In the last few months our designer Sophia Lucero and programmer Shaun Mcann have been busy beavering away on a new theme for our top tier sites. Many of our sites have not had a design overhaul for many years and with the changes in how websites are used and read and the advancement of mobile devices it was vital that we gave them all a fresh look and made them fully compliant for 2015 and onwards.
We decided to create a single theme and then deploy that to all our web properties and alter the styling and colour scheme based on each site. We wanted to emphasise the images used on our sites and so decided to have an image matrix at the top of the homepage where the most recent six posts would be displayed with their title overlayed. The featured image is crucial to capture a readers attention so keeping that in mind we built the post pages with a large featured image at the head.
Advertisements are not enjoyed by most readers but as any publisher knows they are a necessity for revenue. We wanted to incorporate ad regions into the new theme so that they would not intrude and would fit naturally into the design and layout of the theme. Infinite load was also built into each site, we wanted to experiment with this functionality as it can help to keep a user on the site or page longer.
As more and more web traffic now comes from users on mobile and tablet devices, having a fully responsive site that adjusts for multiple viewport sizes is also important and was one of our main goals when designing the new theme. On tablets the matrix resizes into a smaller grid and the mobile version of the new theme simplifies everything with all the content displayed in a single column and navigation and categories in a ‘swipe-in’ menu.
Here’s a closer look at each site where the new theme has been deployed so far:
This was one of the first sites we rolled the new theme out on. We decided to use a pastel gradient on the image matrix in a shade of brown while keeping the rest of the styling the same in black and white and with the same font.
Next up was our celebrity news and gossip site Celebrific.com, we decided not to use any gradient on the images in the matrix here as we the images of celebs are a crucial to the content and we didn’t want to distort them.
The most recent Splashpress Media site to receive the new theme makeover was Forevergeek. As with Celebrific we did not want to distort any of the colours used in the images so didn’t use any gradients in the matrix.
We are planning on rolling out the new theme to other Splashpress Media properties such as Socialnewsdaily.com, Applegazette and others in January.
Last November we brought out a crowd-funding related expansion of Forevergeek.com, it was the Forevergeek Kickstarter Store and a place where we catalogued successfully Kickstarter funded products in the geek sub-cultures. This summer we decided to take the store and re-brand it with its own name and website as well as begin reporting news on all crowd funding projects and developments within geek culture and so you have Stiqblox.com!
We have moved all the products from the old store over and will continue adding to it each week, we already have over 500 products listed there now! Stiqblox will also be reporting on new crowd-funded gadgets, games, tech and other products in the geekosphere and we are now including campaigns from IndieGoGo too.
We will be interviewing prominent creators and have already interviewed Jamey Stegmaier of Stonemaiergames.com who is quickly becoming a name in the crowd-funding industry after successfully funding two board games on Kickstarter as well as writing his own free resources on how to launch a successful campaign.
We also recently interviewed Benjamin Anderson who raked in over 1,000% of the funding target for his tutorial book on coding in Game Maker Studio.
We have many more interviews lined up along with daily news from the crowd-funding industry and best project picks from Kickstarter and IndieGoGo!
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Last month Splashpress Media acquired the social news publication SocialNewsDaily.com.
Social News Daily is the first media reporting website that focuses 100% on social media platforms and news created and supported by social networks.
The site was established by a group of veteran media bloggers James Kosour, Dusten Carlson, Kim LaCapria and Dan Evon and in the last 2 years they have built the site into a premium source for all social media news covering breaking news and trending topics from Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and all other major social platforms. Several of the founders such as Dan and Dusten have stayed on while the others have moved on to new ventures.
We are excited to have Social News Daily in the Splashpress Media network and will be looking to grow the site throughout 2014 and beyond.
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Splashpress Media has acquired the InstaDash a Pinterest styled dashboard site for your Instagram account.
InstaDash was created by Arno Smit and Marcus Johanson back in 2012 (when Instagram had no web based app) in under 12 hours at a hack event in Stockholm, Sweden. The app has since then been featured on TheNextWeb, New-Startups and Tnooz.
If you are looking for more Instagram related sites then please visit our Instagram photo challenges site Instachallenges.com and put your snapping skills to the test!
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The layout of the store is exactly the same as the Forevergeek Kickstarter Store and the same functions including:
Over 200 products and counting
User product reviews
The store is handled by Brian Meyer, those of you who follow Applegazette.com will know him as the ‘how to’ guru there. He is picking out the best Kickstarted Apple products each week to add to the store along with choosing the best ones for the featured and his editor’s pick of the week slots as well as the weekly newsletter to followers.
If you have an Apple product that was funded via Kickstarter and would like to see it listed here or if you just have a tip on one that you know of then please contact us here with details:
Also if you have currently have a Kickstarter campaign in progress and would like to talk to us about assistance with promotion & marketing and about having your product added to the store if you meet your goals then do reach out to us as we would love to hear from you!
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