Mobile computing has changed a lot since Liliputing started in April, 2008. Netbooks are out. Tablets, ultrabooks, and smartphones are in. And more than 12,000 articles and 67 million page views later, I decided it was about time to give the website a fresh coat of paint.

If you’ve visited Liliputing recently, you may have noticed a few changes. I hope most are for the better. The site should now load more quickly — especially on mobile devices. It’s designed with smartphones and tablets in mind, but it should be at least as easy to navigate on a desktop or notebook as ever.

And I think it looks a bit nicer too.

Liliputing 2.0 theme

The first thing you’ll probably notice is that the site is now “responsive.” If you resize your browser window, the site will respond by wrapping text or even moving the sidebar to make sure that articles are front and center.

This also means that if you visit the site on a smartphone, you shouldn’t need to pinch to zoom in order to read the text anymore. All the important items are still there though, whether you’re on a phone, tablet, or desktop. You can still access the main site navigation, return to the home page by tapping our logo, or search the site using the search box (near the bottom of the page on smartphones now) no matter what device you’re using.

We’ve also put a little more emphasis on the latest post, giving it a place of honor at the top of the page. Below that featured article, you’ll find all the latest stories in either a single-column or dual-column view, depending on the size of your browser screen.

I know some folks hate change, but I don’t think this was change just for the sake of change. Around a quarter of our visitors are using mobile devices, and the mobile experience really wasn’t up to snuff. And to be honest, neither was the desktop view.

I didn’t know much about web design when I whipped up the first version of Liliputing, and I’ve been gradually hacking away at the site theme for about 5 years. It was kind of a monstrosity behind the scenes.

The new theme doesn’t just look more modern. The code is also more modern, with HTML5, JavaScript, and all sorts of other goodies that should help keep the site running smoothly… possibly for the next 5 years, because that’s apparently how long it takes me to get around to a redesign.

To give credit where it’s due, Liliputing’s new theme is based on the Eleven40 theme from StudioPress and uses the Genesis framework for WordPress. I’d also like to thank Randall Bennett who helped me solve a few issues that had been driving me up a wall, and Brad Dalton’s WP Sites website is a great resource for folks looking for tips on customizing WordPress sites that use the Genesis Framework.

I’m still not done tweaking — but I think the site is about 99 percent of where I want it to be right now. So while I normally don’t like to talk too much about myself or what’s going on behind the scenes on the main page of Liliputing, I wanted to take a moment to show off, let you throw rotten tomatoes at me, and let me know if I missed or broke anything?

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58 replies on “Welcome to the new Liliputing (is anything broken?)”

  1. Already got used to it, no problem. But for some reasons, articles I read do not appear in blue as it was before (web elements already accessed are normally shown in blue in Firefox version 24 and before). I was using this as a bookmark of where I had read last time). Sad. But OK for the look. If only I could change girl friend so easily.

    1. I rolled out an update yesterday — headlines for articles you’ve already visited should now be gray instead of black. You might need to purge your browser cache before you see the change.

  2. difficult to tell you apart from other sites that now use the same style. Prefered the way it was.. the addage, if its not broken, dont fix it comes to mind… change for change sake also…

  3. Now it requires third party sites serving javascript and tracking tools. This was a bad change.

    1. We always used third party tracking and javascript for advertising purposes and for the Disqus comments system. That hasn’t changed.

      1. After this update I went to click on some links which did not work
        without javascript (and the site previously worked fine with javascript
        off). As to using javascript for tracking, whether you were using it BEFORE (or not) is not an ethical improvement. Noscript simply blocked it all fine before the changes without a loss in functionality. Now, I’m finding links (I encountered some in the sidebar) that don’t work.

  4. Most likely my corporate firewall is to blame but I see no options for sharing in the section at the bottom of the article. For what it’s worth, I was originally looking for it up top but only later realized it was at the bottom, but unfortunately not working for me.

    1. Yeah — do they block Facebook, Google+ and Twitter? Because the sharing tools use their APIs.

      Were you able to see them on the old site? I did change my sharing plugin because this one works better with the new site, but if the old one is more effective I could go back.

      1. I just realized that it was my Disconnect plugin that was to blame. After disabling it, I see that it works again. I usually read content through Feedly so I can’t recall if this was an issue before.

        I’ve seen other implementations of social sharing where I can see the social media icon (a local image presumably), I click it, and then a popup appears to share the article. It looks like this system is actually superior in that a pop up is not created, I can share without breaking the experience, but it has to be whitelisted for me to do it.

  5. My only complaint with the new format is that on the desktop (where I read you most), the two column screen requires way more scrolling in order to scan the headlines. It currently looks great on a 7″ tablet, but on the PC I liked the old format better.

  6. I love the new look. I just wish the right sidebar was a little smaller. As you scroll down (and there’s nothing on right sidebar) it’s a lot of wasted space. (See Pic)

  7. Hello, the main thing I miss – a:visited difference with other links. Please make at least slight change in color for visited links. Its much easier to find place where I left the other day.

      1. Alright — that took way more work than I thought it would, but I think I’ve got it figured out.

        Headlines for articles you’ve read recently should now be gray instead of black. I tried a few different colors including the purple I used on the old site theme, but it just looked wrong.

        Let e know what you think!

  8. The more things change, the more they stay the same… the quality, that is. Thanks Brad for the quality tech reporting! And I enjoy the fresh look.

  9. I like the new design especially since it’s not bloated and cause browsers on low end hardware or smartphones to choke. Many times when sites do a redesign, it just turns into some dyslectic resource hog mess.

    Keep up the excellent work.

  10. For the front page, could you make the main articles load before the sidebar and possibly before the top bar? The new design seems ‘heavier’ because of the main articles loading last.

  11. I have that same two line header overlapping the top headline on my work computer. It covers about half the letters on the top line.

    It’s not quite as bad on my netbook. It covers just a little of the top line of text – maybe 1/8 of it?

      1. I replied and it seems to have been lost or something.
        On the Reference desk computer where I am now, it’s fine. That’s SeaMonkey full screen at 1024X768. Ad blocker is on out here, and so is No Script with as much as possible blocked. I’ll be back in my office in a little while and can give you the info there.

  12. I read Lilliputing daily, almost always in the evening on my home desktop’s 1920X1080 display. Only rarely have I viewed it on my 10″ Asus TF300T tablet, never since your changeover. I never view it on my mobile phone- I avoid using the browser on my phone unless I absolutely have to (too small for my old eyes). In response to this article, I opened the site on my tablet and compared it to my desktop. The main article scaled nicely but differently in both devices using Chrome (note I run my desktop at 150% zoom). The sidebar has most of the differences. On the tablet I am missing the ads and the featured video. I suspect my AdBlock Plus settings are different between the devices and is the cause for the missing ads.

    It took a few days to get used to the format change, but I’m fine with it now. The site is quite responsive on my tablet, much more than many other sites I have gone to. Kudos to you on your back end work.

  13. I prefer the old layout. On my laptop (Firefox 23.0.1), the 1 column articles are too wide (the 2 column layout is much worse), the headline fonts too large, I prefered the sans serif typeface of the old one. Basically, the new layout looks too much like Engadget, which looks awful too, especially their typeface, which is too light in weight/thickness and present too much glare. I also had no problem with the
    responsiveness of the old layout.

  14. I mostly like the change, rule of thumb is any web page should react to the client’s display properly. The problem is that this looks fine on my 1366×768 netbook but not so much on my 2560×1440 desktop monitor. The two columns thing just isn’t wide enough for that set up, and I might add I’m still having to scroll down so potentially there could be more columns. Reasoning being if you’re adjusting for 320×240 upwards to 1366×768 you might as well keep on going, prepare for 4K displays and whatnot 🙂

    1. I may tweak the fonts at some point… I’m using the default ones that StudioPress included in the stock theme because I haven’t found anything I like better yet.

  15. Much better to read on my mobile devices. Thanks for the good job,Brad!

  16. I like it but on Firefox on my Windows 7 laptop the About Us wraps and the taller header crops the first store headline.

    1. Weird… I can’t seem to replicate the issue using Firefox — but I know at least one person had a similar issue with IE8. Are you using Ad Blocker or any other plugins? What’s your screen resolution?

      It could also be a browser caching issue if you visited the site at a time when I was messing around with things and the browser cached a copy of the css. You might want to try clearing your browser cache.

      Oh — and do you see a search bar in the main navigation bar? (Products/Reviews/Deals etc) Because if you do, then you’ve definitely got a cached copy of the page where that wrap-around issue was more prevalent. I gave up on placing the search bar in the header partly for that reason.

  17. I actually really do like the new design… I saw it first on my phone and thought…. “This is nice!” at first I was a little wary of the desktop design, but after a few days I like it, maybe not as much as the old, but I like the transition overall

  18. Kudos to you! Lilliputing is one of the tech sites that I go to several times a day. I like the new layout. The only issue I have is that on my Nexus 7 FHD there is no white space to the left and right of any content (text and images). The text is left aligned at the very edge of my screen. Images on the right are right up against the right edge of my screen. Certainly manageable, but a bit harder to read. I’m using the Chrome browser under Android 4.3 and it looks the same whether I accept the default view or request the desktop site.

    1. Same here with desktop version of Firefox 24. It is OK (with border) in Chrome.

  19. On my desktop Win7, Firefox 23.0.1 the fonts on the front page are HUGE. I can see half of the first article announcing the changes. Interestingly, the fonts for the comments section are normalish…

  20. Looks like the Verge, but I love it!

    The Disqus/comments login won’t work using Chrome for Android(auto forward site, then close for login) on my Galaxy Note 2, switched to Android browser with no issues.

    Good luck and keep tech new coming ^_^

  21. The new site looks nice. I enjoy reading your articles, keep up your good work.

  22. Liking the new look! Very slick.

    I discovered this site when I became enamored with the then new Android mini PCs.
    I now visit here frequently because I like Brad’s writing and my fellow commenters discussing these cool things we’re into.
    Great stuff here.

  23. Mr. Linder
    I didn’t like the new look at the beginning but i decided give it some time and now I think it’s actually cool.
    I really wanna thank you for his job with Liliputing wich is one of my favorite sites for tech news.
    No rotten tomatoes by my part and keep just like this.
    Greetings from Mexico

  24. the new design is really good. and i like the fact that it resizes itself when on mobile devices. it’s 2 hours from my home to my workplace and now it’s easier to read liliputing during that period of time. greetings from Perú.

  25. Hi, Brad. I read your site on a PC, so the immediate effects of the change were to target my attention to the top story. It was a bit unnerving at first, but I’ve grown to like the new design.

  26. Brad, would you mind sharing what % of your website visits come from mobile devices now?

      1. Liking the mobile view, and an increasing number of the links off Facebook etc seem to smartly direct to it if appropriate rather than the desktop site – didn’t always use to.

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