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Welcome to the New WIRED

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Welcome to the New WIRED

Ben Wiseman

Welcome to the new WIRED. This site is the culmination of more than two years of work by dozens of super-talented people, people I’m proud to have as colleagues. From the responsive layouts to the improved APIs that make the whole thing work behind the scenes to the journalism itself, we’ve reimagined every aspect of the WIRED experience. And we have improved it.

WIRED readers are the kind of people who want to know more than what. You want to know how and why. To that end, I want to walk you through our thinking on the new site—to tell you about the technology and design innovations that make this iteration of WIRED possible.

Scott Dadich

About

Scott Dadich is the editor in chief of WIRED.

Back in 1994 we launched Hotwired, the first site with original editorial content created for the web. It was a digital home for reporting on the future of science, business, design, and technology. You’ve come to trust us over the past two decades, but our growth online has sometimes come too quickly and with some pain. When I took over as editor in chief in 2012, WIRED had an archive of more than 100,000 stories. That’s good! But they were spread out over more than a dozen different databases, sections, and homepages tenuously connected by virtual duct tape and chewing gum. The cleanup process—onerous and without a shred of glamour—took almost 15 months. But finally, last year, our engineers rolled out a newly unified site architecture built atop a single streamlined WordPress installation. And you didn’t notice a hiccup. Maybe you saw that pages loaded a touch faster. Stories looked more WIRED.

That’s when the real rock-breaking started. With the site’s foundation now solid, our editorial, design, engineering, and product teams began to redesign for the most important screen in your life—your smartphone. As you can imagine, this was a bit more work than picking a fresh skin for your Winamp (Big Bento, anyone?). We settled on a card-based motif for both its flexibility and configurability.

Slide: 1 / of 12. Caption: Caption: The first iteration of Hotwired from 1994, meant to embrace the constraints of the web.

Slide: 2 / of 12. Caption: Caption: Hotwired, 1995. There were no web tables then, so the sitemap was just spaced links.

Slide: 3 / of 12. Caption: Caption: By late 1995, the site had added a "What's New" link that served as one of the very first blogs.

Slide: 4 / of 12. Caption: Caption: By 1996, Hotwired had invented the banner ad, which you can see on the bottom of the page.

Slide: 5 / of 12. Caption: Caption: The 1997 design placed the ads in a stationary frame, while new content scrolled by.

Slide: 6 / of 12. Caption: Caption: 1998. The design experimented with content that floated across the screen.

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Slide: 7 / of 12. Caption: Caption: After Lycos acquired Hotwired in 1999, it took on the structured layout of its corporate parent.

Slide: 8 / of 12. Caption: Caption: Wired.com, 2005. It showcased a number of innovations, like CSS templates that changed daily.

Slide: 9 / of 12. Caption: Caption: Lycos sold Hotwired in 2006. The site was turned into a search portal that garnered traffic from name recognition.

Slide: 10 / of 12. Caption: Caption: In 2006, Condé Nast acquired Wired.com, uniting WIRED magazine with Wired News.

Slide: 11 / of 12. Caption: Caption: The design of Wired.com, which remained relatively unchanged from 2007 until 2015.

Slide: 12 / of 12. Caption: Caption: 2015. After eight years, WIRED relaunched with a fully responsive design that uses state-of-the-art infrastructure.

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Slide: 1 / of 12 Caption: Caption: The first iteration of Hotwired from 1994, meant to embrace the constraints of the web. Slide: 2 / of 12 Caption: Caption: Hotwired, 1995. There were no web tables then, so the sitemap was just spaced links. Slide: 3 / of 12 Caption: Caption: By late 1995, the site had added a "What's New" link that served as one of the very first blogs. Slide: 4 / of 12 Caption: Caption: By 1996, Hotwired had invented the banner ad, which you can see on the bottom of the page. Slide: 5 / of 12 Caption: Caption: The 1997 design placed the ads in a stationary frame, while new content scrolled by. Slide: 6 / of 12 Caption: Caption: 1998. The design experimented with content that floated across the screen. Slide: 7 / of 12 Caption: Caption: After Lycos acquired Hotwired in 1999, it took on the structured layout of its corporate parent. Slide: 8 / of 12 Caption: Caption: Wired.com, 2005. It showcased a number of innovations, like CSS templates that changed daily. Slide: 9 / of 12 Caption: Caption: Lycos sold Hotwired in 2006. The site was turned into a search portal that garnered traffic from name recognition. Slide: 10 / of 12 Caption: Caption: In 2006, Condé Nast acquired Wired.com, uniting WIRED magazine with Wired News. Slide: 11 / of 12 Caption: Caption: The design of Wired.com, which remained relatively unchanged from 2007 until 2015. Slide: 12 / of 12 Caption: Caption: 2015. After eight years, WIRED relaunched with a fully responsive design that uses state-of-the-art infrastructure.