Our New Website Is Here!

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We successfully launched our new website this afternoon. Like any change I expect there to be an adjustment period for all of us. I also expect to hear feedback – likes, dislikes, frustrations, “wish it would…” thoughts and other reactions. Those will be very valuable to us as we modify, tweak, adjust and hone in on a site design that is easy-to-use for both long-timers and newbies.

Please feel free to leave comments after this blog post with your questions and feedback – good o0r bad (but always respectful). I am all ears. If you prefer to communicate with me privately, then email me via this contact form.

About Carrie Rocha

I am passionate about helping people live within their means so they can get out and stay out of debt. I live in Minneapolis, MN with my husband and two little girls.

Comments

  1. Angie W says:

    Love the new look! The new font is great – so easy to read! :)

    I am finding it hard to read the comments without the lines to separate them. It just seems harder to follow for me.

  2. SarahBeth says:

    Wow it's here!! So glad it went smoothly for you. I'm sure it was covered in prayer! One suggestion: Under Toolbox and Conversations it might be nice to have the SUBJECT SPECIFIC open mic conversations at the top – just like under the shopping lists you put the store rules post at the top. That way these ones are the first thing people see and they can read those posts before bringing up an "old subject" again. (BTW I absolutely LOVE the topic specific Open Mics – mostly because it keeps responses all clean and neat and linked together in one spot.)

  3. Jennifer says:

    Any chance the printable coupons on the shopping lists could be in bold or underlined or something to make them stand out? Maybe it's just my computer screen or my eyes! But it's hard to distinguish the difference between the regular text and the printable links.

  4. I am viewing the new website from my iPad and it is really busy. I am used to checking your website daily to see the new links/deals posted daily. It was always on the home page. Are they in one place still or do I now have to go to around through all of the different sections to find the new daily additions?

  5. While the updated format has a cleaner, fresher look to it I did find it a bit harder to navigate and read – maybe it's just me but I was totally lost. I agree that it would be a lot easier to distinguish between the printable coupon links and the rest of the text if they were in another color, underlined or in bold to make them stand out. The maroon blends in too much with the black type making it very hard to see. Maybe something like green, blue or red. Also I liked the blue banner colors in the old format better – the burnt orange doesn't seem to be as cheery looking.

  6. Jessie M says:

    Glad Aldi is on the "main list' now :)

  7. Busy busy with ads and layout. Also, everything under the top menu bar should be shifted down…when you scroll over the list sits on top of text. That is my first round of feedback. I can't tell yet if it is just change or if it is truly hard to navigate?

  8. I like all the drop down menus at the top and how they open when you hover, but it would be better if there were a light background color behind the drop downs other than white. They run into and overlap text and graphics. With matching backgrounds, it's very hard to read and focus on just the drop downs.

  9. Michelle says:

    I love that you added "Get started tips". I tried to get a friend to use your site and she was overwhelmed. This addition might help her decide to use this site. By the way, under Pocket Your Dollars, you have "life, within your means". Is that the way it is supposed to be or do you want it to say "live"?

    • Michelle – We are going to add some site tour videos too that should really help newbies get acclimated. As for the tagline, first, glad you even noticed that it changed. It is a period not a comma so it says "Life. Within your means." So yes, that is what I want it to say.

  10. The lack of border even prior to the new website was bothersome and the invasive banners and ads (that are as large as your content) are annoying. I'm not sure what your goal was in changing the format of your site as it seemed to work fine (except for the lack of any border recently). Good luck with the changes and keep up the great work PYD crew!!

  11. SarahBeth says:

    Under "Shopping Lists" and "Other Stores" the page is blank. Should something be there (like Coborns) or what will this be used for?

  12. SarahBeth says:

    The "Other Stores" link at the bottom of the page seems to work fine, but the one at the top seems blank. Also, where do you find the Coborns lists now??

  13. Nice upgrade Carrie! Just one wish list thing I've always wanted… when I click on a post from my e-mail inbox, I would love to see it go directly to that comment to reply. I clicked on the link to Andy's post asking for Cataline information this morning and came to a page with only a few comments and couldn't find Andy's. Here's the link sent to me on Andy's comment: http://www.pocketyourdollars.com/2012/03/rainbow-

    Even when I clicked on "see all comments" link, it took me to the same page, no Andy… http://www.pocketyourdollars.com/2012/03/rainbow-

  14. I agree with the others it is to busy now. it strains my eyes to focus one one thing,and it seems hard to find the article I'm looking for with everything all cluttered around, could totally be just because of the change,I was looking at the old site for over 2 years now and I got very used to the way it was, might just take some time to get used to the changes. BTW the ads are HUGE now.

  15. I would REALLY like to see a link that lists ALL posts (newest to oldest) like the main page used to be. I don't mind if that isn't the home page, but I can't find a way to view all the entries in this fashion like I am used to. I like to be in the know by being able to view all the latests tips/lists/freebies/etc on one page.

    • Erin – Thanks for the comment. Can I ask some questions to get clarification a bit – and I welcome others to jump in with their thoughts. On the old site the home page showed the 11 most recent posts from any category. Then, when you clicked "see more" at the bottom of that page you saw more "deals & freebies" (not shopping lists and not other types of posts, just deals & freebies) in chronological order.

      On the new site you see the 4 most recent shopping lists, 4 most recent deal & freebies and 4 most recent blog posts. Every new post will show up in one of those three categories when we add it to the site. I don't imagine we'll ever add more than 4 blog posts in a day – so you'll always see any new ones on the home page. On Sundays we add more than 4 shopping lists, but most people access those by store name – not by list – so I didn't think that was a problem. That leaves the deals & freebies. You're right that now you can only see the 4 most recent, versus potentially 11 most recent, in the old layout. You can still get all the deals & freebies (sort of like clicking "see more posts" on the home page of the old site) by clicking "Deals & freebies" from the main navigation or "more" from the little banner with deals and freebies on the home page.

      With this understanding of how content will work/flow on the new site do you still want to see a chronological list of all content – whether shopping lists, deals & freebies or other posts (how-to articles, Open Mic, Reader Results, etc.))? It's fine if you do, I'm open to hearing that, but I want to see if a little more explanation makes any difference in your thinking.

      • Like Erin, I also enjoyed seeing all the posts in chronological order. I also agree this format doesn't have to be the home page, but it would be nice to have the option to see everything in one page. I really like the white background, the rest of the color scheme and the new pictures, though.

  16. Theresa says:

    This might take some getting used to – but it looks very nice!!! :)

  17. Miss just logging in and seeing what is new. It seems to be too cluttered and that might just be because there doesn't seem to be any definite separation lines between things. Also when I click on your favorite websites it doesn't take me to them. I am sure that it is all because I am so used to the old…sometimes it is hard to change. This used to be my go to website every day several times a day but with the new format might be just to time consuming. I need something quick and easy. I am very grateful for all you do.

  18. Love the new look — I find the simple white background to be very restful on my eyes, unlike some other commenters. And I like everything sorted by topic instead of just a list that runs chronologically — if I'm looking for info on a particular deal or topic, this will be much faster for me than scanning through posts sorted by date.

  19. Love the font!

    Did the slogan change too? From "Keeping your money where it belongs" to "Life. Within Your Means"?

  20. I was on the Rainbow page reading the comments but all I was able to get were the latest ones that showed up when viewing the main page – how do you get to the previous comments? There wasn't a previous page button like the old format had. Am I missing something? Thanks!

  21. Nevermind – finally found it hidden among some of the comments.

  22. love the new look, great job

  23. The new website looks great! I'm sure with time we will all be just as used to navigating it as the old one.

    I always thought it would be handy if on the shopping list links at the top of the page, there were a link next to each store that would take you to the current week's like (or latest list). This would purely be a matter of convenience in order to save navigating to the page for that store, and then going to the first list on there, but it's something I've thought about.

    Thanks!

    Alex

  24. Colleen says:

    Hi Carrie, The new font is hard to read. If you do not want to switch to the old font perhaps you could change the background color to something other than stark white as that may help ease the eye strain. Also, I went to the Target shopping list for this week and some of the text is cut off.

    • Jennifer says:

      I have to agree with you Colleen. For some reason the plain white background with the new font is hard on my eyes. I have to squint to ready the text.

  25. Brittany says:

    Is the "Printable Coupon Roundup" done? Or hiding in a category somewhere? I cant find any printable coupon articles. Are they done for?

    I agree it ineeds something at the top….A band of orange under the headers/logo to match the one at the bottom maybe. I'm not a fan of just the white and then the ads. Although it does make the ads stand out, so maybe that's the point?

    I also got a pop-up from OpinionMart..not sure but pop ups are no fun :(

    Overall I like it though!

  26. I have been following this website for a little over a year, I think the upgrade was well deserved! Everything looks great, looking forward to getting used to it, keep up the great work!

  27. I know change is hard for a lot of people…I used to work in IT and it's a slow change (not to mention bugs/issues that come up in production after you roll out). Was there a "one-pager" that highlights the changes (like a map that tells users where to find the "old stuff" in the new view?) Would be cool in a short video, too!

    I might have missed it, but have you thought about adding a "Blog" link so that users can just see the 15 items listed as before? (I noticed 5dollardinner.com did something similar when they changed). It's an extra click, but it's there for users if they want to see it. I know real estate is at a premium, but maybe something at the bottom under "Use the Toolbox" and have a link there?

    Overall, it's very well thought out and looks good!

  28. Love the new look! Fresh and crisp. I've been with you a while. Thanks for everything!

  29. I have to say I find the new font harder to read. I use a browser where I set fonts all larger than websites have them set to for my bad eyes. But this font is just odd and hard to read somehow.

    Second I find the main page is more about making money/ads and selling things then it is about helping others find good deals and coupons. Seems like maybe we are loosing our focus around here.

  30. I'm having a problem with the new design that most people probably

    won't encounter. I have low vision and need to enlarge whatever

    website I'm on quite a bit in order to read it. I've been doing that

    for a long time and it's never been a problem here or anywhere else.

    Now, however, if I enlarge PYD much at all, the left-hand margin

    disappears and the the text hugs the left side of the screen. The

    first letter of each line actually appears to almost run off the

    edge, which makes it difficult to read. Would you be able to add a

    buffer to the left-hand side to prevent it from doing that?

  31. I graduated from MCAD in graphic design and the critiques on our work sometimes felt very harsh. I don't want to come off that way and you have quit a lot of comments and suggestions to work through already. I wanted to tell you my thoughts and I hope they can be beneficial to you and resolve some of the issues others have noticed but can't quite put their finger on what actually is the problem.

    So here goes – from a designer standpoint.

    The new logo – love it. Like the pumpkin colors too.

    Than you move onto your image.

    The first thing I see after your logo is is what you are all about – your image (that's good) – the 1 box is a picture about saving your dollars. Picture 2 is about your success and being famous in creating PYD. It shows all the places you have been invited to speak at, etc. You're trying to convey your popularity and that you know what you are doing. Oops! Is this the image you want to convey? I usually link rich and famous together, so I'm going to say you are not like me – I'm just a common person trying to pay my bills and make ends. I need you to be like me – I need to feel like I'm able to connect with you. I don't connect with the rich and famous because I don't belong in that category. I'm guessing most of the people reading your blog don't either. In my opinion, this is the wrong image to convey. (Also, in my opinion from reading PYD for so long, you probably didn't noticed the message you conveyed) So my advice is,"Don't brag. I don't care if you put it somewhere else with smaller attention, but remove it from 1st place."

    Moving down: I love that you have your picture. I like this as part of your image to the public. I like that you don't look like a kid, but someone with experience and know how for this job. You look like someone I can relate to, someone who I can trust, and who I would like as a friend.That is a big plus!

    Now to get into the nitty- gritty.

    I also love your typeface you are using. I think it is beautiful. BUT it's wrong for what you are doing!!!! This typeface is more for titles or for small paragraphs (a few sentences) or large type sizes or things you don't want others to read – like small print in a document. It makes things hard to read. People lose their place and it's just confusing and I really want to read and maneuver around your site quickly to find what I need. For large amounts of type to read, your best choice is a typestyle with serifs. Notice in books you read. That's why styles like Times New Roman is so common. It's much easier to read.

    In looking at the homepage, it's too busy for me. The pictures are distracting me and I'm not sure what you want me to focus on. There are pictures on the sides and all over. It's confusing – everything is yelling for attention. What do you want people to look at first? Then downsize the other. A solution might be to reduce the size of the pictures or the width of the side column because it is competing with the rest of the page. Then I will know what I'm suppose to be focus on.

    It would be good to divide comments and other things with a line or box so it looks cleaner and clearer. I think you were trying to divide things with pictures. That might be fine, except for comments and such. It depends on the clarity after the typeface is changed.

    I had a hard time finding things. Why was your first one easier? I need to find things quickly. Sometimes back in college when we got our designs critiqued, we were told we threw out the baby with the bathwater. We threw out what was working. You did that a little. Look back and evaluate what changed that was working.

    I like the chronological list also. Then I can easily see if I have missed out on anything.

    Another thing. The columns are too narrow for the sentences (I'm looking at the homepage)That interfers with readability also. We are used to reading longer sentences going across a page.

    Well, I hope I have said some things that others haven't recognized. Sometimes people know something is wrong, but don't understand why it's wrong or why they are having a difficult time with something, so I wanted to try to evaluate and spell out for you the reasons and some solutions. I know you have worked very hard on this already and no one expects instant perfection. Allow yourself time.

    Thank you for all you do. I can not express the appreciation we feel for your work with PYD. I hope for you the very best. God bless.

    • Thanks for the thoughtful feedback. I'll take time to digest it all. I can't promise that I'll do everything you suggest, but I am listening with open ears. Thanks again for taking time to share your thoughts. I appreciate it more than you know.

  32. Hello,

    I love it! It is change and will take some getting use to. I did not realize until I read your post that the links on the different sections are the most current. Anyway, I think it looks more professional and organized. I appreciate all you do to help me save money!

    Thanks!

  33. Yes would also like to see all of the additions in a chronological list.

  34. Some of the links aren't working, none of the quick links go anywhere, they all route back to the homepage. The Toolbox link at the top takes me to "are you new here", unless that is what it is supposed to do? I wanted the coupon database but can't figure out how to get there since all of the links that I think might take me there don't. I'm trying to plan my trip today and now need to find another site :-(

    I also miss the chronological list since I liked to check in every couple of days and see what had been posted since my last visit. I haven't tried it yet, but I assume I could see a chronological list of all posts in a category if I clicked on that from the homepage? I.e. If I click on lists I could see all of the lists you posted for that week in chronological order?

    I do love the links to similar topics/posts at the bottom of the pages, would love to see the date posted on those too though so you know how far back you're going since much of your content is time sensitive.

    I love your shopping lists most and then your coupon round-up second, but I don't see a main category for coupon updates, not sure where to look for those.

  35. Your quick links on the main page don't link to anywhere…

    QUICK START LINKS

    Coupon Code Database

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Grocery Coupon Database

    Intro to the Shopping Lists

    Organic On a Budget

    • Cynthia – They are fixed. Thanks for pointing it out as they were working, then we fixed something else and broke those – whoops! Nonetheless, they work now.

  36. I have to agree…the new font is harder to read.

  37. Lisa – I am going to email you off this thread so we can work this through to a resolution. We can make some changes and you can test them until we get it right, okay?

  38. Brittany – A pop up? That's weird as I have not changed anything in my ad settings and have never heard of a pop up ad on the site. Before I spend time trying to figure that out I want to be sure that you are 100% convinced that the ad came from this site and not from any other sites you might have had open in other tabs or browser windows. Let me know so I know how to proceed. Thanks!

  39. Brittany – One other thing I forgot :) There is a link now to the "groceries" category from the "deals & freebies" option in the main navigation.

    • Brittany says:

      YAY thank you! And re: the popup…it hasn't happened since so it might have just been a late one from my work computer or something. I'll let you know if it happens again. Thanks again for all both of you do! :)

  40. Yes, BG – we changed the tagline too. Thanks for noticing.

  41. We made the "<<Older Comments" link bigger and bolder so it should be easier to find from now on.

  42. Colleen – When I look at the Target list I see all the text. Can you be more specific about which text is cut off and which internet browser you are using? Thanks!

  43. Joy – Funny thing about the ads – they are exactly the same size as they were on the other site :) I suspect that because the layout is new that they are much more noticeable now and after we all get used to this then they'll fade in the background for you, much like they probably had done on the old site.

    As for finding what you are looking for – remember that every new article will appear on the home page in one of the three major categories underneath the featured images. You can look for new content there and then click "more" to see more of what you might be interested in. Also, you can see everything in date order here http://www.pocketyourdollars.com/all-posts-by-dat

  44. HP – Did you find the ads on the old site as disruptive as these seem to be? I ask because we have the same quantity, same size and they are placed in the same positions as they were on the old site. Let me know what you think.

  45. Jodi – We added a border around the drop down menus. Does this sufficiently fix the problem, in your opinion, or no?

  46. M – We added an underline to all the hyperlinks on the site so they are much easier to differentiate now from the other text. Thanks for pointing that out.

  47. Julie – Like I've shared elsewhere on this thread – the home page still has the most current deals, just like the old site. The difference is that now the new posts are broken into one of three categories (more like how news websites break their stories into categories). You will see the 4 most recent shopping lists, 4 most recent deals & freebies and 4 most recent blog posts on the home page. If you want to see all posts by date order, then you can go here: http://www.pocketyourdollars.com/all-posts-by-dat

  48. Kathleen says:

    Thanks for all you do and congratulations on an updated look! Overall, I really like it and think you are headed in the right direction. Agree with other posters though, the layout seems to emphasize ads over content and seems busy. When I come to the website the first thing I see is the large banner advertising all the places that Pocket Your Dollars has been featured. All that is visible without scrolling down is banners and ads. Would at least like to see the latest post or some sort of content right up at the top.

    Also, I am finding the font difficult to read against the bright white background. Everything seems too close together. Good luck, big changes can be difficult.

  49. Well I always struggle with change….but the site looks great. Thank you for all your hard work.

  50. I don't mind the new website… I usually look at it with my iPad and the text feels really big now. I can't seem to unzoom so I have to constantly scroll to see more information. It reminds me of constantly reading a size 16 font or so.

  51. I love the new site, but the new font with the stark white background makes it more difficult to read. I have to squint and focus more. Will still be visiting for the lists, but probably read the comments less.

    • Rachel – I actually think the issue is the font style that is being used as we have modified the colors to match nearly exactly what was on the old site. Later today we will be changing the style of the text to Arial and I *think* that should make a big difference.

  52. Like the look, but unusable with iPad. Everything is cut off. Old site worked fine with iPad. Seems really hard to follow, but that could be because I can't really see everything.

  53. Thanks for the clarification. That does make more sense to me now.

    It would be nice to see everything in chronological order as I sometimes go a few days without checking the blog and then I would have to go into every individual category to make sure I didn't miss out on anything.

    • Erin – You can see all posts in date order here http://www.pocketyourdollars.com/all-posts-by-dat… (also accessible in the Toolbox menu), but we will rarely have more than 2-3 blog posts in a week, so that category should be fairly static. It is the shopping lists (which historically most people access via the store name in the navigation menu) that may have a few older ones that don't appear on teh home page, but then you'll for sure want to click "more" deals & freebies to see what else we've listed there.

  54. Shellie Penn says:

    I love the look of the new site- very chic. I personally find the font hard to read when I'm browsing the shopping lists. Otherwise, I love it! The organization of the content is great! I especially like the drop down menus.

    • You aren't alone on the font issue, Shellie. We are making changes to it this afternoon or tomorrow. Thanks for a few days of patience while we tweak things to make them better.

  55. Cece – Thanks again for letting me know about the issue with the iPad. You were seeing a mobile version intended for smartphones not for tablets. We think we corrected the problem. Can you check again and let me know if there is still an issue?

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