How Can I Fix the Site? January 7, 2011

How Can I Fix the Site?

I’m compiling a list… for those of you who visit the site, what would you like to see fixed?

If someone mentions it in the comments already, rest assured you don’t need to say it again. I’ll see it. Heck, I’m sure our lists overlap.

Hopefully, the problems will be fixed soon.

***Update***: I should’ve mentioned: I’m hoping for feedback on things outside of content. Like if the site isn’t working properly for you (“I can’t Like a post on Facebook properly”) or if there’s anything you’d like to see to make using this site better (“I want numbered comments!”)

"The way republican politics are going these days, that means the winner is worse than ..."

It’s Moving Day for the Friendly ..."
"It would have been more convincing if he used then rather than than."

It’s Moving Day for the Friendly ..."

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Stephanie Moody

    I would like to see more stories on well-known people speaking out publicly about their own atheist views..I also do like the cartoons 🙂

  • heidi

    Your banner script is not legible or should I say design friendly. I would also suggest removing your picture. It’s not about you but a place to share information. Content is usually timely and relavant.

  • Mark

    I have to agree with Heidi – I enjoy the site, but the font and giant picture are distracting.

  • Potco

    Mainly, your site has been flagged by Norton as unsafe.

  • Epistaxis

    Put all your ads in one subdirectory so they can be blocked easily.

  • I say leave the picture, it IS about you, it’s your blog! 🙂

  • AtomJack

    I think you should keep the picture- it’s your site, and is about you, really, and your journey as an atheist. I happen to like the style of the banner, even if it’s a little hard to read. That’s the nature of that style.

    When I first saw the headline, I thought that there was a problem with your website-my Norton Internet Security keeps finding lots to complain about when I visit. If readership is down, maybe that’s it.

  • asonge

    Possibly consider using disqus for the comments?

    The index pages are always quick to load, but the individual articles with comments load more slowly.

  • Angel

    I still haven’t figured out how to combine my forum account to the comments…but I am not certain that is a site issue as it is a me issue.

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that when coming here from a FB link, it doesn’t open a new page and instead forces me to leave the site. Not something that is wrong with the website exactly, but more with the social media tools used to bring it all together not functioning as well as it could be.

  • The reason for the font of the banner is that it’s an ambigram. And I think it’s awesome 🙂

    I’m working on the Norton issue.

    I’ll look into Disqus, but I had a bad experience with it last year.

  • AxeGrrl

    I’m kind of echoing what Angel alluded to, but in reverse…

    When you click on links posted here on the blog, it forces you to leave this site, rather than the link opening up in a new tab/window (which would be preferable, imo 🙂

  • Amyable atheist

    change your Facebook-to-website settings so that the link opens in a new tab rather than in the same one as the Facebook session. gods forbid I lose my Facebook tab even for a second…

  • I would say that this site is one of the slowest ones on my mobile and computer. There always seems to be some large images or something else large loading. (Youtube videos load faster than this site on my mobile sometimes) Can you see about maybe a mobile phone set-up that can be used? Something that doesn’t take so long rendering?

    Also maybe optimize you images a bit better so they’re not so big? You can easily do this with free software available.

  • Kimpatsu

    I would like to be able to reply directly to posts by clicking the post and then adding my comment as a sub-comment.

  • Charley

    I agree the ambigram is awesome.

    I’d like a more mobile-friendly layout for when I follow links posted by @hemantsblog from my phone. Right now my phone gets the regular site, which works great on my desktop but poorly on the phone.

  • Robert

    I personally see no issues with your site as it is.

  • I agree with others who suggested that links open in a new window (though I’m used to right clicking to do that for most sites).

    I like threaded comments. Makes it a little easier to follow conversations. I personally like Disqus and use it without issue on my blog (way better than I like Intense Debate for third party commenting), but IIRC, wordpress has the option for threaded comments?

  • Peter Mahoney

    While I appreciate learning the word ambigram just now, I think it’s distracting to see confusing lettering each time I open your webpage. I like the photo (makes it feel like it’s a blog by a real person, rather than by some news/P.R. company).

    I would LOVE to see your site get listed in news searches on Google News (the way that has blogs that get listed routinely). That way, when theists and nontheists alike are skimming through online news, some will be drawn in to this site.

  • Gabriel

    I would like an easy way to navigate back to the home page after I have made a comment. Right now I can make a comment and then I have to re-enter in the address line. If you had a home button. That would be nice.

    (Hemant says: The whole banner is the “home” button. Just click on that!)

  • A

    I probably shouldn’t admit to turning my laptop upside down to learn about the ambigram. At any rate, I like the layout. I like the atheist-related ads on the sidebar as well because I found my fish-grilling apron that way. 🙂

    And as far as I know, you have no control over the ads placed by google (google? right?) but I find it hilarious when this mall-church in my area has an ad flashing while I’m reading this blog.

  • GaR

    The page navigation links at the bottom are baffling and don’t seem to work properly.

    In other news, people need to learn to middle click links if they don’t want to lost the page they’re on.

  • Rich Wilson

    The “notify me of followup comments via e-mail” doesn’t work. I’ve found I have to post and subscribe in two steps, which I usually forget to do. I agree with the suggestions for Disqus. I like that I can be auto subscribed for things on there as a setting.

  • Nakor

    Strongly disagree with links opening in a new window. The way it is you can open links in a new window/tab with middle click (or shift click), or open them in the current window/tab with left click. If the links are changed to open in a new window by default, there is no simple way to open them in the same window any longer. I’m always frustrated by sites that force links to new windows. :\

    And I agree, comments seem to load quite slowly compared to pages.

  • I know this is about technical stuff, but the complaints about the photo are ridiculous. People want to connect with a human face. When redesigning my own blog after my first year, I looked at all my favorite blogs to see what design features they all shared and I realized they all had a nice prominent picture of the main blogger, whether it was a photo or a drawing.

    People look for people. Put a photo and people can identify your blog with a face and remember it and get the sense they’re engaging with someone particular right away. It’s a huge advantage over many blogs which do not well identify what makes them special or relatable on first glance.

  • AxeGrrl

    I, personally, like the fact that the comments aren’t threaded here. I especially hate the threaded format that necessitates clicking on each new comment to see it (like the grr). And even when that’s not the case, if a thread gets too long, it can become almost impossible to navigate….

    As long as people here just continue to quote the person/post they’re responding to, there’s absolutely nothing to fix, imo 🙂

  • nothing. the site is just fine as is.

  • Agree with the requests for Disqus, or some other comment system that will allow for replies to individual posts.

    As I emailed you about once, I’ve had problems with commenting here and trying to edit comments. When I try to edit a comment I’ve made, and the comment is longer than the text box, if I try to edit text toward the end of my comment the text box scrolls up automatically, making it impossible. I experienced something similar the other day when trying to type a new comment. Ajax does not seem to like me. =/

    (I haven’t had any problems leaving this comment, though, or trying to edit it.)

  • Catinthewall

    I’d like to suggest actually featuring other blogs, rather than having a blogroll a mile long with no distinction between a site just as good as this one, and one that’s been inactive for a year.

    Prune the ones that haven’t said a word in six months, and make a sidebar spot that randomly picks another blog worth reading.

  • Mitch

    « Previous Page — « Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries » — Next Page »

    I find these options confusing.

  • Nakor

    Oh… yeah, no threaded comments, please. Quoting is fine. My only beef with the comments system is its speed. And the header is fine too, IMO.

  • April

    When I leave a comment and click the “followup comments via email” box, I never receive the followup comments via email.

    It would be nice if the links posted on your site would come in a new window rather than leaving the blog altogether. Same goes with FB. If I click on your blog it takes me away from my FB feed, so I have to go back and then find my place on my feed again.

  • AyaSka

    I agree with Nakor, please leave it up to the reader whether to open a link in a new window, like it is now. I know opinions are split on this, but I prefer to have the choice. There are several ways to open a link in a new window/tab from the reader’s end.

  • plublesnork

    Please don’t mess with the layout too much. As a vision impaired user, there’s nothing worse than opening a site one day and finding that unlike the day before, the new revamped, super-sexy site is completely un-fucking-usable now, and this site is currently very usable for me.

    Also, I’ve had to ask a number of times for people to provide descriptions of images you post so that I can understand the joke. If you could, where feasible, provide either a caption or an ALT attribute for the IMG in question, that’d be really great.

  • Bucephalus

    Please, not Disqus, I can never read the comments or comment myself at Blag Hag because it never loads.

  • An upgrade to the forums. There are a lot of new features that would be great. Mainly from an admin point of view in catching spammers.

  • I appreciate that your banner is an ambigram also. Regardless of how awesome, it hurts my brain every time I see it.

  • Ben

    Possibly consider using disqus for the comments?

    Please, do not use Disqus for comments. I often browse using my iPhone and websites that use Disqus take forever to load, if they don’t crash the browser to begin with. There are also other usability issues that come with loading comments via JavaScript (which Disqus does) that you should steer clear of if you want to be inclusive of minorities (e.g. blind people who use screen readers).

  • Gabriel


    Thanks, I never knew.

  • I often refer to the recent comment listing in the right-nav and must scroll down quite a bit (on my iPhone) to get to it. It would be nice if those were placed above the ads in the right-nav.

    I don’t mind the hard-to-read banner. Those of us browsing to your site in public in the bible-belt can do so without other people being able to read (over our shoulder) a clearly visible banner about what the site is about. 🙂 I also don’t mind your picture. If you are doing the work to run the site, you deserve that little bit of vanity.

  • I have to admit that the animated gifs are really annoying. I always have to stop them before using the site. But since that does not work in all browsers, I cannot use it in all of them.

  • Earl

    I link to your sirefrom FaceBook, and for some reason yours is the only site that doesn’t open in a new browser window but instead navigates me away from FaceBook…

  • Stephen P

    This thread reminds me rather of the time my school canteen started a suggestion box. The two requests received on the first day were: “thicker custard please” and “custard not so thick please”.

  • Secular Stu

    1) Loads slow, particularly the individual articles

    2) The ambigram header: there’s a difference between something interesting that you enjoy and something that effectively represents your self/website. Do you want a neat piece of artwork or do you want to be able to reach out to more people and be a more effective spokesman for atheism? Amongst web designers, there are horror stories of clients who insist on adding something like an image of their dog to their website even when it has no business being on there. You’re going to have to face the fact that the ambigram is your dog.

    3) « Previous Page — « Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries » — Next Page »

    This is the single most irritating thing on the website. Please, please, please, just have links labelled « Newer entries and Older Entries » at the bottom of the index page.

  • Hypatia’s Daughter

    If by “threaded” you mean like Reddit – then no way. I like reading through a flowing conversation.
    Numbered comments would help to reference a previous post, especially if it is too long to quote.
    I hate to admit it (blush!) but I have been reading the FA for nearly 2 years & I only realized a few weeks ago that your banner was an ambigram.
    I like the picture. I think it shows courage to put your face above your controversial opinions.

  • A suggestion rather than a fix would be to have more recent articles. Five is great for those of us who visit ten times a day but you’re prolific in your articles and an entry two or three days ago can be several pages back.

    Also a fold in the articles would be useful. Two or three paragraphs are plenty to get the idea of what you are saying but scrolling down to an earlier story past a very long article is a minor irritation. Folding longer articles would mean that you could fit more on the page and there would be less need for people to jump back to previous pages.

  • Rich Wilson

    There are also other usability issues that come with loading comments via JavaScript (which Disqus does) that you should steer clear of if you want to be inclusive of minorities (e.g. blind people who use screen readers).

    I can’t speak to screen readers and Disqus directly, but in principle using ajax to load comments doesn’t have to mean they’re inaccessible.

  • Jeri

    I would like a way to know what happened to my comment sometimes. Is it held up for moderation? Did I loose wi-fi connectivity at the wrong time and it never actually submitted? Was it rejected by moderation for some reason? Did I accidentally delete it when I navagated away from the page too soon after trying to post?


    (Hemant says: Comments by newcomers or containing several links are held up for moderation. I rarely delete any comments that are made sincerely. So if you don’t see you comment immediately — or after a few hours if it’s in moderation — you should let me know…)

  • I’d like to see Next Entry and Previous Entry links on the individual post pages, not just at the home page level.

  • Kevin

    Increase uptime. Last year there were many times where this site would just time out when trying to load, and my friends in other states mentioned that they run into the same issue from time to time with just this site.

  • JohnFrost

    I understand that this site is a source of income for you, and thus more advertisements = more money, but they’re really getting a little crazy over there.

    Could you, at least, screen the adverts to make sure they’re at least classy? All the garish colors and sensationalist images remind me of the adverts on crackpot sites.

  • The forums link at the top of the page opens to a redirect page rather than going straight to the forums. A minor thing but worth mentioning.

  • Claudia

    Threaded comments no, but I think maybe numbered comments would help. On the one hand it makes it easier to respond to a specific comment citing which one you mean. It also makes it simpler to find your place when you’re checking back on the comments thread, since it’s pretty easy to remember a number and simply go back and read new comments from there.

  • I would appreciate numbered comments.

    Also, when reading posts on the home page, the link for comments is placed in such as way that it appears to go with the post below rather than the one above.

    You could fix this pretty easily by increasing the amount of space above each post title (something like an additional 20-25 pixels). You might also consider adding a horizontal border above each post so that it is clearly delineated from the share/like/comment links at the end of the previous post.

  • 114587883

     We are China manufacturers specializing in producing and wholesaling Monster Energy Shirts, Monster Energy Hats. No middle man comission if you Shop Monster Energy Clothing and Clothes directly from our online store. We always put forward newest styles monster energy products quickly with large stock list, which will help our resellers enlarge their market and attract their buyers.

  • Ti$a Clothing

     You will fall in love with the Ti$a Clothing on the shelf at our store as soon as you see them, and want to be the owner at once. You will display your living style in a new stage when wearing one of them. The style and color of the Cheap Tisa Shirts have to match the shoes and headwear, too. I’m sure they will never let you down. Different people have a different choice. Some are fond of the fashion style, while, some care much about the quality of the New Era Snapback.

  • Monster Energy Shirts

    Good news! Good news! We are discounting Monster Energy Shirts now. It’s really a good chance not to miss! You can also match it with Monster Energy hats and other accessories to form a complete set. There are so many Monster Energy clothing in reserve for your choice. As a reliable and professional manufacturer, We can supply you top quality and stylish hats with factory price, we are ready to provide the best Monster Energy Shirts, hats as well as hoodies for our customers.


error: Content is protected !!