At this point, you have all noticed the new design for Redleg Nation that I just dropped on everyone without any warning whatsoever. (If you haven’t noticed, you aren’t very observant.)

The image at the top of the site is what Redleg Nation looked like all the way back in 2005, when we launched this particular little corner of the internet. I know change is hard, but we’ve changed the way RN looks and feels at least three times over the years (this will be our fourth), and I hope each change has made things better for you, the loyal readers. But no matter what the site looks like, not much will change about the content we’re providing. My goals for the Nation remain the same as they were in 2005: interesting Reds discussion, a community of fellow obsessive fans, and very few (if any) ads cluttering up the place.

I don’t want to change for change’s sake, though. There’s nothing wrong with the site design we’ve had the last few years — it had become pretty comfy; it was home — but I’ve been tinkering. It’s all in an effort to bring you the Cincinnati Reds coverage and community that you’ve come to expect from the Nation, but being able to deliver it in a quick and easy-to-use format, whether you’re on a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, or on mobile. Mobile, in fact, is how more and more of you are experiencing the Nation these days. We want to serve our mobile readers just as we’ve served our desktop readers for the last 13+ years. The mobile revolution is, without question, the biggest change between how RN functions now and how it operated in 2005.

We are a community, however, and I really do want and value your feedback. I appreciate the comments of those of you who have already weighed in, either here or on Twitter. Rest assured, I’ve read and take seriously every single one of them. Before I make a final decision, I’ll take all of the feedback into consideration.

So…you notice I said “final decision” above. I’ve been tinkering with two different themes for the site. Around midnight tonight, I’m going to flip the switch on the other new design for the Nation. I want to know which you prefer, and why? If you have specific thoughts about either design, whether it’s your preference or not, let’s hear it. Just let me know if you are talking about today’s (Saturday) site or tomorrow’s (Sunday). They’re similar, but with some significant differences.

However the site looks on Opening Day, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the fact that so many of you actually care what Redleg Nation looks like. I’m grateful that you call this place home, and I hope you’ll be here for a long time, even after this messy remodel.

73 Responses

  1. Bill Moore

    I like the site before the last change tho I’m getting used to it now I’m a new reader started last year. Thanks for being OCD ON THE Reds lol

  2. Shchi Cossack

    Two changes in two days! Are you trying to make the Old Cossack’s head explode!

  3. Wayne nabors

    This black back drop gonna take some getting used to

  4. VaRedsFan

    I love the front page banner of old and new Reds. In fact, is there a place I can purchase this?

    The one thing I don’t like is when making a comment in a thread, after posting it, I am then returned to the top of the page, and I have to scroll back down to where I was. In a big thread, that can get tedious.

    • Chad Dotson

      Hmmm…is it doing that every time? Because it brings me back to the comment, just like in the old design.

      • VaRedsFan

        Hmmm…perhaps some others can weigh in. (using laptop/firefox)

      • lwblogger2

        Desktop and Firefox here and I am observing the same behavior you are. When I comment, I am returned to the top of the page. Also, it takes a very long time for my comments to post. I get “Submitting Comment” after a couple seconds and it goes a couple seconds, then the comment posts.

      • VaRedsFan

        oh…and yes, every time for the last 2-3 or so weeks.

      • lwblogger2

        Desktop and Firefox here and I am observing the same behavior VAREDSFAN is. When I comment, I am returned to the top of the page. Also, it takes a very long time for my comments to post. It took 16 seconds to post the reply I sent to VAREDSFAN.

        Look and feel gets high marks. I like the look of the site for sure. It’s easy on the eyes and very clean.

  5. VaRedsFan

    Is this a reaction to our beloved Cavaliers losing?

  6. Shchi Cossack

    One suggestion on the Saturday format…

    I would prefer the RECENT POSTS and RECENT COMMENTS listings at the top. I’m not sure how to make that work in the Saturday format unless the Current Post is displayed in the left frame rather than the right frame. That would probably require resizing the frames. I would also prefer fewer RECENT POSTS listed so a few of the most recent RECENT COMMENTS would display on the same screen below the RECENT POSTS.

    I guess that’s actually more than one suggestion.

    I’m really good with whatever format you provide. It just caught me by surprise this morning and took me a little while to acclimate. It’s the content and discourse that keeps bringing me back and participating, not the format. I am looking forward to seeing your second alternative tomorrow morning now. GO REDS!!!

    Thanks Chad.

    • VaRedsFan

      I also liked that Recent Article/Recent comments section.

    • vegastypo

      What concerns me the most is easily being able to identify the latest comments and the latest threads. My little brain has been confused from searching since the changes. I’d rather save my confusion for trying to figure out Bryan Price’s strategy for when to pinch hit or otherwise remove a pitcher.

      • Matt WI

        Agree. Most important to me are the latest replies most of the time. I’d like that featured.

  7. Sandman

    Well, there you go. You’ve asked for feedback so I’ll be quiet about ppl giving their opinions without being asked. So, like I said on another article just a little bit ago…I don’t mind if you don’t mind.

  8. Scott Carter

    Im a cranky old guy, so I don’t like change. I do however enjoy the articles, so I will read it regardless of the packaging.

    • RedInIND

      I was wondering if there was anyone else out there like me. I really miss seeing the bylines and datelines as displayed in the previous version. And needing to hover over the grayed-out comments links to even see the number of comments on the article is not an improvement, at least to me.

      • Shchi Cossack

        That is easily remedied with a darker or colored shading, but I agree, it needs to be corrected.

  9. cherrybombers2013

    Ii finally figured out my gravitar.

  10. Keith

    This works a lot better on my phone. The old version and my phone didn’t seem to get along very well, so I would just avoid the site when using my phone.

  11. cfd3000

    Chad – I come for the content and the community. Presentation doesn’t really matter to me. That said, I’m almost exclusively on RLN on my iPad, so this change that seems to be a more vertical presentation requiring more scrolling isn’t ideal for me. I’d rather you used more real estate side to side, so I can see more content and comments at once. At the very least if the commenter name and avatar was next to, instead of above, each comment, that’s a much more efficient use of space for me. But in the end I won’t be here any less (or more) than I already am, no matter what the presentation looks like.

    And while we’re on this general topic, I would love it if there was an open thread more often, perhaps once a week. I frequently find myself wondering about some Reds detail, thinking of articles I’d love to be able to discuss, or wanting to connect about Reds info that’s not specific to a game thread or particular discussion. As an example, I often see comments asking about some random aspect of the web site or a particular player or a play in a game that seem to be genuinely important to that person, but no one responds because it’s way off topic, though still Reds or RLN relevant. If there was a place to collect those open threads I’d be in favor.

    And last of all, as I’ve said many times here before. Thank you to you and Steve and Jason and Matt and Mary Beth and John and Jordan and EVERYONE who posts here and is passionate about the Reds. My Reds life and my baseball fan life are richer because of all of you.

  12. cfd3000

    Oh and I just had the same experience as VAREDSFAN. Posted and then was reset to the top of the thread.

  13. Michael Smith

    As a mainly mobile user this is 1000 times better

  14. Shchi Cossack

    I like the format of the Sunday style much better, but way too much empty white space. If the area for RECENT POSTS and RECENT COMMENTS could be locked in separate frames with their individual scroll capability, that would make navigating much easier for me. Again, if the number RECENT POSTS would be reduced so a few of the newest RECENT COMMENTS would display on the same screen, that would make it easier for my navigation. The Avatar thumbnails on the Sunday format could also be larger.

  15. Scooter Rolen

    I personally like the Sunday style over the Saturday, although both are nice. I especially like the image for the article being the background for the page. One suggestion would be to add a pop of red to the design, and that applies to either version. I also agree that the white background for comments is better, and the Sunday version gives the article a little more breathing room while still keeping the article’s image as part of the design (the background).

    Overall, I like the new style(s)! Might take a little bit to get comfortable with it, but that comes with any change.

    • Scooter Rolen

      For commenting, Sunday version does stay at your comment when submitted. I didn’t try to comment on the earlier version.

  16. IndyRedsFan

    Sunday version is much better. The white on black Comments format was extremely difficult to read.
    I would like to see “Recent Comments” on the Home Page. (I couldn’t see this feature until I opened an article….but, having typed that, I realize that might be purposeful on your part)

  17. Curtis


    I prefer you go back to the 2005 design.

  18. NorMich Red

    Just keep the good stuff coming, the rest is details! As a Reds’ fan who is now joyously marooned in beautiful Northern Michigan in A.L. territory (I do follow the Tigers as my # 3 team and my A.L. team of choice, but that is going to be a Price & Jocketty-esque burden for a while, it would appear), I enjoy the articles, the analytics, and, especially, the great dialogue with passionate fans of the Reds and their history. Oh, yeah, please send Spring here! Opening Day is Thursday, and I awakened to 14 degrees this morning, a little snow on the ground, and over a foot of ice on the little lake where I reside.

    All that said, I read my RN mostly via laptop, but anything that makes it more user friendly to other media, especially mobile, would be a good thing. Just make it easy to navigate for we crusty old types. Especially when the game is being played either in AZ or regular season, RL is typically where I start my day to get my attitude in the right spot.

  19. Andy

    I’m happy either way. As others have said, Black comments on white background probably better. I am a mobile-only user and both options seem huge upgrades over before. Whichever you choose, please make sure the newest game summary is easy to find, I’ve been frustrated before, scrolling past a dozen articles to find yesterday’s game. Maybe add a link to archive of RLN game summaries to the menu tab? Thanks for all the handy links to Reds schedule and stats in there, by the way!

  20. bouwills

    With the addition of Robinson Leyer to the fray, I count about 22 relievers (or pitchers mentioned to start the season in the Reds bullpen) in competition for about 15 jobs between the Reds & Bats BP. Even if Lorenzen starts the season on the DL, & Ariel Hernandez plus T. Rainey start the season in AA, there’s still several extra arms.. Plus I think there’s a couple extra sp between Reds & L’ville rosters. How the Reds management handles the Bats pitching staff will be almost as interesting as how they handle the Reds staff.

  21. VaRedsFan

    I like the Sunday version as well.

    • VaRedsFan

      Still scrolls to the top, but I’ll live

      • Chad Dotson

        Hmmm…that’s strange. It’s not doing that for me at all. Are you logged in through a WordPress account, or some other way?

      • VaRedsFan

        Only my email and username from this site. Should I be trying to log using WordPress or Facebook?

      • VaRedsFan

        Of course, as i replied above, The page bounced back to the proper place. (no scrolling) 🙂

  22. Sandman

    Since you’ve asked for feedback I guess I’ll put my 2 cents in. I like the Sunday format a lot better. The only thing I would point out is that the words underneath the Redlegnation banner/heading are a little hard to read (even though we know what it says). So, maybe you could fill that in a little more…if you want.

    • Chad Dotson

      There are a bunch of different banner images there (they rotate every time you load a page on the site). The tagline shows up better in some than others.

      If I decide to go with this theme, I’ll probably spend some time picking out banner images that work well (I’ve taken all the pictures that we’re using, so I’ll just have to dig through my archives to find good ones.)

  23. DetroitRedleg

    Been on mobile both days, prefer the Sunday format although both are on upgrade in my opinion for mobile users; keep up the great work, go Redlegs!

  24. cfd3000

    Chad please add another vote for the Sunday option. My earlier comments about horizontal vs vertical still apply, and I’d love to see a weekly open thread. Everything else relevant has already been presented. But I will add that this obviously took some real work as does RLN content on an ongoing basis. I am extremely grateful.

  25. Ted

    I definitely like the Sunday format better. Thanks!

  26. Nick Doran

    I vote for the Sunday version. Looks great and easier to find the articles I haven’t read yet.

  27. Craig Z

    I like the Sunday version better. I would also like more in the recent comments section, but it’s not that big a deal.

  28. Patrick Jeter

    I like them both. The previous design was getting a big long-in-the-tooth. But then again, I’ve always liked change.

  29. KDJ

    I am usually resistant to change something that is not broken, but this one works better on my laptop and on my phone. So, I liked it right away.

  30. Dave HI

    Chad, Sunday’s version is much better!

  31. msanmoore

    First change … looking good. Second adaptation … looking better.

    And from a phone it is WAY better than before.

  32. WVRedlegs

    Sunday is nicer. Much easier to read. That dark gray background was hard on the old eyes. Thank you for caring about feedback.

  33. tomn

    Either is a big improvement. Thanks for the hard work. Agree with the comment above that quickly finding yesterday’s game quickly is most important. Returning to the point you commented is also very important. Not sure all the differences between Sat and Sun but dark font on the white bg is probably best.

  34. musicclown

    I never saw the Saturday version, I didn’t come on the site that day. This Sunday version is ok, no complaints. I would like to see the date of each article before clicking on it. I know it’s there once I’m at the article. I’m a desktop user so any version should be ok with me.

    Do I have to log in for each post? I seem to be logging in again for my second post.

    • Chad Dotson

      No, you shouldn’t have to log in each time. If that keeps happening, please let me know.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Chad, you changed your avatar!? The changes just never stop.

      • Chad Dotson

        Change is good! Still tinkering…

      • Shchi Cossack

        If you can tinker with a new manager too, I’m all in!

      • Chad Dotson

        Buddy, if I had that much power, I wouldn’t be tinkering with a website!

  35. Jeff Reed

    I like the ‘Recent Comments’ and ‘Recent Posts’ at the beginning of the blog and the lighter background is very good. Thank you.

  36. jtburns11

    These updates are a huge improvement on mobile. I also like how the Sunday version looks on a desktop.

    I remember there used to be a little section on the top of the page where I could login with my wordpress account and see if I had any notifications. Now I can only login when I’m commenting and have no idea if anyone responds unless I go back to the page or choose the “notify via email” option. Is this a problem on my end? If not, I’d love to see that notification bell added back.

    Other than that I like the new look. The homepage reminds me of the Athletic layout a little bit.

  37. cliff campbell

    First time- long time. I want to see “Recent Posts” and ‘Recent Comments” at top of page. I don’t like the color pics taking up all the space. But love the site and visit almost every day. I appreciate all the work it takes to make it go.

  38. gusnwally

    We all resist change to different degrees. But, we all get used to it at some point. I think it looks pretty darn good. I am sure we will all be happy with it and appreciate everything you and the gang do for us.

  39. Thomas Jefferson

    Great with change, but not seeing a quick way to see the most recent comments – have to drill into each article. Like many other here, like the community and ability to read and post to certain people and threads. The mobile access is much better (iPhone 6S user), but I mostly use my laptop or desktop. Thanks, Chad!

  40. Ken

    Anyone notice as you scroll down the main page, the articles randomly rearrange themselves? It’s disconcerting to say the least.