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New AN Homepage is up

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

New AN Homepage is up

Postby Charles » Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:28 pm

Okay folks, we've gone live with the revamped and much improved homepage for AnimationNation.com.

It's been a long time coming, and we've made the transition to a whole new way of doing things.

We've cleaned up a lot of the links and banners that were there previously which cluttered and overwhelmed the page.

The centerpiece of the homepage is now a blog that can feature text, graphics and video.

We'll be able to take content that would normally be published only on the forums and prominently feature it on the homepage, with links back to the forum topic or to anyplace else that would be appropriate.

As new topics are featured, the older ones will gradually make their way down the page as would happen with a blog, and be archived as our content base grows.

This is a huge accomplishment for us as we've been experimenting with the right formula for AN's homepage for a very long time. For years I've been looking for a way of making effective use of the homepage, and now I think we have a system that will work out great.

Follow this link to see what I'm referring to:

http://AnimationNation.com

This will allow us to make use of the site in ways we couldn't have done before. Prior to this, our visitors had to click about three times to get to a topic on the forums. Now we can bring subjects directly to the homepage with numerous other links to the forums that can bring visitors directly to a topic.

I hope you like it, I sure do. Adrian (Skynet) Foster, our webmaster did a great job on this. We're both very excited about the prospects of the new AN and how we'll be able to develop it further for the benefit of the community.

This is going to be a lot of fun.

Thanks for continuing to make AnimationNation a part of your Internet experience friends. We have a great legacy and we're committed to keep it going. This new system will give us the tools to do just that.
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Re: New AN Homepage is up

Postby Sageous » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:45 am

I love the new format of the home page Charles and Adrian. Great work guys! I look forward to visiting more frequently and browsing with ease.

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Re: New AN Homepage is up

Postby Davelyman » Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:31 pm

Nice!
That looks really good Charles.
So much so, I put a nice fat link to it on my own blog.
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Re: New AN Homepage is up

Postby Charles » Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:25 am

Thanks Dave and Sageous. I'm happy about this, and I can see the difference its making after just one day.
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Re: New AN Homepage is up

Postby Charles » Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:54 pm

Someone mentioned today that now when they head to the homepage, they never know what to expect. There's new things to get into during the course of the day.

The difference the new homepage is making has been immediate. There's additional traffic we're getting, plus visitors are staying on the page longer. The forum topics we link to from the homepage are getting the benefit of more views as well.

I'd say the best thing about this is that there's a venue that we can develop in conjunction with the forums. There's a new vitality to the site, and even though it's been less than three days since we've launched the new homepage, it's very noticeable.

Skynet's working on things, tweaking it here and there, adding new features and making adjustments. This will be an ongoing process as we continue to build out and refine AN.

If you haven't seen the homepage yet, check it out...

http://AnimationNation.com
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Re: New AN Homepage is up

Postby Charles » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:14 pm

Something interesting happened today. For the first time that I can remember, the homepage got more unique visitors than the forums, and the forums had a good day.

For a long while I was looking for some way of developing the homepage to its potential, and I think we may have found the solution.

http://AnimationNation.com
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Re: New AN Homepage is up

Postby Charles » Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:20 am

We're wrapping up the third full week of the new homepage and the change it's making around here is very noticeable. To the point where I'm rethinking the nature of the site.

At one point today the amount of visitors we had on the homepage was more than double compared to the forums. The gap was closed as the day progressed, but the homepage still outdid the forums in terms of unique visitors as well as overall visits. The difference in the later was significant.

I better understand now how animation sites that are set up like blogs become successful in terms of traffic.

We don't have a comment option on the homepage and we're getting more traffic than the forums. I'm wondering if that aspect of AN which has traditionally been the foundation of the site is better suited to function in a support capacity for the homepage.

Also, and this I find very intriguing, is that we're getting more views/hits on some homepage topics than we're getting on the forums for the same topic that is linked to the homepage. Interesting.

Maybe the homepage should be given even more consideration than before. I was looking to help drive additional traffic to the forums, but it appears that it's kind of working out the other way around.

http://AnimationNation.com
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Re: New AN Homepage is up

Postby Charles » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:48 pm

We're getting consistently better traffic on AN's homepage now that we've made a switch to a blog style format. In addition to the forums, it's really making a difference in the way I personally see the site and the things we can do with it now that we have an another editorial option in a high profile manner.

I'm looking to promote our members as well as focus a stronger spotlight on industry issues, and this looks to be the ticket.

Check out how the new AN homepage is shaping up...

http://AnimationNation.com
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Re: New AN Homepage is up

Postby Charles » Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:02 am

If you haven't seen AN's new homepage yet, check it out.

http://AnimationNation.com

I'm using it to feature key topics from the forums. We're getting at least as many and on some days even more visitors than the forums, which hasn't necessarily been the case up until recently when we switched the homepage to a blog format.

Also, the topics we feature on the homepage are getting a lot more views than what we would normally see on the forums, which is to be expected since they're in more of a high profile venue.

Looks like we've finally got a homepage formula that's working comprehensively for the site.
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Re: New AN Homepage is up

Postby Charles » Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:38 pm

Go AN homepage, go!

Now that we're approaching two months of the new homepage format, it's more than obvious that this is a winner. After depending exclusively upon the forums for editorial content for years, AN's new homepage is handily beating the forums for unique traffic on a daily basis.

Skynet has incorporated significant upgrades into AN and as such we're able to bring the site up to a new level of technical efficiency, which will allow us to develop both the homepage and the forums even more.

I can see how blog based sites become popular. It's an easy way to deliver content directly to an Internet audience, and a blog format gives developers a lot of flexibility and options.

It's as if we have two distinct areas of the site now that can both service each other. There's the forums for previewing content, and the homepage for spotlighting subjects that warrant more focused attention. In turn, the homepage can feed traffic to the forum topic as well as send it to other sites.

And the more content we feature on the homepage, the more traffic it draws. Google seems to like us as well. It appears that just about every topic we feature on the homepage, it gets a first page listing on a Google search.

This is great. We can do a lot more good than we could before. There's going to be more upgrades later this week that will help attract even more visitors to the homepage.

If you haven't seen the new homepage yet check out how it's coming along.

http://AnimationNation.com
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Re: New AN Homepage is up

Postby Charles » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:49 am

Latest upgrade to the homepage, tabs for sharing content on a variety of social networks.

http://AnimationNation.com

The homepage is doing so well, we're considering opening the topics to comments.
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