I’ve been blogging since I turned 20 in November 2004. In that time period we’ve only done 2 major site redesigns. In 2007 I was able to grab the DansDeals.com domain name when the previous owner let it expire. You can still see what the original ctownbochur.com blog looked like from the 2004-2007 era here.
People complained bitterly when it was time to change, but I customized a blog template to create the original DansDeals.com site and used it from August 2007 through July 2017. Thanks to the Web Archive you can see what it looked like here. It became outdated rather quickly, but site traffic grew by 10,000% during that time period, so perhaps it became successful in spite of the design. However in August 2007 there was no such thing as an iPhone and by July 2017 a significant portion of site traffic was coming from mobile devices.
Finally last year, my brother JJ worked with Jack Vershubsky (DDF member Suave) to create a new mobile friendly and responsive site and a fresh new logo with Yossi Belkin. Baruch Hayman (DDF member BAHayman) has been instrumental in debugging and keeping this site up, even when facing crushing levels of traffic.
Of course nostalgia is powerful, but a year later, I think the project has been a success. Many sites undergo change and make the functionality worse in just about every way, just look at the new Google Flights versus the far superior old version! Change is a necessary evil when it comes to web design, but I think the key is not stripping away functionality and usability.
The new DansDeals site has a clean and modern look that works on all devices and saves readers time by avoiding the necessity to scroll through every post in its entirety in order to see the next deal. Readers who don’t like the new look can use the gear icon to switch to the old legacy mode format or to ignore expire deals. Readers can also reply to individual comments rather than the old system of replying to someone dozens of comments later.
What do you think of the site redesign now that we’re a year in? Are there features that you would like to see added? Sound off in the comments!