“The redesign of the site improved loading speed and reduced complexity, affording readers easier access to desired materials.” – according to Bolaji Ojo, publisher and editor-in-chief
They didn’t say they improved the look and feel of the site, which is kind of a nice thing to – not – read. Apparently they were at least attempting to focus on the important things, “reduced complexity” and “loading speed”. Let’s see if they succeeded, understanding we’re not in the industry so we’re giving a true outsider’s perspective.
First thing we noticed was that we were seeing advertisements even though we had AdBlock on, which was a helpful reminder that we needed to turn AdBlock off to get a true picture of the site. But for testing purposes we turned AdBlock back on and saw the ad disappear. Strange, but since this isn’t a tech reporting article we’ll move on for now and turn AdBlock back off.
Diving into some research on the site, we quickly found that this was not a custom designed website. That it was in fact a theme purchased from an online template company (who shall remain nameless), for a WordPress backend. Not a huge strike in our opinion because themes these days are, 1. Very Good, and 2. Highly Customizable, so it’s more about what you do with it because as the saying goes, “content is king”.
Knowing that the site is built on WordPress with a theme, we might expect that the claim about speed might have some trouble, but we’ll check that in a minute because we still want to make sure this design is mobile friendly. So we head over to Google’s Mobile Friendly Test system and punch it in. The result…
Sure enough we get a healthy score of 81 out of 100. Not too shabby. Not outstanding, but for sure, the images not being optimized to the absolute smallest they can be when you’re running a news site is understandable because you have to get those articles out fast. All in all the site is respectably fast.
Regarding the next point – complexity – we can say that we understood very quickly what it is that this site is about. Not being in the industry though and having very little experience in this industry we cannot speak to whether the topics in the navigation and the main news areas are important to their demographic of readers and/or if they make sense from a categorization stand point. We therefore bow out of a full analysis on complexity and will move on to our general opinion.
Overall we’ll give the site a “A-” score for a news website redesign. We like large image based headlines, but their execution on some of the images needs work. We found some low quality images, some had text on top where the fonts where different. The necessary evil of advertising is executed fairly unobtrusively and we’ll leave the jury out on the white space. Probably could utilized better. We’d like to see bigger fonts for some headlines, but overall we get why we’re here and the site does it’s job.
Did we miss anything? What’s your opinion? Leave a comment!
Update: We forgot to look for the company that is taking responsibility for this design and found them near the bottom of the site. Nice job WebsiteRedesign.com, we’ll look forward to analyzing some of your other work to see if you can make our top 10 list of the best web design companies.