Your Guide to the New Wise Bread (Win $25 For Your Suggestions)

by Will Chen on 8 April 2010 82 comments
Photo: iStock

Welcome to the new Wise Bread! You have always told us that the best way to improve Wise Bread is to share more great tips.

Your wish is our command. We're doubling the number of daily articles on Wise Bread in the next few months.  With our expanded layout, we'll be able to feature more money-saving tips than ever before.

Need a tour? Here's a quick guide to some of the most important changes:

 

Switch Back to Classic Wise Bread View

Prefer the look of the original homepage?  Go to this URL and see Wise Bread in its glorious original format: http://www.wisebread.com/all

You can bookmark that link or access it any time by clicking on the "See All Latest Stories" below the Life Hacks section on the homepage:

 

Highlights of the Week: Your Favorite Weekly Features

We haven't forgotten about your favorite weekly features.  As usual, these features will still be showcased in our latest article section:

  • Best of Personal Finance Roundup (now renamed Best Money Tips Roundup)
  • Ask the Readers
  • Weekly Wise Bread TweetChat
  • Dealista Episode

Plus, they will have a permanent spot at our "Highlights of the Week" box in the middle of the homepage:

 

Rate Our Stories

We want you to be the editor of Wise Bread.  At the end of each article is a ratings bar where you can evaluate the usefulness of the article: 

Your votes will determine which stories get prominently featured on Wise Bread, and direct the type of stories we'll produce in the future.

 

Finding Daily Deals

You can find our popular Daily Deals feature at several spots around Wise Bread.

Beneath the latest stories section on the homepage:

On the top drop-down navigation menu:

And in the right column on every article page:

 

 Commenting System

Your wonderful comments are the foundation of our community.  We've worked hard to improve our commenting system.  New features include:

  • Nested Comments:  You can now reply directly to a comment and have your reply appear nested under the original comment.
  • Avatar: Show us what you look like by singing up for a free Gravatar, an avatar that is linked to your email so you can use them on all sorts of blogs, including Wise Bread.
  • Subscribe to Commenting Thread: This feature is coming soon in the next few weeks.  Never miss another riveting Wise Bread conversation again!

 

Featured Columnists

Throughout the site we'll be highlighting authors who have written the most helpful articles on Wise Bread:

 

Share Your Suggestions and Win $25

How do you feel about the new design?  Do you have problems finding your way around?  Please share your suggestions, report any bugs, or ask us any questions about the new changes.

We're giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate to one random commenter in this thread.  Contest ends 4/30.  Thank you for helping us improve Wise Bread!

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Guest's picture
Guest

Slick design. Congratulations.

Guest's picture
Trang

I think the new design is too cluttered, but colorful.

And none of my comments were posting to this thread earlier; they all went to the Roth IRA article.  :(

Will Chen's picture

@Trang Thanks for your feedback!  Sorry about the mixup with the comments.  Is there a particular part that feels the most cluttered to you? (e.g. header, the carousel on the home page, the spot below the carousel on the homepage, etc).

Guest's picture
Trang

I think that the layout is too busy.  Since you have divided the articles up into different categories, it's now hard to tell which ones are new.  Some of the top deals are from previous days as well; it's hard to tell which ones are current.

Will Chen's picture

Thanks Trang! That's a good point about the inability to identify new content.  We'll definitely consider tweaking that (maybe a "latest" label?).  We're dealing with some technical difficulties with the deals.  It should be back to normal in a few days (both on the website and on the email newsletter).

Trang, since you think the new layout is a bit too busy, are you going to use Wise Bread via the "classic" view?

http://www.wisebread.com/all

Xin Lu's picture
Xin Lu

So far I like the new design since it features a lot more articles. 

 

Will Chen's picture

Thanks Xin, I'm glad you like it!  You guys have written so many wonderful articles that we want to make sure they all get a chance to shine.

Will Chen's picture

Hi guys, we're having a little trouble with our commenting system. If you tried to leave a comment here but don't see it, don't worry. It probably isn't lost. It just got reposted somewhere else on our site. We're working hard to fix this problem!

Guest's picture
Kristin

My suggestion: My RSS feed no longer works... might want to see if it can be redirected or leave a message on the old one saying you need to update the URL.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for the feedback Kristin!  We fixed a couple of RSS problems over the weekend.  Are you still having problems? If so, can you tell me which RSS feed you're having trouble with?  (The full feed, a specific feed to a readers, or a specific read to a category?)

Guest's picture
Jessica

I love the new layout but am disappointed with the Deals of the day section. I see that when you scroll it makes it appear that what you are seeing are many deals of the day when in fact they aren't. Some of the deals were from yesterday. You should add the date at the bottom of the deal or be able to scroll by date to see what deals are offered.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your feedback Jessica!  We're experiencing some technical difficulties with the deals section.  But it should all be fixed in a few days.  When everything is fixed, you will only see new deals in the scroll. We know how important it is to get the latest deals.  =)

Guest's picture
Caity

I think that the site is a little busy, almost to the point of being confusing. I think a simpler layout (like the old one) would be more reader-friendly. I also don't like the flipping headline slides, since it's hard to tell which articles I've already read. The simpler, linear format made it a lot easier to stop by and catch up on the articles quickly.

I do like having more new articles, though!

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your feedback CAITY!  Would you mind pointing out the specific parts of the new homepage that is especially confusing?  Are you going to use Wise Bread via the "classic" view?

http://www.wisebread.com/all

Regarding the slides, what kind of changes would you like to see?  Would you like us to only feature today's new articles in the slides (currently they feature popular articles from the last few weeks)?

Guest's picture
Guest

New design looks great. Do you still have the Deals and Coupon page with the compilation of deals from various sites? I couldn't find it...
btw, it looks like the Forum link is broken.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your feedback!  The forum link has been fixed.  I'm not sure if the compilation page is finished.  I'll reply once I find out from our tech gurus.

Guest's picture

It's lookin' good! Though I'll miss the old look too!

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you Tom, and congrats on the launch of the new Money Mavens Network!

Guest's picture
Leo Fair

So far I like that this makes it easier to find older articles (It's a frugality site; those leftovers are still good. Read them!) Although, I don't think an article on Halloween costumes will be much use to me right now. (Unless I was a hardcore costumer, but then I'd be looking for information independently wouldn't I?)

I'm waiting until the best deals today are updated to comment on that.

Moving the money tips network updates down to the bottom of the page is not dissimilar to removing it from the site entirely. Not for me since I like, and am willing to hunt for, it. (I'm not RSSing all the blogs there, but I do like to browse the box for interesting articles) But, I'm wondering if most new readers would even notice it down there.

I agree with Caity that it's a little busy, but I like the new layout. The biggest reason for that being that you have a lot of good, varied information to the left while keeping your ads and links tastefully contained to the right and top. I think the addition of categories to the front page was a good move, since articles might skew towards one area in any given week (I'm thinking of holidays in particular.) and this provides balance.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for that insightful analysis Leo!  Good point about the Halloween article.  I've passed that on to our editors. They will make the changes shortly.

We're still fixing a few bugs for the best deals section. Please check back in a few days and tell us what you think.

Our usability tests tell us that a good percentage of our users are willing to scroll down to the bottom of the page.  So we think people will find it down there.  However, you do make a good point so we'll definitely keep an eye out for any significant drop in traffic for the Money Tips Network.

I'm glad you like the categories!  Making sure readers know we have lots of different categories is a big part of our redesign efforts.

Guest's picture
Channing

I tried to subscribe to best deals and it asked for my first and last name. I hit subscribed and was acousted by a large screen that said it wasn't valid! Please fix it.

After seeing a suggestion in LHJ, I checked out the site and am love with the colors and contents! I feel like most of the pages are great but most of the stories are popping up at the bottom :(

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Hi Channing! Thank you so much for your feedback.

Our best deals subscription process should only ask for the email address (and not the first and last name).  Can you show me which page (url) you were on when you tried to sign up?

If you are still having problems, please message us via http://www.wisebread.com/node/3536 and we'll set up your subscription for you.

"Most of the stories are popping up at the bottom."

Woo that's not a good sign.  What pages do you see this error on?  What browser are you using?

Guest's picture
Guest

I like everything so far

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you! We're thrilled that you like it!

Guest's picture
Sushi

The new design looks more mature than the old design. I miss the pig, though!

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your kind words. The pig will always be a mascot for us.  You'll definitely see him around!  =)

Guest's picture
Len Penzo

Although I love the utility of the new site I really miss the pig.  I grew attached to that little fella - my near-sighted porcine friend. I think from a branding perspective, you made a mistake by getting rid of porky.  The piggy bank has a clear relationship to money and personal finance, but I'm having trouble reconciling how the new logo relates...

I think I might be taking this too seriously.  Maybe I need counseling.  LOL

All the best,

Len

Len Penzo dot Com

 

 

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Len we're excited when our readers tell us how much they care about Wise Bread!  =)

Thank you for your insights. The pig will never be gone from Wise Bread completely.  Our piggy will always be our mascot here on Wise Bread.

Guest's picture
Kevin

I like that I don't have to go to another page to see the deals. Overall it looks really clean. I like it.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you Kevin! I love these new gravatars. I can finally see what our readers look like.  Nice to meet ya (tips hat).

Guest's picture
Sandra

Aloha!  I like the new look. Change is always refreshing in any application. Hoping that I will be able to spend alot more time on the site browsing around and taking in all the great information.  Keep up the great work!  Mahalo

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your kind words Sandra. We're dedicated to bringing you a lot more money and time-saving tips, so every extra minute you spend browsing Wise Bread will be a wise investment in the long run.

Guest's picture
Amy

I like the new design, but I miss the Best Deals aggregator page. Please bring it back! Thanks!

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for the feedback Amy. I think that page is still around...somehwere.  I'll track down the page for you.

Guest's picture
ryan

It is quite colorful, but I guess there could be worse things. For those of us that get it in through feedburner the only change is more articles.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your feedback Ryan! Have you experienced any problems in the RSS feed?

Guest's picture

I do love the blog and I liked the new layout. I am a new here, but I remember the old layout, I prefer the new one. The daily deals are great though I cant't use them here in Brazil and most of blogs'tips. The ones I can I do. For example, there are no coupons around here. Yeah, no coupons. 

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your feedback Erica!  Bigger sites have international editions (e.g. Lifehacker has Australian and Japanese editions).  So hopefully in the near future we can expand our tips and deals to cover Brazil. Why don't you guys have coupons?

Guest's picture
Kathryn

I don't understand the meaning or symbolism behind the new logo at all. I do like being able to rate articles, though.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your feedback Kathryn! Please rate lots and lots of articles!  We want to make sure that our articles help solve the kind of problems our readers face on a daily basis.

I agree the new logo's symbolism is not as direct as the piggy.  But fear not, the piggy is still our mascot and you'll bee seeing him around the site.  =)

Guest's picture

It'll take a while to get used to the new design.  Even though I miss the pig, I like the new graphic.

My big pet peeve is that the twitter chat is at 2 pm west coast time each week when most people are still at work.  Can you move it to the evening?

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Hi BB!

Thank you for your feedback.  When is the best time for you?  We'll definitely keep that in mind when we create more chats in the future.

Guest's picture
katie

I prefer the simpler design of the old one. Sorry!

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your honest opinion Katie!  No need to apologize, your opinion is very important to us.

Will you be using the classic Wise Bread view then?

http://www.wisebread.com/all

Guest's picture
Bobbi

I love the look! It is clean and the colors are wonderful. The site seems to be manageable to me. :) Thank you.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your kind words Bobbi!  We're thrilled that you like the new look. 

Guest's picture
Samantha Dreiling

The extra information is great, but it is a little busy. There is so much information on each page, links and such, that it can be distracting.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your insight Samantha.  Are there any specific parts of the page that are especially busy? (e.g. header, the carousel on the home page, the spot below the carousel on the homepage, etc).

 

ARe you going to use Wise Bread via the "classic" view?

http://www.wisebread.com/all

Guest's picture

I like the new look but I also must admit to missing the piggy a tiny bit. 

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your kind words. Our piggy is still our mascot!  You'll bee seeing him around quite a bit on Wise Bread.

Guest's picture
Lisa

I always read you in rss, but had to check out the new look.  It looks great.  Like the pulldown menus from the top navigation bar.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you Lisa, for your kind words (and for being a loyal subscriber).  I'm glad you find the pulldown menu useful.  The old menu wasn't very user friendly.  We hope this will encourage people to explore all the different categories available on Wise Bread!

Guest's picture
Night Runner

The design is irrelevant - it's the content that matters. Write less about ways to pinch pennies or save on sales, and more about setting up passive streams of income, freelancing, and earning more money in this horrible economy.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for the feedback Night Runner!  We're definitely going to be adding a lot more articles about finding jobs and starting your own business.  Please remember to rate as many stories on Wise Bread as possible, so you can determine what type of stories get published on Wise Bread.

Guest's picture
KelR1

Wow, I was so surprised when I visited the site today! The new look is more modern and slick. I do like the aesthetics. Right now, I'm still getting used to navigating my way around the new layout, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it. :) I do like the fact that there are more new articles. I would like to see more pieces for average everyday penny-pinchers like myself on increasing income, saving more, budgeting, and simple ways to achieve financial goals.

 

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your kind words KelR1! What kind of problems do you have with the new navigation scheme?  I know it can be confusing so please don't hesitate to tell us (if you can't find something, it is OUR fault, not yours).  Those are all great topic suggestions! Please remember to rate our articles so we can tailor more content to your needs.

Guest's picture
Claressa Bowens

I like the new design especially rate the use fullness of the article. One of the articles had ways to keep from throwing money away on: paper towels, paper plates, trash bags helped me save a nice amount. Thanks 

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

  Thank you Claressa! Don't forget to rate all the articles you read so we can keep producing helpful articles.

Guest's picture
Charla

I think it would really be neat if you color-coded the headings for the various tips--for example, the section for household finance tips are blue; car repair tips are red, etc. Readers could find specific topics they're looking for just by glancing at the heading.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thanks Charla, that's a very cool idea.  Sort of like how The Guardian has a different primary color for each section?  We'll definitely keep that in mind for future design upgrades.

Guest's picture
Gil

Miss the pig icon too, now the "logo" is as just another logo - not memorable in the silghtest. :(

Also, I agree you can probably see and find more articles on topics that you might be looking for but for the Wisebread readers who has been up to date in reading all the articles, it's extra clicks to see what's new in every category. Although probably just a preference thing. But overall, will take some getting used to, and not a bad redesign (minus the logo thing).

Oh, and last thing, the article title could be larger/stand out more. The font difference between that header and the other headers within the article are not easily distinguishable when scrolling through the page quickly. 

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your comments Gil! The piggy will still be around the site as our mascot.  You'll see him on lots of pages.  =)

Would you prefer to use the Wise Bread "classic" view? 

http://www.wisebread.com/all

On the top of the homepage you will still be able to see the 3 newest stories for each category, so you can see 12 new stories (3 per section) without scrolling down too far on the homepage. 

I like the idea of the larger article titles.  I will bring this up with our designer.  Thanks!

Guest's picture
Gil

Oh, btw, are we all supposed to be posting as "Guest" now. I thought there used to be a "sign in", but don't see it. Did I miss it somewhere?

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

That's a good question. Let me ask our tech guru and find out.  Thanks!

Guest's picture
Guest

Visually it looks nice, but I agree with some previous posters that the old design was more reader-friendly.  Also, the slideshow at the top moves too fast.  I can't even get through half of the teaser/blurb before it switches to another article.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your feedback!  What is your ideal time interval for teaser changes (right now I think is 5 seconds)?

Guest's picture
Carmen

Looks great!  I'm subscribed through RSS because I love to to preview the articles - but I end up clicking on most of them anyway to read in my browser! :)

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thanks Carmen! When you click on the articles to read in your browser you make our advertisers happy and directly support our writers.  =)

Guest's picture
Janetbass

I miss the little pig on my favorites link!

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Hi Janet, we promise the pig will remain our mascot and ambassador.  =)

We might be giving away some piggy mugs and shirts in the future as prizes.  Do you think that would be more fun than just $20 Amazon gift certificates?

Guest's picture
BRB

The star rating system is nice.  It will be really nice to have an idea of what other people think about an article.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you! It is a lot of fun to see how people rated stories.  I love it when people explain their ratings in the comments so we can get a better sense of why a story worked or didn't.

Guest's picture
Cathy R

I actually like the new design.  I think it catagorizes things more efficiently.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your insights Cathy! A lot of people have been telling us that they didn't know Wise Bread covered so many topics.  I'm glad the new design helps highlight the categories.

Guest's picture

It seems more similar to a other word press blogs I read.  I like it fine!  I'd personally like to see a HOME page to the left of personal finance, but people will grow accustomed to whatever.  Good job, I know its a lot of work!

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you Kimberly.  Good eye! Our new design is indeed inspired by many of the fantastic magazine-style Wordpress themes we've seen in the last couple of years.  You can still navigate back to the homepage by clicking on the logo, and on top of every article page there is a breadcrumb that takes you back to the homepage.  I hope that's not too confusing.  =)

Guest's picture
Steph

I like the new design and features, but the website colors are too bright- they hurt my eyes and are boring blue and white!

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your feedback Steph.  We wouldn't want to cause our readers discomfort! It is good to know that the blue is too bright for some. We'll do some testing to see if we can tone down the brightness a little.

Guest's picture
Guest

I have to agree that it seems cluttered and confusing. I think I'll stick with the old layout, but I'm glad you'll be adding more tips.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you for your insights!  It is good to know that some people prefer the Wise Bread "classic" view.  =)

Would you mind pointing out the specific spots on the website that are especially confusing (e.g. header, the carousel on the home page, the spot below the carousel on the homepage, the area below the article body, etc)?

Guest's picture

I REALLY prefer the new layout...it's so much more streamlined and easier to navigate. I like that the articles are separated by topic on the home screen.

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Thank you Nicolle. We hope the topic headings will help people discover all that Wise Bread has to offer! By the way, I love this quote from your bio: "I have absolutely no idea what I want to do when I grow up except that I want to be awesome."