September 17th, 2010 / 2:37 am
Behind the Scenes

New New Site

This is the third version of the site in as many years.

We did some basic formatting to the posts.

We added TypeKit fonts to the site, because we were tired of looking at web-safe fonts. TypeKit is shitty on the iPad, so everyone there and the people on shitty and weird browsers will get to look at Impact and Gill Sans. Everyone else gets Chunk and Ratio.

We made the site “tighter” with less empty space. It’ll look good on your phones and fit on whatever screen you’re using, hopefully.

We added a Disqus commenting system, because the comments are a little out-of-hand. It is more complicated than the previous system, but has the potential to make things less anonymous, which I like. You can seem more like an actual person to me.

The ads at the top are for independent publishers only. The ad slots are $30 each, and there are two in each of the five spaces. We wanted to keep this cheap, for the people we love.

There are a few other things, but I’m tired.

There are a few more changes in progress, so if you notice irregularities, that’s probably why.

I hope you enjoy the site. It should be nice for a little while.

Special shout-out to Jereme Dean, Blake Butler, Jimmy Chen, Ryan Call, and my wife for help with the redesign.

If you have any questions, please email me at I’m here for you.

*Update* Disabled TypeKit on Windows machines until I can make it look nice. For now, only Mac users have pretty fonts.


  1. darby

      hmm. looks special.

  2. Sasha

      Oh, me likey.

  3. zusya

      me and my friends have a word to describe the tingly feeling caused by things as strangely unsettling as this redesign:


  4. Blake Butler

      what them gals know about that yellow tuss????????????????????

  5. Guest

      something truly annoying: i’ve been obligated to register with Disqus, only to find that someone else out there in the aether has already claimed my obscure-ass name. fiddlesticks.

  6. Nick Antosca

      Nice, I feel twitchy.

  7. Amelia

      Get money

  8. Donald

      Looks nice!

      Do you think it would be at all possible to make the font size smaller for the comments, though? The comment threads on here tend to get fairly lengthy, and with the font that large, scrolling through them might become nightmarish.

  9. Guest

      Good. Banana Cheerios. bannaannaa.

  10. Pollen

      The redesign looks nice!

  11. christopher.

      Looks good, dude. I remember seeing that version of the HTML Giant logo at AWP and wondering why it never really got used here.

      The font you use for the body text is showing up a bit pixelated here–I’ve looked on Chrome and Mozilla and they’re both appearing a bit thin (but that might be a TypeKit problem), and Donald makes a good point about the size of the comment font. That could get a bit unwieldy with longer comment threads.

      Other than that, the redesign looks really slick, and Disqus is a nice touch. Great work.

  12. christopher.

      If you point to the header of each comment, there’s a button to minimize the comment thread. That’ll help with some of that scrolling.

  13. Josephriippi

      This totally threw me for a loop this morning.

  14. christopher.

      Nevermind. Just found the button to minimize comment threads.

  15. blpawelek

      Very nice

  16. Mather Schneider

      So am I banned or what?

  17. davidpeak
  18. Catherine Lacey

      Looks awesome, Gene! Thanks

  19. M Kitchell

      I am pretty into this redesign, and my precursory look this morning at home seemed fine, but here on my work computer (using Firefox 3.6.10) I literally cannot read any of the text on the right side-bar.

  20. M Kitchell
  21. christopher.

      That’s how it’s appearing on my computer, too–not quite as bad as yours, but that same pixelated garbling. I haven’t looked on my home computer but both IE8 and Chrome are showing it garbled like that here on my work computer.

  22. christopher.

      My friend Ben and I have a pact to make at least 1 Wayne’s World reference every day of our lives.

      I applaud you for this, and have clicked Like.

  23. robert

      not really a fan of the goofy clouds background or the new logo, other than that pretty nifty i guess

  24. Mather Schneider

      comments aren’t showing up in the “recent comments” margin. The logo is hard to read. Don’t see the necessity of separating “snippets” from “features”. I don’t see any “improvements” here at all.

  25. Gene Morgan

      Not really surprised that you don’t like it.

      Also, I’ve banned you for life.

  26. Gene Morgan

      I’m looking into it. Thanks for the picture.

  27. Paul Cunningham

      “Also, I’ve banned you for life.”

      Best news ever.

  28. mimi

      someone else out there has my plain-ass old name ‘mimi’ so now i’ll have the lame-ass new name ‘thesameoldmimi’

      (ps – i am not ‘guest’, above – i am not replying to myself)

  29. eric

      Smokin’ new look

  30. Mike Meginnis

      Only thing I don’t like is the way comments are ordered — more recent ones on the top makes sense, but then if two are on the same level within a thread they do the same thing, which I find pretty confusing. I’ll get used to it eventually, I guess — I tried to find a way to change how I saw them in my Disqus account, but there doesn’t seem to be one.

  31. Blake Butler

      haha. disqus is the best.

  32. Blake Butler

      you can ‘sort by’ four different methods. the select bar is at the very top of the list, under “showing __ of __ comments”. it sticks on the one you choose after you choose it in the future.

  33. Mike Meginnis

      Oh man, sweet. Thanks. This also made the font a different, better size somehow, so now I am really feeling right.

  34. herocious

      I like your ad space. But why does RY have a menacing shark on its cover? Has Labial-Face Boy really been nixed on the actual book, or is this a calculated marketing effort?

  35. christopher.

      If you register with Disqus, you can change your display name from thesameoldmimi to just mimi. It just defaults to the username at first.

  36. Angela G.

      The top boxes are not viewable in the latest version of Firefox, which I have. I switched over to IE, which I hate and never use, to see what was in them.

      Here is a helpful site for web designers to view how their site looks in different browers and check its compatability:

  37. Gene Morgan

      Which OS are you using? I was able to see them in the newest Firefox in Windows 7, XP, and OS X.

  38. jereme

      firefox works fine for me too.

  39. jereme


  40. Nick Antosca

      It looks good to me in the latest version of FF…

  41. Nick Antosca

      But how??

  42. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      I like to make the books on top dance.

  43. mimi

      Got it!
      And it worked!
      See! Above!
      Thanks! Christopher!

  44. BAC


  45. Anonymous

      I accidentally posted that twice because I didnt realize not all the comments were showing.

      Can I get disquus not to click to my commenting profile and history if I use it to log in? Can I get my name to click to my website instead, but be signed into disquus?

  46. Khakjaan Wessington

      I still have font shock. I feel like an old man zooming in on the page so it doesn’t hurt my eyes. It looks less wordpressy, so that’s a good thing I guess. Keep up the good work.

  47. deadgod

      It’s fine. Will the thumbs up / thumbs down tally have any regulatory force, or is it simply useful in defining a Coterie of Self-Devoterie?

  48. Jonny Ross

      works fine for me three.

  49. deadgod

      Also, while scrolling at another thread just now, I realized that I much prefer specific time stamps to the ‘n minutes/hours/millenia ago’ format.

  50. Mykle

      Showing the comments in reverse chronological order is a mistake, I think. Likewise having to click “more comments” a bunch of times in order to read them all. Those two UI decisions together really strongly discourage me from going and reading all the previous comments before posting this. So, for instance, I don’t know if this issue has already been discussed or not. With the old comment flow I would check first. With this one, checking is a real pain in the neck.

      I went and checked in with yesterday’s Mad At Books thread, which I was so enjoying, and now it’s totally confused and unclear who’s responding to what, when. Backwards comments are chaos — I think it’s a conversation killer. I hope you can just flip a switch somewhere and fix that, because everything else about the new design is pretty sweet.

  51. Mykle

      Now I am in the embarrassing position of not knowing if I completely missed that “sort order” button the first time I was here, or if you added it just now, just for me.

      Thanks either way. Much better.

      I still would like — please take a poll, maybe this is just my pet peeve — I still would like to get all the comments, and not have to click “more comments” a bunch of times. Sometimes I worry that the Internet will wear out my clicking finger, and when I’m old I’ll need a nurse to pick my nose for me.

  52. Ryan Call

      mykle, i just set the default position as oldest to newest now, with the comment box at the bottom. this most closely resembles how we used to have it. maybe that’ll be better for everyone? we’ll see.

      that sort by menu has always been there, but no worries. the nice thing about disqus, i think, is that it allows everyone to sort of customize how they want to view the comments. so can be defaulted to oldest to newest, but then can be resorted however each of us wants.

      we’ll keep messing around with it to see what we think works best. your response to this have been helpful.

      as for the ‘more comments’ button, i dont know yet if theres anyway to deal with that. might be something unique to disqus. im still learning. if i find out how to load more at once, then we’ll try it and see.

  53. deadgod

      Mykle, you have the choice of “oldest or newest [comment] first” (at the top of the thread). But you’re right – if one chooses “newest first” – meaning ‘newest non-reply first’, scrolling down is pretty chaotic, in the sense of connecting responses to their provocations.

      I also agree with you about the obstacle of having to add 20 comments each time one gets to the end of that unit of comments, as opposed to having the whole thread there when one goes to its blogicle. I’m guessing that providing this whole-thread-automatically is too technically consumptive of site . . . mumbo-jumbo as long as the site offers four different thread compositions.

  54. Ryan Call

      also, mykle, disqus appears to remember your comments viewing preferences (regardless of our default), so if you like seeing ‘popular now’ the best, the comments, i think, should open that way on any thread you view while logged into disqus. at least thats what i found while clicking through to other threads.

  55. Owen Kaelin

      Hey, man: I know who you are!

      …I hope Lord CM3 doesn’t show up here any time soon… (shiver)… .

  56. christopher.
  57. Ryan Call

      thank you chris; i emailed that linky on to gene.

  58. Trey

      if you’re registered with disqus you can change it to real time stamps instead of the relative ones in your account preferences.

  59. Ryan Call

      thanks, trey, for pointing that out.

  60. Mykle

      I always kinda cringe when something i like gets changed; “fixing what isn’t broke” is a raging Web 2.0 trend. But I think this is probably going to work okay, and maybe I’ll eventually figure out what is so great about Disqus. I have a lot of respect for Gene & his design decisions. So if I seem to complain, it’s the abstract muttering of an engineer who’s grateful but never satisfied.

      But: I’m wondering how getting the comments in multiple gulps is intended to improve the user experience. But maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just some way of mitigating a performance problem in the rendering of comments.

      Techie techie blah blah etc ugh. Back to the poetry.

  61. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      I like to make the book covers dance.

  62. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      I accidentally posted that twice because I didnt realize not all the comments were showing.

      Can I get disquus not to click to my commenting profile and history if I use it to log in? Can I get my name to click to my website instead, but be signed into disquus?

  63. Ryan Call

      go into your settings on your disqus profile. then enter your website in the public info menu, and thatll be the clickthrough, i believe.

      your avatar will then go to the disqs prfile, but your name next to the avatar will link to your site.

  64. Kevin Sampsell

      Looks great, Gene!

  65. Owen Kaelin

      Well, I’m glad to see you around. You were one of the cool ones.

  66. gena

      man, this is intense!

  67. Mykle

      All the other bizarros needle me & Cameron Pierce for liking HTMLGIANT. JRJ actually invented an interpretive dance called the Serious Literature Dance after a beer-meeting at which I confessed to liking Serious Literature.

      Whatever that is.

  68. Owen Kaelin

      Well, I’m glad to see you around. You were one of the cool ones.

  69. Owen Kaelin
  70. Owen Kaelin

      While you’re at it: get me some money, too.

  71. Owen Kaelin

      Hey: tell me what it looks like when you come down?
      (Is he joking? Is he serious? Tune in and found out… .)

  72. John Minichillo

      Hey bros,

      Just so you know. You can’t post comments with iPhone. I don’t think it likes the pop-up that asks for your email, etc. Maybe that is Flash?

  73. Owen Kaelin

      I’m still trying to complete my appreciation of it myself. If I don’t arrive at full appreciation soon: methinks I’ll need to take classes.

      Admittedly, there’re a few nice additions.

      I don’t like the truncated comments that I need to click-button-to-expand on, and I miss the list of recent comments in the sidebar, but I think I find having to separately log into Disqus every day to be the most annoying.

      Perhaps if a Login link were put in, someplace at the top of the page, here?

      I’ll get used to those other two things.

      Anyway, I do like that we now have avatars, whee!
      EDIT: And also that we can now edit. Yay!

  74. Consollection, the history of game consoles | Beastx's Blog

      […] New New Site | HTMLGIANT […]

  75. Tadd Adcox

      slick. but slow. probably my fault. my computer’s been on the edge of dead for like 2 years now.

  76. Owen Kaelin

      Update: I just noticed a little “Logout” link where the “Add New Comment” is. I’ll see if it says “Login” next time I come here and find myself no longer logged into Disqus.

      Still… wish it were more prominent, but now that I know it’s there and where to find it: awesome.

  77. Gene Morgan

      The pop-up happens in a weird place.

      Disqus sucks with the iPhone. I’m looking into alternatives in the mobile space, but you’re going to have to endure for a little while. Sorry.

  78. Gene Morgan

      All fixed. Comments work well on iPhones and iPads.

  79. Gene Morgan

      All fixed. Comments work well on iPhones and iPads.