As you have surely noticed by now, the site has a new design and layout. The old layout, with light text on a dark background, has been dropped, and the new site has switched to follow the golden rule set by every website designer, usability expert and ergonomics consultant on the planet: dark text on a light background. Readers from around the world had asked for the change for a couple of years now, and I finally caved in to their requests. The readability is now vastly improved, but the framing layout with orange links on a dark background has been retained, to preserve something of the feel of the old site. Photo stories will continue to use a dark background, as we feel that the darker layout does more justice to Scott Jones' beautiful photos.
The change has not been completely finalized - there are still one or two points of the site that need to be tweaked, and all comments and suggestions for improvement are more than welcome. Some tables, in particular, could still appear with either the wrong background or the wrong text color; if you spot any errors, please feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Site supporters have a wider choice of page layouts, including the option of reverting to the previous layout with the light text on a dark background.
The switchover is part of what is now becoming a customary winter rejigging of the site. With the new layout in place, work will now start on building a mobile-friendly version of the site. That should be completed in time for the 2012 MotoGP season (the 2012 WSBK season is just a little too close to get it all done), making it easier for you to keep up on everything that is happening in the world of World Championship motorcycle racing.
More good news is on its way, as we hope to expand our coverage of the World Superbike series for 2012. A dedicated reporter will be taking over to provide some of the coverage of WSBK, allowing me (David Emmett) to concentrate on MotoGP. We will also be looking to hire an assistant (and general dogsbody) to do some of the donkey work in our MotoGP coverage, allowing me to spend more time providing the analysis and background that I hope most of you have come to expect from MotoMatters.com.
The bad news stemming from the site redesign is that it has taken up a significant portion of my time. It was necessary, but it was also time-consuming, and the addition of a mobile-friendly site will also take more time out of my schedule. As a result, I have not had the time to finish some of the background pieces I have been working on, but I will get around to completing them once I finish work on the site.
The reason for all of these changes has been the phenomenal growth of the site. We continue to grow at a rate of around 40% a year, hitting 100,000 unique visitors and three quarters of a million unique pageviews a month in late 2011. But our continuing growth and expansion requires money, and the support of our readers and advertisers. If you love the site and wish it to continue, please consider taking out a subscription and becoming a Site Supporter. You may also want to buy one of our 2012 Motorcycle Racing Calendars, which are still selling, or a MotoMatters.com T-shirt, of which we still have a limited number available. Or you may just want to make a donation. You might even want to try to convince your boss that the best way to reach a well-educated and relatively wealthy audience is by using a well-respected motorcycle racing website as an advertising and marketing platform.
Please feel free to leave your comments about the new site layout below. They are all welcome, they will all be given serious consideration, but we can't promise to implement them all. You, the readers of MotoMatters.com, are what make the website what it is, and the outstanding level of contributions from so many interesting and intelligent readers is one of the things that I, personally, am most proud of. It is an honor to have you reading the site, and I am eternally grateful.