Welcome to the new look MoneySavingExpert.com

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Site Feedback
258 replies 10.2K views
MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Site Feedback
UPDATE NOTE Friday 4pm: Wow. Thanks for all the feedback and bug spotting. The site is mostly working well, but with the odd glitch here and there. We've worked hard today to get most of the basic ones fixed so the site is up and running well. Thought there are a good few more to go. The MSE techie team were up all night getting it up and running, so only a few more tweaks are possible today - as I've sent em home. Martin



Welcome to the new look site. I hope you like it; we've been working on it for a long time. The main aim is to keep the feel of the old site (and all the content of course) but modernise the look and make things easier to find.

What's changed?

The look, the frame, the set up (the main site is now fixed width, the forum stretchy), the navigation. The site is an editorial site so articles are primary; there are now slightly changed sections.

Some of you may feel it looks a little busy/cluttered/too many colours. These were criticisms of the old look too. We did first try a version which had many less words and much more white space. And guess what? It looked very professional and very commercial, just like all the 'flog 'em stuff' sites out there. So I decided to stick with the feel of the old site.

Yes it’s busy; that's cos there's ENORMOUS amounts of info in it and I want people to realise that as soon as they hit the site. However, the difference now is it should be much easier to find.

The new sections

Firstly, these are now at tabs at the top of the page that everyone can see rather than running down the left hand side. The set-up has changed slightly too...

E.g. while there use to be three sections

Credit Cards
Savings & Investments
Loans & Banking

Often people are either looking at borrowing or spending so it seemed more sensible to change this to

Credit Cards & Loans
Banking & Saving (which includes investments)

Plus there are new sections like 'Reclaim £1,000s and Family & Health'

The new system also allows articles to be placed in multiple sections with ease e.g. Bank Charges Reclaiming belongs in Reclaim & Banking & Credit Cards (because of credit card reclaiming) and that's now easy to do.

Within the sections

Each of the sections should now be much easier to use and the articles should be easier to scan, as they're split into categories. Plus I've introduced a 'Ones Not To Miss' Categorisation. Many people always said "help where do I start", so now this is obvious.

Also, the way that search engines like Google can access the site has been improved, which should mean the site appears a little higher in the search engine rankings.

Integrating the main site and forum

Links to the relevant forums will now be in every article and links to the top articles on the site in every page on the forum.

Making this weeks tip easier to find and to read

The look of the weekly email box has changed so that it's easier to see what’s in it - and easier to find it.

More space in the forums

Things have been moved in the forum, so there's less stuff at the top and the real forum starts much higher up the page. The shift from the navigation bar on the left (now above) to a browse bar on the right, has added content without using any more space.

Plus we're now going to use the right hand space much more. Already you'll see articles, the tip box, forum etiquette, tools and the poll there. And we can add more.

Possibly, post of the month to go there - you never know even a picture of the Forumite of the week (or maybe not). Perhaps some blog links, some key content, top forum posts of the previous day. We've got room for it so it can be used.

The search

The main site search is now done by Google search to make things much easier to find; though we're still working on tweaking it. The Forum search hasn't changed yet though it’s on the list - we're still not sure the particular Google search we've got can cope with the vastness of the Forum or will order the info right for the way the forum works, so for the moment we're sticking with the current system.

What hasn't changed

The content is the same. There's no change to the site’s editorial, this is a purely cosmetic makeover.

For techies, the articles are still based on the same HTML though we've changed the back end article management system. One of the next jobs is to clean up the HTML of all the articles.

Also the software of the Forums hasn't changed. This makeover will have no impact - either positive or negative on the reliability. We've separately been working on that and things are getting better. Once the new look site is up and running, it gives me more resources to dedicate to that too.

Accessibility

A site map has been added, and the font sizes of navigation are now variable so you can increase the viewing size (this doesn't yet happen in articles unless you use the zoom facility - as the article HTML has changed). We're working hard to make the site more accessible for those with disabilities and it should be easier now than before for screen readers.

I think that's it for the moment (I'm sure I've forgotten some things but will remember later).

I do hope you like it, please do give me feedback and report any bugs in the discussion below or email [EMAIL="bugspotting@moneysavingexpert.com"][email protected][/EMAIL]

Like anything new and technical I'm sure we'll have some teething problems and I know many regulars may find change difficult and I'm sure some will prefer the familiarity of the old site. My hope though is the new site is easier to use, and will allow more people to find the MoneySaving info they want more quickly.


Martin


PS Enormous thanks to Brendan, Neil, Darren, Daniel, Dan, Richard and all the team at MSE Towers for the huge amount of work they've put into making this work.
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
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Replies

  • Well, it's dawn here at MSE Towers and I've just sent the Developers off to get a little sleep before the morning rush. It's been a long night but we think (hope) we've got it mostly right.

    There are a few outstanding issues to attend to first thing such as the Blog, the notes from the "What's it all about?" section (only in IE), the MSE Game and Petitions but we're hoping to have them sorted out early.

    There are, undoubtedly, more bugs and glitches to be found so it would be useful, as Martin mentioned above to receive any feedback you may have about the new site. In fact, in the spirit of new site celebration, Martin is offering a bottle of champagne to the biggest "bug" (to be decided by myself) found and reported in this thread.

    It's a pretty major change for the site and as such, we can expect a period of tweaking and optimisation so please bear with us while we try and get the best out of the new site.

    Finally, I would also like to offer my thanks to MSE Team but in particular the techies (Neil, Daniel an Darren) for the long hours they've been putting in to make this happen and also to the all the Forumites who gave us feedback throughout the long process.

    Time to press the On button, I think.....
  • Main site good.

    Forum, eek! Horrid side bar on the right, losing masses of screen space (some of us are still on 1024x768, it may look great on a web designer's 1800*1280 widescreen). Two clicks with Remove It Permanently (in Firefox) and all was well...killing /html/body/div/div[2]/div/div/div[2]/table/tbody/tr/td[2] was the trick.

    Also the breadcrumb forum navigator (Home » Forums > MoneySaving And The Site > Site Feedback: Questions & suggestions) is way too small and separated from the forum body by loads of 'noise'. This or this is, IMHO, how it should be for easier forum navigation with vBulletin.
  • QueenieQueenie Forumite
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    Well done Techie's :T And you got it all up before schedule too :T

    Agree on the right hand scroll bar.

    Also, some of the smilies aren't showing up one moment, but a refresh of the page and then they do :confused:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PMS Pot: £57.53 Pigsback Pot: £23.00
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  • SmashingSmashing Forumite
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    The right hand scroll bar is horrid - any way to get rid of it in IE?
  • pipmosspipmoss Forumite
    254 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
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    So far so good for me chaps

    WELL DONE
  • leosayer39leosayer39 Forumite
    478 Posts
    Looks good and performs for me

    Leo
    Dont you just love freshly congealed pigs blood, with a bit of fat in :D
  • MolanoleMolanole Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
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    And there was me thinking I'd have a whole other half an hour to wait to get back on here!!!!

    I'm not technical at all but I can't see the whole screen. The bar on the right is cut off mid way through. And now I'm getting X's where I should be seeing smilies which I didn't get before.

    But I can live with it just to have you back beloved mse.com!!! :money:
    Debt Free Nerd No. 89, LBM: April 2006, Debt at highest (Sept 05): £40,939.96
    NOW TOTALLY DEBT FREE!!!!!!!! Woooo hooooooo!!! DEBT FREE DATE: 23 December 2009
  • SystemSystem Forumite
    177.9K Posts
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    Fresh, clean, easy on the eye in fact an improvement all round.

    I've tried unsubscribing to Martins newsletter and subscribing again, just to see if it will resume delivery which stopped several weeks ago, to no avail. I've looked at my Profile, to see if I'd unclicked something, but no. Maybe someone would redirect THEIR copy to see if it arrives. I know they are accessible on the site, but I really want my own copy. Can anyone throw any light on this for me please. I've changed my system from windows '98 to XP is that why ?
  • twhiteheadtwhitehead Forumite
    128 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Very nice but I thought I had been phished(?).
  • windym_2windym_2 Forumite
    5.3K Posts
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    I could do with the address link (or whatever it is called) that is usually at the top of the forum/thread you are in. I used to go into a thread and instead of hitting the back button I could go to the top of the thread and click the spider link back through (either going to the main forum, sub thread etc). Its a shortcut type navigator. If you know what it is, I would like to have it back !! Also preferred it when the thread title went from bold to light when you had viewed the thread and changed back to bold if there were new posts, doesn't seem to be working anymore.

    Otherwise, site looks cleaner, albeit, huge gap down the right side of the screen. Is there anyway of centralising?
This discussion has been closed.
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