Big Changes Coming 2/1

Two full weeks is a long time to go between blog posts. The longest in a while, actually. But I wanted to check in with everyone to say I'm hard at work behind the scenes on a major relaunch of Icethetics. The big switch happens on Feb. 1.

This is different from the annual blog refresh I usually implement. It's much more than a redesign. I'm changing a lot about the way Icethetics works. And, of course, it will look completely different as well. (You won't even recognize it!) Don't worry, it's all for the best.

New Features

The biggest change to the content of the site will come in the form of a new weekly feature series. Every weekend I'll be posting in-depth articles on relevant topics. Those stories will be the focus on the new home page. This feature will ensure regular updates to the site as well as giving readers a little something beyond the day-to-day news — especially when it's light.

Speaking of the news, the blog will be getting a bit of an overhaul as well. New blog posts will be very short and to the point and should come more frequently, depending on what's going on. Over the long weekend, I shared on Twitter a sneak peek at how blog posts will appear on the new site.

Icethetics will get more than a facelift in 2014

I've tweaked the Icethetics logo and nav bar, as you can see. And the site will start taking its color cues from the teams in the news. Plus, the background texture just feels right for a site about hockey jerseys.

I also plan to expand IceHL fantasy league coverage with individual team history pages (which will likely replace the annual yearbooks). The jersey galleries will be reimagined (again). And in the coming months, we're returning to our roots with a new NHL Tournament of Logos (and other minor leagues to follow).

Formatted for Mobile

Another feature I'm really excited about is the new responsive design. If you read Icethetics on your smartphone, the site will be specially formatted for the smaller handheld screen. No more zooming and panning around.

What's Not Changing

I suppose just as important as what's changing is what's not changing. The Concepts page will continue to see daily posts and you'll still have access to great Icethetics-exclusive templates.

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them. Email or comment. Just be sure to mark your calendar for February 1!

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Reader Comments (11)

What about maps? I thought this was a very unique feature that only needed to be updated annually, but provided a great historical reference. Would be nice to see that one updated and it kept on the site somewhere - as clearly a lot of work has already been put in to have all of them in there. :)

Jan 23 · 10:25 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterScooter G.

A very nice re-brand over the horizon! I love it! From the color themes, to the new layout, to the new weekly feature series, to the return of the Tournament of Logos (something I never got to witness as I haven't been on here long enough), to pretty much everything else, this is looking to be a nice step forward!

A few questions for you, Chris.

Firstly, what software do you use to make and code this website? I'm not too knowledgable on that subject, but I'm just curious.

Secondly, the Torunament of Logos. I wasn't around for the first one, but I'm guessing it's going to be a voting tournament for the readers' favorite logo in the league? Will it only be primary logos, or will alternates be thrown in there too? Will it just be current, or will it have a mix of present and past logos, or will there be seperate torunaments for each?

Also, next to my laptop, I alternatively browse websites such as this one on my iPad. The problem with a lot of mobile versions of websites is that they're designed for use on phones, not tablets, so when I go on a mobile site made for a phone, it looks awful on my tablet, considering it's bigger and has a different aspect ratio, so the format and text size are all messed up. Since you only mentioned smartphones, will this mobile version be optimized for them only, or will there be a specific version that looks nice on tablets as well? And also, if one wanted to, will there be a way to switch back to the desktop version?

Thank you so much for running this wonderful site, Chris. I can't wait for the big changes. Keep up the good work!

Jan 23 · 10:34 AM PST | Registered CommenterNASCARFAN160

Nice! But hopefully the background for concepts won't change!

Jan 23 · 12:00 PM PST | Registered CommenterVarun Ujju

Looking forward to this, though!

Jan 23 · 12:00 PM PST | Registered CommenterVarun Ujju

Thanks for the hard work. Love the blog.

Jan 23 · 1:46 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterRuss G (Go Kings!)

When I first started reading this site, when you changed it to the way it is currently, I hated it then it grew on me so I have a feeling that you will do it right once again. I can't wait to see the relaunch and speaking of the relaunch, will it come with a JerseyWatch?

Jan 23 · 6:50 PM PST | Unregistered CommenterR

It's funny I have always thought that this site has had great web design! The new design looks even better though!

Jan 23 · 7:18 PM PST | Registered CommenterAlex Ward

@Scooter G: Good question about the maps. Haven't thought much about it yet. I like them so I'll probably find a place for them on the new site.

@NASCARFAN160: I'll try to answer them all.

1) I use Squarespace to host the site. They have an excellent framework for building websites and some sharp templates. But I have enough HTML and CSS coding knowledge to give Icethetics its own flavor.

2) Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. Readers vote in head-to-head match-ups. We'll probably start with primary logos and branch out to secondary and alternate marks. Might even sneak in some jerseys if we're lucky. There's a lot we can do so keep an eye out for it.

3) The mobile version will only be triggered if your screen is smaller than 700 pixels wide. Most tablets are much larger than that these days, so you'll most likely see the full desktop version. But if you're on a smaller device that triggers the mobile site, you will not be able to switch to the full version. (That's baked in by Squarespace.) You'd have to see if there's a setting in your device's browser that allows you to bypass mobile sites.

Thanks for the compliments!

@Varun Ujju: The background for the concepts will not change.

@R: Thanks and I'm sure you'll like the new version. It's a big step up in design for a site that's all about design.

@Alex Ward: Thanks, Alex! The best part is you ain't seen nothin' yet. Looking forward to rolling out the whole site. Just about a week away now!

Jan 24 · 4:57 PM PST | Registered CommenterChris

All the posts (blogs/custom/IceHL) and tags will be carried over, right?

Jan 24 · 7:18 PM PST | Registered CommenterNASCARFAN160

@ Chris, I would like to see a Jersey tournament! Start with each team jersey sets from years past and go from there! Working as an Usher at CONSOL, starting to see ALOT of Crosby an Malkin Pens jersey in the '91/'92 style (F'n sweet as hell and wish the Pens would go with that!!)

Jan 25 · 8:48 AM PST | Unregistered Commenter91Pens92

The new site format and the logo look great! Can't wait to see it!

Jan 25 · 9:07 AM PST | Unregistered CommenterAaron12

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