Webmonkey, around sine 1996, is one of the most well-known and long-running web development sites. Their blog was one of the first blogs I read, and the first one that I subscribed to via RSS. Some changes have been happening lately over at Webmonkey. They’ve been purchased by Condé Nast, the parent company of Wired Magazine, and they’re restructuring their site.
Let’s start with their blog. When it launched, it was known as Monkey Bites. Eventually the blog was moved over to Wired.com, where it ran for awhile before being renamed to “Compiler.” The blog is, once again, known as Monkey Bites, and is now residing at
webmonkey.com/blog and it’s integrated more tightly with Webmonkey than ever before.
The WebMonkey site itself is now a wiki. What used to be a repository for tutorials penned by HotWired’s designers and developers is now opening-up and allowing anyone who knows what they’re talking about to submit articles to be included. It looks like WebMonkey is moving forward into the 21st century, making an effort to keep up with today’s technologies, instead of staying a dusty collection of out-of-date tutorials.
Now, let’s move on to the design.
Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? It’s clean and modern, and the layout seems well-planned. The colors are pleasing, the navigation good. The ads are unobtrusive. Overall the design is well done, following more of a magazine-type style than before.
Yes, the design has come a long way from the 90s-type look it kept until recently.
One of my favorite elements of the design is the navigation. It’s a good example of usable navigation. The large buttons are few, and clearly labeled. The dropdown menus help to keep the navigation uncluttered, providing narrower navigation when it’s needed. In addition to being simple, the button styling looks great.
The site has the standard, ugly Wired footer, so there’s nothing to see there…
The front page is structured well. Above the fold, you get the most recent articles and blog posts and articles, as well as a “Getting Started” box telling a little about the new Webmonkey, and providing some useful links Below that you get a roll of the most recent posts from the MonkeyBites blog, and a sidebar with some headlines from
programming.reddit.com. (Reddit is another Condé Nast property.)
Webmonkey’s revamp was well-executed, and it looks like the site will shape-up to be a major player once again.