As we enter our 5th year of covering the rapidly evolving craft beer business, we thought it was time to hit the refresh button and give our website a facelift.
With the newly redesigned Brewbound, our goal is to improve the reader experience and deliver a news platform more in line with our maturing brand, our core values and our growing audience. That means a website that peels back some of the unnecessary layers and places a greater emphasis on compelling and engaging news content.
Our main objective as we set out with this revamp was to ensure visitors could easily identify our most important stories. The new homepage still emphasizes five “featured” articles, but in a much more direct way. Now, when you visit the Brewbound homepage, the most important articles are also the most visible. Beneath those stories are additional pieces of original content, which are displayed in chronological order.
Perhaps the most noticeable change we’ve made is the introduction of a responsive design. With nearly 35 percent of our traffic now coming from mobile devices, it was clear that we needed to deliver news to all of our users in a more effective way. So whether you’re viewing Brewbound on a 27-inch monitor, an iPhone or a tablet, the new site automatically adjusts to your screen size.
We’ve changed up the font type and size for headlines and body text while simultaneously adding more white space. Ultimately, this means our content is easier to read – no more squinting! It’s also been optimized for extremely fast load times.
Enhanced Social Integration:
While we’ve always tried to make it easy for readers to share our content, we’ve made a few small changes that we think will improve access to the information on Brewbound.
First, we’ve added the ability for readers to easily share a post on Reddit. Simply click “submit” on the Reddit button and choose which subreddit you’d like to direct a post to. We’d suggest the “beer” subreddit, but we’ll leave that decision up to you. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn buttons are also still included at the top of each article for those who prefer sharing across those social platforms.
Second, we’re moving away from Disqus and slowly integrating the ability for readers to comment on stories using their personal Facebook accounts. Our hope is that this improves the conversation in the comments section while discouraging anonymous users from posting offensive and disparaging remarks.
Brewery Database Changes
In the previous version of Brewbound, users could create profiles, rate and review beers and create a wish list of beers they wanted to drink. But as Brewbound has evolved, we’ve recognized this is not an area we want to focus our attention. So, to better reflect our mission of providing up-to-the-minute news about the craft beer business, we’ve altered how our brewery database functions.
Instead of product reviews, we’ve anchored news clips underneath specific brewery pages. Now, when you visit a brewery profile, you should be able to easily locate the most recent news items we’ve published about a given company.
We didn’t completely overhaul the database, however. Pertinent company information like brewery location, contact information, core product offerings and social media links are still accessible on each brewery page.
As with any database, these pages are a constant work in progress and certainly not an accurate reflection of every brewery currently operating in the U.S. We’re also still working back through individual posts to make sure that the latest information is nested underneath each brewery page. Throughout the year, our goal is to gradually improve the functionality of these pages and re-introduce the ability for breweries to manage and manually update specific company and product information. Stay tuned!
While the new Brewbound is undoubtedly cleaner and easier to navigate, we don’t plan on stopping here. As we progress through 2015, our hope is to continue improving the layout and adding new features that make reading industry news more enjoyable.
And, as we maintain our focus on being the industry’s no. 1 resource for trustworthy craft beer news, we’ll also be dedicating more time and attention to the stories that are most important to our audience. In 2015, Brewbound readers can expect to see more in-depth reporting and feature articles enriched with plenty of images and video content. Our objective is to seamlessly integrate those components into our long-form pieces and provide the most comprehensive coverage of craft beer on the web.
Also: We’re still squashing a few bugs, so please bear with us over the next few days as we identify issues and work to correct them.
Enjoy the new Brewbound!