Welcome to the New TreeHugger!

Welcome to the new TreeHugger!

We've been working on a new version of the site for a long time, and it's great to finally be able to share with everyone around the world. I'm Collin, the Managing Editor of the site, and I'm glad you're here.

For those of you who've been to the site before, this new version is quite different, in a bunch of really great ways (I think, at least). Let me show you around. If this is your first time here -- Welcome! Have a look around; I hope you like what you see.

The Home Page

Let's start with the biggest difference: The home page. Ever since TreeHugger launched, way back in the summer of 2004, we've maintained a pretty standard reverse-chronological layout; many of you probably know this as the 'blog layout' that millions of websites, blogs, and tumblrs use to present their content.

As TreeHugger grew, and we began to publish over 30 new posts a day, we started to outgrow that format. 30+ posts is a lot to keep up with, especially when that spools on to 4 separate pages; the feedback I heard most often about the site was, "You have too much good content, I can't keep up with it all." While that's a great problem to have, it was something we wanted to help with, and we felt it could be addressed by concentrating the design and changing the way we presented our content.

Thus, the new homepage was born. Now, when you come to the site, the day's biggest news is right in front of you; we hand-pick each of the stories that you see in 'Top News,' as well as the featured area to the right. Instead of seeing one headline when you first open the homepage, you now have at least 13 -- all hand-picked as the most important stories of the day by the editors of the site. We update them throughout the day, so there will be new stories to check out all the time. Whether you come to the homepage once a day, three times a day, six times a day, whatever...there'll always be a fresh collection of the best of our content in that top section.

Site Navigation

Those of you familiar with our current site are familiar with our eight different content categories: Business & Politics; Cars & Transportation; Culture & Celebrity; Design & Architecture; Fashion & Beauty; Food & Health; Science & Technology; and Travel & Nature...whew! It's a lot to keep track of, so we simplified the categories (and reduced their count by one) and the navigation at the top of the site, so it's very clean and simple: Business; Design; Energy; Living; Science; Technology; and Transportation. Same great content, but easier to navigate and find.

As you scroll down the page, you'll see that we've divided our content by those categories, so you can easily find the ideas and posts you're most interested in, and we curate the best from those sections of the site, too. There will always be one featured post, along with a handful of recent and notable headlines, so you'll have lots to choose from in each category, all across the site.

You'll also find other ways to connect with us and our content: look for content modules telling you about what's happening on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media; email newsletters; our most popular stories; and other content features that span the reach of the site and our categories.

In short: There's a lot to see here. You can just browse our picks for the most important news of the moment at the top, or you can catch up on what you might have missed throughout the day. You have a lot of options, and they're all at your fingertips.

Update: Viewing All Articles

There have been a handful of comments about this, so I wanted to address it here rather than in the comments section below: For those of you who prefer the ability to see everything TreeHugger is publishing, in reverse-chronological order, don't worry! We have that option available at TreeHugger.com/stream, and you can always get there by clicking 'ALL' in the navigation bar at the top of every page.

Reading Individual Articles

Once you find the post (or posts) that tickles your fancy, you'll notice a different experience awaiting you at the individual article pages (like this one).

We cranked up the size of the content area in the middle, to deliver bigger pictures. We changed the font (it's Georgia, for you fans of typography), font size, and spacing to make the text more readable. We wanted you to be able to get to know the authors of the posts better, so we added a more dynamic byline, including pictures you can actually see, and links to their profiles so you can find out more about them and read what they've been writing about recently. We wanted related content to be easier to find, so we put it in the left-hand rail of the page, and added a picture so you can see what's going on more easily.

When you get to the bottom of the post, you'll find a quick list of tags that are associated with the post, so you can easily read everything we have about architects or Michael Pollan or yoga or whatever that post has been tagged with. You can comment on the post -- that part hasn't changed much -- and you'll also find a variety of ways to share the content with your friends, family, and other fellow TreeHuggers via social media and email.

You'll also see a variety of features on the right side of the page: Links to our featured and most popular content, along with some in-house advertising for some of our current projects. While the site is in beta, we'll be working to add to these features, so expect those items to change frequently. All in all, though, we want the article pages to be easy to read, fun to look at, and include lots of ways to easily find your way to more cool TreeHugger content.

Slideshows

Our slideshows have undergone a facelift, too. To accommodate larger photos, we changed the layout and look and feel, so the photos are much larger (and, we think, fun to look at) and the text is now down below the images instead of off to the side. The navigation has been redesigned, too, so it's easier than even to click your way through each slideshow; when you get done, you'll find a pretty little list down at the bottom (we'll overlay some text there, so the title is more evident) of related content to click and enjoy.

Reading TreeHugger on Mobile Devices

With more people than ever using smartphones and tablets to browse the web, we wanted to make reading TreeHugger on mobile devices as easy and intuitive as possible. So, we designed the site to work with these devices out of the box, whether you prefer iOS/iPhone/iPad, Android smartphone or tablet, or other mobile devices. The new design will make it much easier to read the site, no app download required.

Of course, if you're a fan of using native apps on your mobile devices, we still have our great apps for iPhone and Android, as part of the Sprint Green ID pack, and they aren't going anywhere, so you can stick with those, too.

Feedback: Let's Hear It!

Now to the most important part of all of this: Your feedback. We're opening up the beta version of the site to the public so we can hear from you.

What do you like the most? The least? What's your favorite new feature? What do you want to see us add next? What do you think of the new home page design? Good, bad, indifferent, or otherwise: We want to know what you think. Send us an email at beta feedback@treehugger.com, or tell us what you think on Twitter or Facebook. We're happy to hear your thoughts and suggestions for improving the site before the launch (and after, for that matter. Update:We're live! But keep the feedback coming, we'd like to hear what you think.), and you can direct any questions you have about using the beta version of the new version of the site there, too. If you're having technical difficulties with something, please include a link to the page that's causing you problems, and a description of what's going on, along with your browser and OS.

Thanks so much for reading this, and for reading TreeHugger -- we really wouldn't be where we are without you, dear readers, and we're looking forward to taking the next step with you!

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