If you've been with TechRaptor since our inception in 2013, you've seen 3 different designs over the years. We started with our horrendous 2013 design, followed up with a new design in 2014, and kept that until the redesign in 2016, which we funded with the generosity of our Kickstarter Backers (update on that below).
My goal as the CEO of TechRaptor is to always drive forward, always provide the best for our readers. Unfortunately, since our redesign in 2016, we've hit roadblock after roadblock in providing a better experience for our readers as we've been hampered by the limitations of what Wordpress can handle. Making so many adjustments to create memberships, custom integrations, and much more has led to major database slowdowns and weird code issues that we've had to continually patch out.
TechRaptor has already surpassed our views and revenue for last year, and we're on an explosive growth trajectory that allows us to pay our team significantly more and provide more tools and training for them as well.
With that said, I want our site to be better. I want you to have the BEST possible reading experience when you come here.
It's why I make a major effort to only integrate trustworthy ad providers, video providers (we have a new video player), layout changes, and everything that you see across the site. We want TechRaptor to be easy to read, fast to load, and simple to navigate.
While we've done a pretty decent job improving the site, we know we could do more, provide more, and improve more.
Without going into a ton of details, we're moving TechRaptor off of WordPress to a brand new Drupal site that we've built from the ground up to be fast and fully featured. Originally, we planned on releasing with every feature we possibly wanted—that goal changed as we ran into more WordPress issues that are becoming more and more frustrating to resolve.
That said, I'm excited to announce that on September 28th (if all goes to plan), we'll be moving 100% to our new website. After that, we've got a full roadmap planned out with new features and bells and whistles. We have a LOT we're building in order to offer you the BEST experience possible every time you visit the site.
See below for our planned roadmap and note that we're sharing sneak peeks of the design in action on our Patreon and Subscribestar, as well as the ability to meet with us and discuss the new design to suggest things for us to potentially tweak before launch!
I'm so incredibly excited to finally be putting all of this out into the wild and starting to share what the site looks like with our Patrons. Today, we've also dropped a FULL video preview of our homepage and game page designs!
I'm sure the roadmap has created more questions than answers, so here's a quick rundown of what's coming.
What about Kickstarter Backers?Physical Rewards: Once the new site launches, I'll be (finally) shipping out all physical rewards to our Kickstarter Backers on Monday September 30th.
Membership Rewards: Once Premium Membership is launched, all backers who pledged will receive their promised membership subscription @ double the length of what was offered in the Kickstarter. This is both a thank you and my way of apologizing for our Membership being less than up-to-par with what we promised, and what we wanted.
What the heck is "Enhanced Articles"???We've been creating "Game Pages" for almost 3 years and have an ever-growing database of new/old games that tie into our articles, offering the ability to look at all the news and articles we've written about for that game.
In the new design, we're integrating our game pages HEAVILY into articles, providing all the information about a game at the top-right corner such as: developer, publisher, release date, and more! Then, if you want to read more about that game, just like on the current site you can view all the articles about that game (Borderlands 3 for reference)
The Custom Homepage sounds dope, what is that?It's inevitable that every reader isn't interested in every one of the 10-20 daily articles we publish. Which is why, in Phase 1, we'll be enabling the ability for you to follow Developers, Publishers, Games, Topics, and more.
Once you follow a topic, your homepage will be customized to show everything we've published about things that you're interested in at the top, followed by our more standard "everything else" below that in a condensed format.
We want TechRaptor to be the best place to read, and in offering this custom view of our content, we hope that you'll be able to find more that you're interested in reading about, as well as lots of new and awesome games to play!
Once we enable premium membership, you'll also receive a daily newsletter customized with articles about the authors, topics, games, and developers you follow.
Here's the important question - how secure will membership payment be?Security is of the utmost importance to us in everything we do, and we put a lot of effort into ensuring our server(s) are hardened to protect reader data, which is why we'll ensure that our payment gateway is fully compliant with the latest security compliance guidelines.
You're trusting us when you choose to support us through our membership, and we'll do everything we can to ensure that data is protected. If you still don't feel that the site is secure enough to accept payment, Patreon and Subscribestar are options.
Will this new design and added features change anything about how and what TechRaptor publishes?Not even a little! If anything, these new features will allow us to present content to you even more clearly and with added information about what you're reading about. In addition, it will also allow us to recommend more specific content to you that you might be interested in after reading an article.
From a "new" perspective, you're going to see more video from us as we're building out video-specific pages to cut out the fluff that we add to our video articles to please Google :)
We're dedicated to bringing you the best possible content that we can, free of bias, and with all the information you need. You won't see any copy/pasted press releases, slanted news articles, paid-for reviews, or anything that goes against what we stand for as a site.
Can I offer feedback before launch?
Yes you can! Hit me up on Twitter (@therealrutledge) or e-mail our [email protected] e-mail address with your interest. Anyone who sits down with me for 30 minutes and offers feedback and suggestions (limited number) will be given a $10 Amazon (or Steam) Gift Card for their time. At the moment, we're planning to take feedback and meet with readers and patrons from September 22 to September 27th.
The new TechRaptor site is planned to launch at the end of this month, September 28th 2019. If there are any delays, you can keep up with them on Twitter or Facebook.
If you'd like sneak previews of the new design, or to work with our team as we get close to release on offering suggestions, you can become a patron or subscribe via subscribestar. We're sharing multiple updates each week as we flesh out the final design!
We can't wait to have you join us on this new, improved, and lightning fast platform!