Been working hard on presenting a better reader experience for you guys. Our design philosophy is along the lines of New York Times, black and grey on white, simple, let the content images and text decorate the site. Loading and response times are in my view just as important as how the site looks, so I’ve worked hard on that as well.
More, we load our content first for you, ad banners after, and our “polite” advertising is designed to not obscure your reading. No pop-ups; no site takeovers; no jiggly animation — and all ads are relevant to ski touring. Our server is slow due to a big database (nearly 3,000 blog posts and 70,000 comments!) and lots of back end security layers (and our budget), so I spent quite a bit of time doing “micro optimization” to compensate. Results are good, a score of around 97% in GTmetrix Page Speed despite the slow server.
We’ve also worked hard this past few months on making sure WildSnow works in most browsers, and we’re bucking the trend by running a specific and ultra-optimized site version for your mobile devices. A note on our mobile design: It’s supposed to be practical, with easy tap targets that’ll work with big fingers on fairly small screens. That’s an ongoing project for certain.
We’ll probably do a total site redesign at some point, but for now it’s been fun to simply see how minimal we can get. Hey, going lightweight is key, right?
Please let us know how the snappy “new” website performs for you. We’ll keep improving it all summer long. By getting all this work done, come September I can back off substantially from the admin and focus much more on front-end content. Last winter I was challenged by that balance, the future looks bright.
Thanks everyone for continuing to visit.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.