Cheezburger’s rise to the top of the Internet charts has certainly been impressive to watch, leaving some investors kicking themselves that they didn’t have the foresight to invest early in the online comedy network. But what’s been most impressive about Cheezburger is how the company has strung together so many oddball Web sites, slapping things together with a rudimentary design. At times, Cheezburger appeared like the confusing mish-mash of comedy sites that it was.
Now, with more than 60 company-operated sites, 20,000 user sites and monthly visitors of more than 22.5 million, Cheezburger is looking to bring a bit of order to the chaos, cleaning up the clutter with a new redesign.
“The new Cheezburger philosophy is to put your time and your content front and center. In the process, we reduced the noise and eliminated many rarely-used links,” writes CEO Ben Huh in a blog post explaining the changes. “We also removed a lot of the illustrations and buttons, which looked fun but ultimately forced you to scroll more. I’ll miss them too, but we’re devoting more of our screen space to your content, not our doodles.”
CTO Scott Porad added that the philosophy is essentially “addition by substraction,” putting funny pictures front and center. At the end of the day, they hope the changes help “make the world happy every day.”
You can check out the new public beta site here:
Comparing it to the old look here:
The redesign comes at a time of enormous change for the company, following its big $30 million venture capital round from Foundry Group, Madrona Venture Group and others last year. It also comes as the company expands its lineup, including the expansion into original programming with offerings like The Fail Blog Clip Show. In the blog post, Huh notes that the company is opening new data centers in Europe, Asia and five North American cities — part of a goal to make sure the sites load faster no matter where viewers reside.
“All of the above means a new Cheezburger that’s more than 25% faster,” writes Huh. “Soon, you’ll be able to see an endless amount of content just by scrolling, so nothing gets between you and your funny.”
Following a trend of other media sites, Cheezburger reduced the number of ads on the page and made photos much bigger. It also implemented a new commenting system in order to reduce spam and trolls. (The company is in the process of porting old comments to the new system, and notes that those old discussions will not be lost).
“Hundreds of changes were made behind the scenes to transform Cheezburger into an awesome platform for the future,” says Huh, adding that the new look is now available on I Can Has Cheezburger, Memebase and Fail Blog. “We’re committed to moving forward and improving the new Cheezburger. Change can be hard. Change can be annoying. It is difficult to make changes that satisfy each of the tens of millions of people on Cheezburger; we’re going to do our best. The new Cheezburger will never be the same as the old, but we want the new Cheezburger to make you smile, make each other happy, and help you be at home in our community.”