Don’t adjust your intertubes, folks. The site does indeed look a little bit different this morning. We mentioned several days ago that we were working on some changes to the site and asked you to test them. This morning, we’ve moved the new code into production. So far, nothing seems to be utterly broken, so we’re hoping the transition has gone off smoothly.
The biggest change is one you may not even notice: nearly every URL on the site has switched to a new format, one that’s less compact but readable in plain-ish English. We made this change because our Google rankings were suffering pretty severely under our old, all-numeric URL format. You may notice that our URLs look a lot more like most other sites now. You can thank or blame Google for that, depending on your preference. We did try to make the new URL format sensible, and I think it will serve us well over time.
Of course, we auto-redirect any older URLs to the proper new-format URL. So even though everything is changed, the functionality should be effectively identical. Like I said, you may not even notice it.
If you do spot a problem, though, please post in the comments below to let us know, so we can investigate it ASAP.
Beyond the URL thing, we’ve made some layout tweaks. Blog posts are now part of our "feature" content stream along with articles and reviews. Hiding them in their own, separate navigation arrangement just wasn’t a smart thing to do. After all, they’re essentially weekly columns, and we put quite a bit of effort into them. Like I said earlier, blog posts will remain clearly marked as such on their individual pages, for those folks who think opinion columns should be kept separate from… reviews with opinions about products in them.
The front page looks a little different, too, with the separate blog posts box replaced by a "top comments" widget. The nav bar up at the top of the page has been freshened up. "GPUs" has been changed to the more accessible "Graphics," and "Mobos + Chipsets" becomes "Motherboards." We’ve also added a dedicated gaming section, since we write a fair amount on that subject.
There are a few other small changes, but I think that about sums it up. As usual, our developer, Bruno "morphine" Ferreira, gets the credit for making these things happen without breaking the site, slowing it down, or otherwise causing calamity. We have some other, more visible changes in store for the next stage of this project, but that’s a story for another day.