MacStories has really grown up the past few months, and thanks to accomplished pixel pushers such as Emanuel Sá and Silvia Gatta, masterful web developers like Alessandro Vendruscolo, and Federico’s passion for fueling consistent ballpark successes, we’re really proud to unveil a website that represents the culmination of lots of hard work. We not only managed to re-launch what we know to be best Mac and iOS blog out there, but we did it with the support of all of our wonderful readers who continue to be a driving source of motivation. It was in our interest to not only deliver a brand new experience, but to deliver one that feels like the mothership has finally landed. The new design is more than fantastic, and it only gets better from here on out.
With the launch of a new design comes a plethora of new features. The new site is absolutely glamourous. Behind the frame of our cadillac exists a foundation of Webkit; most of the content you see on MacStories has been completely written through the beauty of CSS3. Combine our sturdy chassis with the engine of cloud hosting, and you begin to realize MacStories is a completely new machine inside and out.
You’ll notice that the remarkable polish of our site begins on your monitor with an improved navigation scheme. Between our brand new logo and mountains of content, you’ll find something that was quite hidden before: an easy to use navigation bar with search. Whether you want to find our thoughts on Fever, or get connected to one of our social hubs, we’ve greatly improved the ability to simply find good content.
Featured posts line the top of the page that are continuously updated and labelled by category. We wanted to give our readers a quick way to delve headfirst into our most important content — it’s very easy to simply click thru to the “cool stuff.”
Our new layout has a few tricks up its sleeve. Not only does it look incredibly sexy, but we’ll now be able to share quick snippets of news with linked posts; we’ve been struggling with this for a while, and we’ve done it right. You’ll be able to immediately visit the original source, fuss free. In company with featured content, we’re better able to share quick bursts of information Gruber-style. Plus, we have a new layout for sticky’d posts we’ll occasionally use for breaking news or must see contests.
We’ve overhauled the sidebar, making it easier for you to tip on us on the latest Apple leaks, access archived articles by month, and narrow down your favorite topics with an easy to use tag cloud. Two new additions will also make it easier for you to find the content you love.
Firstly, we’re really hyped about our AppStore Instant widget. It’s like having the iTunes Store built right into MacStories with the power of Google Instant. Anytime we talk about an iOS app (iPad soon) you’re interested in, you just have to visit the sidebar. We want to make it really easy for people to find new applications as seamlessly as possible. So no more opening new tabs and searching on Google – just use the instant search.
Secondly, we really love reading about what our heroes have to say online. We’ll be showcasing some of the best content available on Twitter thanks to the folks at Curated.By. In the future, we’d like to implement this in different ways throughout the site, and we hope it’ll be a way for readers to further connect with the Apple community.
Socially, we think Twitter is the bee’s knees. Per post, we’ve implemented Twitter’s official Tweet button so you can easily share your favorite content, and each post is now concluded with a link so you can immediately follow your favorite authors. Throughout the site, we’ve also implemented Twitter’s @anywhere integration (just hover over a Twitter name to see it in action). We introduced some of these features previously, but now it feels more right than ever.
But below all of this social integration, we really wanted you guys to have an enjoyable experience as you have conversations, share ideas, and provide feedback on topics of interests. We’ve completely overhauled the comments system with Disqus, which helps us cut down on spam, reduce troll traffic, and moderate much easier. Our new comments also allow readers to enjoy threaded replies, and log-in from just about anywhere. We think you guys will really love this much improved system.
By the way, try writing your next reply in Markdown. We’re pretty impressed by it — it’s an additional feature we’ve added so you’ll have even more control over the formatting of your comments, but the page will need to be refreshed to see the changes. Using Markdown, you may be limited on how often you can edit your comment for performance reasons. Think of it as an early beta feature.
The content itself has finally gotten a much needed facelift. Before we relied upon italics to replace blockquotes, but no more. Starting today, we’ve finally got the tools we need to best convey content. Visually, everything is much cleaner. We have a new look for images in posts so everything just looks crisp. For press releases, we’re introducing a button so we can announce new product without obfuscating our content. Authors are getting some love too: we encourage you to click on an author’s name, dive in, and get personal.
This is just the beginning folks. In the coming months, we’ll introduce you to even more features we’re working on under the hood. I think everyone will be pleasantly surprised by what we have in store, and we hope our latest site will encourage greater community feedback. We’re serious about getting serious, and it starts off with the amazing work you’ve been presented with today.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the new MacStories.
Update: This is a pretty crazy launch. Our Curated.By widget can’t handle the load, so we’re temporarily disabling it for an optimized experience. We hope to bring it back up once the engines cool off!