Our New Look & Features: v4

Dec 1, 2010 • 4:10 pm | comments (54) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Blog Administration

I am incredibly proud to announce we have launched our new design and platform today. After almost four years since our last redesign, aka version 3 and almost seven years of being on MovableType, we now have a brand new design and system to power this site.

Dare I say, the nicest looking search related news site on the Internet?

What is new?

  • Major design update
  • Magazine-like home page
  • Much improved commenting system, powered by Disqus
  • Categories now available at the top of the page
  • Improved Sharing features
  • Weekly video featured on right side of all pages
  • New picture of the day feature
  • Home grown content management system so I can have full control
  • Much more...

Please play around with it and let me know what you think in the comments below. There is just too many new things going on to list them all.

I'd like to thank my awesome team at RustyBrick, specifically Mabe for the outstanding design, Mike for the coding and Ronnie for uploading this new site. It was a huge undertaking, years in the making and I am so happy it is live.

We will have tons more coming in the near future, but we had to launch at some point. Remember the old design? Here is a picture:

Old Search Engine Roundtable Design

Compared to the new design:

New Search Engine Roundtable Design

Please comment below and let me know your thoughts. Also let me know if you find bugs. Thanks!

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: December 1, 2010


Tamar Weinberg

12/01/2010 09:32 pm


Barry Schwartz

12/01/2010 09:33 pm

Thanks Tamar!

Donna Fontenot

12/01/2010 09:36 pm

Gorgeous! Congrats!

Barry Schwartz

12/01/2010 09:37 pm

Thanks, let me know if you see any bugs. :)

Nathaniel Deal

12/01/2010 09:37 pm

Really Cool Barry, I love the new cleaner look!


12/01/2010 09:42 pm

Wow love the new look, congrats!

12/01/2010 09:44 pm

I like it a lot, despite the fact that I'm a die-hard sans-serif fan.


12/01/2010 09:52 pm

Wow awesome website! I especially like the tag-cloud located at http://www.seroundtable.com/tag-cloud.php

Jaan Kanellis

12/01/2010 09:57 pm

Are you using Wordpress wtih Thesis theme?

Barry Schwartz

12/01/2010 09:58 pm

No, this is home grown. Doesn't use WordPress, doesn't use Thesis. It is all custom, outside of this Disqus commenting thing.

Ike Horvath

12/01/2010 10:18 pm

for someone who liked your old site as it was, this is a nice change. Congrats.

Planet Chiropractic

12/01/2010 10:24 pm

Looks terrific Barry!


12/01/2010 10:25 pm

The home page design is great, very inviting. I would change the font size for articles to one point smaller, make it look more professional. I would make it the same size as the articles on the home page (the ones below the main news article).

Michael Martinez

12/01/2010 10:44 pm

I like the design but I hate Disqus. It just absolutely sucks as a comment management system.

Barry Schwartz

12/01/2010 10:46 pm

Actually, we store these comments and manage them on my custom backend. Disqus is being used as a view for the most part. This way if I ever want to leave disqus or they go dead, I still have all the comments. I have full control.


12/01/2010 10:53 pm

Beautiful, functional and much nicer! Love the look!!! FABULOUS!!!


12/02/2010 12:12 am

Like the new design. Would love to hear your criteria for setting up a homegrown CMS and the other options you considered . Care to share?

Barry Schwartz

12/02/2010 12:17 am

That's a but if a hard question to answer in a comment. Maybe I'll blog about it one day.


12/02/2010 12:29 am

wow rusty awesome job! it's such an easier read.


12/02/2010 12:49 am

Design looks nice, but I like the old layout better. New design + old layout and you've got yourself a winner. With the old layout I could read the stories I'm interested in without having to jump to another page and then jump back.

Barry Schwartz

12/02/2010 12:50 am

But as a publisher, I kinda need pageviews. :)


12/02/2010 01:01 am

I like the feel of just wish you kept the brown tones. Green is over used in our industry. How will your custom theme work with the new layout?

Barry Schwartz

12/02/2010 01:21 am

The old one was green as well. I guess that is where most the industry got their greens from? ;-) You will see a custom theme in the next day or so for Chanukah, so stay tuned...


12/02/2010 02:25 am

This design is overdone. I wish you would have done something a bit more original. bg_topnav.png also looks odd on top of the site logo, there's really no reason for it to be there and to have the top links, at least make them look like menu items. The design looks really odd with an ad blocker on, which I'm sure a large portion of your visitors use, lots of empty space in the header.

Barry Schwartz

12/02/2010 02:27 am

Overdone? I'm sorry. I wanted to keep the original sense of the design in the top header, which is why that is there. It will go nuts for holiday themes. :) I need to have large ad space to pay for this blog. I tried asking readers for donations, I only received a single donation via that method in the 7 years on this blog.


12/02/2010 02:41 am

Yeah, it's a bit mainstream, I think someone mentioned a popular blog theme. I liked the old design because it was a little dated and different. I think you can incorporate the mentioned graphic into the logo very nicely and would still leave you with a lot of space to play with for themed logos. I'd rather see an ad in the middle of the page than have to scroll an extra 50 pixels from the top to get to the content. I didn't realize you ever needed donations. Surely the blog brings in more than enough business :) Just my .02 oh and nice job BTW

Barry Schwartz

12/02/2010 02:42 am

Fedor, points taken. Will consider them. Re, blog bringing in business. For someone who doesn't offer SEO services, sure - it brings in a lot of SEO requests, which I do not make money off of. :)


12/02/2010 02:44 am

I'm sure there are people more than willing to give you a commission for the referrals :)

Barry Schwartz

12/02/2010 02:45 am

We should probably take this private, but I won't take commissions on referrals. I can't let the SEO business skew my perception of what and how I write on the topic. Anyway, thankfully, the blog doesn't need to be my main source of income.


12/02/2010 02:51 am

I understand where you're coming from and it's important to have that perspective for those of us that do have a bias towards our favored techniques. I just always assumed you made it work financially. Silly me, and the rest of you that shared my view.

Antonel Neculai

12/02/2010 04:07 am

I live the new look. Very clean. Congratulations!

Alistair Lattimore

12/02/2010 05:29 am

Barry, What drove you to use your own CMS specifically? I know you said full control but you publish so much content, it surprises me that you couldn't have found a comfortable bed fellow in one of the other major CMS's on the market. Al.

Melt du Plooy

12/02/2010 06:16 am

Barry, it is a huge improvement. I just love the new look. Well don

Melt du Plooy

12/02/2010 06:16 am

Hi Barry, love the new look. Huge improvement. Well done

Luke Jones

12/02/2010 08:05 am

It looks great. Glad you've moved over to Disqus too, it's a great commenting platform.

Barry Schwartz

12/02/2010 10:40 am

I've used MovableType for 7 years. I've used WordPress on SEland for a few years. I just want to do whatever I want with the site and also not have to worry about patches, upgrades, etc due to security holes. Home grown makes it much more flexible for me and I have the team that can put it together properly.

Nedim Sabic

12/02/2010 11:29 am

I just have to get used to. On the first blink it is ok. In your case, the design doesn't matter much, it's more important that you stay focused and give us everyday the regular updates. This site is for me more like a SEO news site and I think that you cover almost 90% important SEO news, so you are doing your job well. For my taste, the typography isn't modern and there are too many ads. For a serious site doesn't need Adsense Ads and especially the paid links on the right. And yes, I expected the comment box below the allready posted comments, not above.

Branko Rihtman

12/02/2010 12:13 pm

Well done Barry. It feels fresh and looks really snazzy. Although I am not a big fan of this font, it gives the blog a newspapery feeling, which is great. Mazal Tov

Barry Schwartz

12/02/2010 12:27 pm

How dare you dislike the font! Now that you commented, I know your IP, I will ban you! ;-) just kidding, hope all is well with the family!

Liam Walsh

12/02/2010 01:52 pm

Nice work on the new site. I am a daily visitor and thank you for all the updates you provide us.

Miriam Schwab

12/02/2010 02:37 pm

So much better! I really like the snazzy navigation. But why would you develop your own CMS for this when you could have used WordPress?

Miriam Schwab

12/02/2010 02:39 pm

Never mind, I saw your answer below. I hear what you're saying about upgrades etc.

Barry Schwartz

12/02/2010 04:02 pm

Thanks. Cause I want 100% control over anything and everything without having to worry about patches and security issues every two weeks.


12/02/2010 07:35 pm

LOVE the new design. It looks so much more professional. (P.S. You might consider looking at ModX CMS down the road. Much more "thought out" than Wordpress and there aren't security patches every other day. -my 2¢)


12/03/2010 05:42 am

Wow. Your new look will be a great help if suppose I'm using your site on mobile phone. I think it will load more easier than before.

Amit Verma

12/03/2010 12:32 pm

Sorry, but older one is more appealing...


12/03/2010 04:38 pm

The old design was more usable. Change for the sake of change. Hate it.

Barry Schwartz

12/03/2010 04:39 pm

I disagree, this is way more usable. But I guess I am biased.


12/03/2010 05:19 pm

I'm not on the 'new is better' bandwagon, or the 'old look' vs. 'new look' either. What I DO like is finding the information I came for. What I DON'T like is having to wade through 'new look' stuff just because someone thinks it's cool, or 'we don't want to look behind-the-times', or 'look what mad skillz I got', or etc. I liked the old design because I could visit once per day and scroll through the list of new articles. There was a nice, lengthy synopsis that told me if I was interested enough to click through, and it was all on one page. I've been a daily visitor for years. One commenter noted that the new look is reminiscent of newspapers. You know, the dead tree version of the internet that's dying out? Remember them? I dislike the additional time I'll now have to commit. I dislike the busy info overkill of the new site, and now I'm seriously considering dumping it from my daily routine entirely. Fortunately for me, you haven't razed searchengineland yet. Although since you mention it, I've always disliked the busy look of searchengineland too, so even though I've visited it every weekday for years now, I always go for the SearchCap link and settle for day-old news. If that wasn't there, I'd have abandoned it too. Some may think my attitude is a bit extreme, or just too picky, but the greatest thing about the internet is that there is always a bunch of alternatives. Yeah, yeah...tl;dr. Whatever, dude. Good luck to you.

Barry Schwartz

12/03/2010 05:22 pm

Meagain, We have a full feed, we have a daily recap email and feed. So just use that... Sorry I made your life harder. That is not the intent of spending hours every day, trying to spend the time to bring the best SEO forum threads to light, without having you do all that hard and time consuming work.

Barry Schwartz

12/03/2010 06:58 pm

So, what do you think of our first theme?


12/04/2010 05:55 pm

We're not using a pre-built CMS such as ModX or Wordpress. This is custom built code (except the Disqus comments API). We didn't want to worry about security issues, like you mentioned with Wordpress.


12/05/2010 12:32 pm

My tone did come off as much more snarky than I intended. I'm sorry. Since you are the best at this, I will continue to visit, your Leetness. And hope that someday, in boredom if nothing else, you'll write a plugin to Barry's Awesome Cool CMS that will duplicate the New And Exciting look into the old 50's retro look for us old men. :) Carry on.


06/13/2012 12:29 pm

Hello Should I use disqus for blogger??

blog comments powered by Disqus