You might have noticed, but road.cc has changed! We’ve rolled out a new design. For lots of reasons.
We haven’t redesigned road.cc for about five years, and it was due a revamp. Since then we’ve added a number of other websites to our portfolio, and we wanted to make it easier to find content from those sites too: it’s all about bikes, after all, and many of you ride lots of different bikes. We've added a top menu to give you access to the newest content from all of our sites.
The majority of our traffic is now on mobile. That wasn’t the case five years ago, so this time around we’ve optimised the site for smartphones. We’ve been working a lot on the load speed of the site, and we’ll continue to optimise the site so it loads faster and is easier to navigate on the go.
We’ve fully redesigned the home page, with the aim of exposing more of the site’s content and giving you as a reader more to choose from. Nearly a fifth of our page views are of the home page, and we want people to have as many options to read on as possible.
We’ve increased the number of featured slots at the top of the home page, and reduced the duplication in the sections below. The news live blog is a major part of our news offering and we’ve prioritised that: the latest live blog will always be at the top of the site.
For reviews, we’ve added filters to the review sections so that you can find the products you’re looking for more easily. On the individual reviews we’ve separated out the key facts so you can get an overview of the product’s performance, and read the full review if you’re interested in more detail.
We've moved comments to a threaded display and the default is now to show the newest comments first. This is for a number of reasons. If you want to comment but don't want to go through the whole thread, then the commenting box is now at the top. and replies to comments sit in a logical way so you can follow individual conversations. You can still change the ordering of comments as before if you prefer a different view.
Obviously there's some stuff we know doesn't work quite right. You can't see the comment ordering menu on mobile, for example, and you can't click on the comment count icon to take you straight to the comments. And hawkinspeter can't upload any squirrel images. But we're working through them and they'll be sorted in due course.
There aren’t any more ads than there were before. We’ve changed the sidebar ad logic so that they stay in view for longer when you’re scrolling down the page, so at times it may feel a bit more ad-heavy, especially if you’re on a big desktop screen. We’ll continue to work on the balance of ads and content. For the redesign we’ve tried to keep the ads out of the main copy flow to make the site easier to read.
After fixing all the stuff that we broke in the redesign, the next step for us is to integrate our websites further, so it’s easier and more understandable to move between road.cc, off.road.cc and ebiketips. The road.cc redesign will be rolling out to the other websites, and there will be more content from the other sites on the home page of road.cc.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.