the bottom of the page. If there are two hundred replies it can be hard to refer back to whatever boneheaded thing John Doe wrote.

  57. avatar Ridge Runner says:

    It’s not an improvement.

  58. avatar MDC says:

    Nope. Not buying the excuses. This reader from Providence/Johnston, RI is gone. Dollah Dollah bill ya’ll. Sell outs. Guns.com and thefirearmblog gotchya beat. Sad to say. Had a little hometown cooking with Robert. Had.

  59. avatar Noah says:

    Color scheme. Color scheme, a thousand times over. I liked the warmth of the tan you used in the site’s previous incarnation- the new blue is dull and adds nothing to the site. It shouldn’t be too hard to revert the colors while maintaining the layout?
    Also, it really was nice to see some text on the main page. Makes things seem less “click-bait-y”, and IMHO that’s worth slightly slower load times.

  60. avatar Ahil925 says:

    Alright, going to be blunt: you are going to be losing a lot of my clicks if you don’t return the preview lines. Your article titles have become progressively less imformative and are sounding more and more like click bait. I don’t know how the hell YOU choose to read articles but forcing me to click on one to even see if I want to screws up the flow to the point where I’m just not going to bother.

    Your color scheme is terrible and somewhat ironic considering your battles with Facebook that you’d copy their scheme. Also pic a standard image size for the title page, it’s sloppy as hell having all the different sizes.

    I’m going to sound like an ass but the quality of your articles lately isn’t going to be enough to keep me as a regular reader if I have to put up with the new site.

  61. avatar Brick Rivers says:

    Much cleaner than the old site…optimized for improved mobile viewing. I like it better than the old one.

  62. avatar Shwiggie says:

    The mobile site is much improved…the desktop version, not so much. There’s literally far too much whitespace surrounding the index and articles. I don’t like the non-uniform article presentation at all; are those with small images to the side of the headline less important than those with a headline and big picture? I find it somewhat jarring.

    That said, I don’t see anything wrong that can’t be taken care of with a little extra consideration. The background is fixed with a single hex color code. That solves the literal whitespace issue; the relatively narrow column of content is more-or-less standard for blogs, sadly. The article presentation is a matter of categorization, I’d imagine…just change the taxonomy for that category to something less marginalized.

    1. avatar mark s. says:

      I think I have made a discovery .
      ADD ( Attention Deficit Disorder ) folks hate the changes . Too organized , not enough color and zig zag .
      OCD ( Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ) folks love the changes . Well organized , black and white , no distractions , pictures .
      If you are blessed ( cursed ) to have both these disorders , you are probably certifiable schizophrenic .
      I believe I fall into the OCD category , I love organization and I love visual stimulation . I like taking old rusty machines and restoring them to working order .

  63. avatar historic look back says:

    This is the way it should be look. Much more pleasant experience.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20160602042551/http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/

  64. avatar Gringo Cracker says:

    More ta-tas would be an improvement.

  65. avatar making hay says:

    Housekeeping:
    Why We Changed the TTAG Home Page
    Answer:to make more $$$

  66. avatar Anonymous says:

    A live webcam to a random TTAG writer at any time for the answering of questions and random chit chat.

    Haha.

  67. avatar foodog says:

    I like it. Cleaner and faster.
    I am sure we will all get used to the changes soon enough.

  68. avatar TruthTellers says:

    If it’s not possible to bring back the text, make the article titles really, REALLY good.

  69. avatar Don says:

    New template is in the form of a clickbait website like Buzzfeed, Upworthy? With a facebook/democratic presidential candidate color scheme?

  70. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    “The new “textless” home page loads a lot faster.”

    Bunk!

    Text requires few bytes and, by itself, travels at lightning speed. Advertising images, GIFs and the piles of code that go with them are the real bottleneck.

    I’m not complaining about the new layout. I can live with it ok. But cut the B.S. We know better.

  71. avatar Scoutino says:

    I don’t know why, but I used to read every post with all comments, always lagging couple of days behind, on my phone. It felt much better than the computer screen version and I spent hours every day on this blog.
    Today I was able to get to the “now” skipping most of comments. It hurts my eyes to read this new font on bright background. It feels as bad as the computer version or worse.
    Perhaps I should thank you for helping me to finally overcome my TTAG addiction. After years of dependence on this blog I can stop using most of my free time gazing on my phone screen and again become an active member of society. 🙂

  72. avatar Aerindel says:

    Its too bright and now its harder to see what is an ad and what is not…which I assume was the point of the redesign.

    In any case, I won’t claim that I will totally boycott the sitet but I probably will check it a lot less often.

  73. avatar Anonymous says:

    A community post it board.
    We can post our guns for sale. We can post topics for discussion. Maybe revamp the TTAG forum?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      The Forum is a nice idea, but it is horrifically labor-intensive to maintain unless you had some volunteer Forum maintainers-moderators-whatever you wanna call ’em.

      (And, *NO*, I’m not volunteering…)

      1. avatar int19h says:

        What’s the difference between moderating comments and moderating forum threads?

  74. avatar Brun says:

    So you’re saving me time by making me click on every post to see if I want to read it. The logic… is impressive

  75. avatar Anonymous says:

    A flash game where all of us visitors to TTAG can play a multiplayer shooting game. Two teams: Gestapo ATF & Freedom Fighters. Maybe do some diffuse the bomb scenarios?

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Single player mode of ‘Whack-a-Troll’… 🙂

  76. avatar Anonymous says:

    Useful swag.

    Not talking Tshirts, caps, or beer cozys. Maybe pocketknives, gun related tools, TTAG engraved stag handled blades, TTAG holsters. Etc.

  77. avatar Anonymous says:

    Educational flash tutorial for first time shooters teaching iron sights, optics, ballistics basics, and other info such as charts referencing laws in each state etc.

  78. avatar Operator says:

    It’s a high-speed, low-drag homepage for operational operators operating operationally!

  79. avatar Anonymous says:

    TTAG 80% lowers. Beer cans, really cheap beer cans like natural light or Busch light cans melted down and cast or forged into 80% lowers. TTAG logo electroetched on the side.

  80. avatar Anonymous says:

    TTAG board game of people vs disarmament. Rig the game so that no matter how much the people don’t want disarmament, they get it anyways.

  81. avatar Anonymous says:

    Embedded picture capability for comments.

  82. avatar Anonymous says:

    Stop resizing/resampling the gravatar icons so they are not blurred.

  83. avatar Anonymous says:

    “Request desktop site” is inoperable on iPhones.

  84. avatar Anonymous says:

    The new “textless” home page loads a lot faster.

    An outright lie. It’s not about a couple bytes of text, but to drive page views and ad impressions. At least be honest about your avarice.

  85. avatar Holding My Nose says:

    I for one like the look of the new home page.

  86. avatar El bolero says:

    The article preview as many before me have stated is the biggest issue I have with the update. The time stamp is a big one as well. The layout give me the feeling that the article blurbs were taken out to compensate for people using adblockers. How? Well no blurb makes it easier to hide that the article is actually native advertising. (An insidious thing to be sure. I am very anti native ads) As to faster load times and no hijacks, well fisrt it only loads faster for me with add blocking which I never enabled on ttag before and now is a must. The comments section…. the comments were gold, but suck a pain to follow threads and the notification system…. yeah. Look man I get it times are rough, but it would seem that there are better ways than using all the crappy seo techniques.

  87. avatar bdk nh says:

    I hadn’t been around much lately after seeing too much click bait. This will seal the deal. Nice work fellas.

  88. avatar SteveX says:

    How about a mobile and desktop version that gives user with more processing power the option to see the initial text in desktop? People with fast Internet and a phablet can choose desktop if they want.

  89. avatar Illinois_Minion says:

    As I was replying to a comment above, I noticed the display of TWO sets ot TTAG logos, TWO sets of Facebook/Twitter.LinkedIn/Email blobs.

    Really, why do I need two sets of them? One in the footer, one at the bottom of reply. Almost 25% of screen space eaten up buy that alone.

    On on desktop, the horizontal dead space is excessive. You need better web code to readjust to the available screen size.

    This blue feel cold and uninviting.

    Erratic consistency in home page article structure is annoying Headline above, next to, below advert… Pick a style and stick to it.

    I also concur that image are a bit larger and unneeded. Smaller/fewer images = faster load time.

    Lack to article teasers is reason enough for me to follow less articles. No click through = less revenue.

  90. avatar Hannibal says:

    “The new “textless” home page loads a lot faster.”

    Text does not increase load time to any degree one can notice. So while this format may load faster it has nothing to do with the lack of text.

    1. avatar Shire-man says:

      This.
      What a load of bunk nonsense to dump text as a means to decrease loading times.
      Especially when they decide to keep embedded vids and their images are all over the place in terms of size, quality and location. No static cache and the only use of compression seems to be from externally linked material. Almost 50% of the data transferred when loading this site is related to images.

      Caveat: these guys aren’t web developers. Double caveat: neither am I. I give them B- for effort.

      Viewed through a few speed measuring services the current TTAG loads more than 20% slower than the current TFB which has been a cluttered hot mess for quite some time.

      How’s that possible?

      1. avatar Don says:

        The textless design means people have to click through to see if they actually want to read an article, which increases the number of ads you see.

      2. avatar KettleOne says:

        This site makes enough money that they may want to hire some web developers for the next rendition.

  91. avatar KettleOne says:

    Hi there, fellow webmaster.

    I just tested http://thetruthaboutguns.com with the Full Page test in Pingdom Tools.

    This specific test was done on June 10 at 08:32:37 from New York City, New York, USA. The web page took 7.46 s to load, used 567 requests, and weighed in at 8.7 MB.

    The Google Page Speed performance grade for this web page is 74/100.

    There’s a ton of more information you can check out here: http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/cmFe4N/http://thetruthaboutguns.com

    Cheers!

  92. avatar PeterK says:

    No matter what you change, someone will complain. I feel like you are at least being diplomatic after some very nice changes.

    I like the new design, but I’m probably younger than the crowd digging the older style. I actually do have similar complaints about the RSS feed, but don’t think it’s worth making a stink about.

    1. avatar NCDC says:

      I agree. I usually read on my RSS feed unless I want to read the comments as well as the article. I used to get the whole article in my feed but now only get the first few lines. I understand why they have done this but it is really annoying and I read less articles now than I used to.

  93. avatar JT says:

    “The new “textless” home page loads a lot faster.”

    I’m calling BS on excluding the text for that reason. If page loading speed was reason, you would be including only text and not pictures. 3900×1409 resolution is also extremely excessive for the logo if you are worried about page loading speed. If you are trying to get people to click on more articles for the ad revenue, just say so.

    The color scheme is kind of harsh on the eyes. Tweaking it a bit would help. Maybe use the grey of the bottom ribbon as the background color for the full page.

    Consistency on the front page would be nice. Either have a small image to the left of the title or a larger one below it instead of mixing and matching randomly. The first option is preferable since it keeps the images all the same size, keeps the page cleaner, and smaller images should help with page load times.

    1. avatar Don says:

      +1 clicking on more links for ad revenue.

      That’s why this format is used for clickbait websites.

  94. avatar Acworthless says:

    The “sponsored content” makes me think of two things: a NASCAR broadcast where everything on the screen has a sponsor; and car magazines where half the content seems to be “special advertising sections” that are virtually indistinguishable from the editorial content.

    Those big pictures on the front page are a waste of space. I have the biggest iMac monitor they make and when I view the page I can see maybe four headlines per screen because of the humongous pictures and “in yer face” size of the headline font. I skip reading a lot of things because I can’t tell from a megapicture and headline if it’s something I’d be interested in (and I don’t particularly care for feeling like a web site is shouting at me). If load time is truly a concern, you need more text and fewer graphics. And bring back displaying the lede, please!

  95. avatar Steve From Downtown Canada says:

    No sir, don’t like it one bit.

  96. avatar AJ says:

    The site never took too long to load for me, even when I was reading it on my galaxy s4

    Now instead of reading a quick blurb about what’s in the actual page, I get nothing but a headline which may or may not draw me in. Usually not.

    Your “zen like rock garden” approach is making it difficult to read, not easier. I honestly cannot think of a single other blog type website where its just headlines that link to a page without at least a sentence as a lead in.

    bad move guys.

  97. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    /Meta
    Keep getting feedback n slogging forward. There’s some realmgold in tbe site suggestions.

    /Specifics, all +1 to prior mentions

    – Time stamp articles. Comments too if you can.

    – Small lead with article headlines. Look at SlashDot, for perhaps the best compressed teases in the business. (There’s some historical material in their archives on their tech, scaling, format changes, and wrangling a fractious community.)

    – Slow load for para ain’t the bits of the txt, it’s the hits n external sites. Best target for speedup unclear BUT suggestions how to start all on point. Doqble if you want to.

    – Dialing back color scheme intensity a little would ease viewing.

    – Comment threading is perennial issue. Discussion forum vs “media.” Any of us old guys were spoiled rotten back in the day. Hard to monetize discussion tech commenters like. Gotta monitize to stay on line.

    – Blue drop-down whilencomment edition takes up too much real-estate.

    – Consider an “optimized for” browser or reader. Potential better speed, navigation n fidelity w/ emerging features. Takes some cleverness to give good generic behavior and better w/ particular reader w/o dual source or dual sites … which is its own can of worms.

    Relevant reading, online…

    The Joel List – of stuff to have if yr building software. Yr uilding software now (sorry.)

    A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy – By Clay Shirky. Might be included in the book The Cluetrain Manifesto.

  98. avatar AaronW says:

    TTAG now looks a lot like Business Insider. With which I have a love-hate thing going on.

  99. avatar Carl in Alaska says:

    GIVE Back the forward/back buttons. Site is trash and PIA without them!

  100. avatar Arod529 says:

    Considering it hasn’t crashed on my lousy phone in the last half hour, I’m willing give up the text preview. I can actually read the site during boring classes.

  101. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    i just look at the pikshurs.

  102. I find that I’m not clicking on as many articles as I used to. I’m sure you are keeping an eye on your page views… my guess is that they are down.

  103. Thanks for all the comments. Dan’s made a list of fixes from your suggestions and sent them to Greg Gerla to work on.

  104. avatar int19h says:

    About the only thing that I like about the new design is the font change. Serifs are better for readability.

    Old colors were better – less contrast, so not as harsh on the eyes.

    Headers only on main page is a horrible decision. Your headers are simply not descriptive enough in most cases to decide whether something is worth checking out or not, and in most cases, I expect that I’ll lean in the “not” direction when in doubt. It also doesn’t actually do anything for load times, as many comments above have explained. If whoever you hired to do the update sold that to you in those terms, they either have no clue about webpages, or they’re deliberately misleading you (perhaps to charge extra for “optimizing”).

    Meanwhile, the biggest problem with the site – comments/responses tracking – is not affected by the update in any way.

  105. avatar Ian says:

    I’d like to see the next and previous article buttons on the sides of the page returned.

  106. avatar Mmmtacos says:

    Not liking the new site. Loss of the text under articles is annoying, especially for things like “Quote of the day”, it’s silly. I find it hard to believe you couldn’t optimize the site well enough to load a little more text onto the page…

    1. avatar David says:

      I agree with Mmmtacos, I don’t like it for the reasons stated, even to the point of having to be board to come back to read it. It reminds me of “the blaze” now which I rarely ever read.

  107. avatar YBK says:

    Terrible website design. The former one was inviting whereas this puke-blue one is abhorrent.

    Bunch of bull like “vee killed lotsa text to let yee see the site faster” betrays bigger bull behind this wrongdoing. I do stay firmly behind the following opinion:
    “Text does not increase load time to any degree one can notice”.
    It is entirely true.
    Text loads faster, video player frames decissively slower, yet the slowest loading are the biggest “illustrations”, logos and nontextual stuff. Guess what you see pointing your browser to the site “thetruthaboutguns.com”.
    Yes, indeed — pictures and videos. The fastest loading content has been killed. Whatsmore, the few lines of meaningful info (i.e. textual info) are embedded into tens of megabytes of spying scripts and evil selfstarting videos. This is the time to friendly say “goodbye” to TTAG.

    The red TTAG site minus selfstarting videos — without evil videos! — was nearly perfect. Friendly and inviting, informative and educational, entertaining & serious.

    This blue one is a puke.

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