A Better Looking Beast
A look under the hood at the newly redesigned Daily Beast.
To paraphrase James Brown, The Beast has got a brand new bag.
Beginning today, all our million-plus readers each day will see a brand new homepage for The Daily Beast. We’ve been working on this for a while, incorporating feedback from loyal readers along the way.
The first thing you might notice is our new logo—we’ve ditched the old white on red logo for something that reads like a neon sign in your favorite diner or bar. The Beast never sleeps and we value authenticity, which is the thing we seem to have least of in our mass market culture. The Beast is the bold alternative to content farms, predictable partisan sites, and the commodity news crowd. That’s why we’ve chosen a new logo that stands out from the pack.
Unlike many news sites, The Beast has always believed that our homepage matters and should be curated accordingly. More than 40% of our traffic is direct—which means that most of our loyal readers come to us directly rather than through a disposable side-door. That’s why our new homepage clearly lays out the stories that matter most to our readers while showcasing our signature high-low news mix across politics, pop-culture, and more. The design is modular, which means we can make adjustments on any given day—such as devoting the top of the site to one major breaking story or curating a deeper collection of articles about a particular topic.
We’re excited about the changes we’ve made—not because we didn’t love the old homepage but because we believe that there’s always room for improvement in the pursuit of excellence.
The backend upgrades mean that our pages will load more quickly on desktop and mobile while allowing us to serve up partner ads with more effective performance and less reader intrusion.
For those wanting more insight under the hood, here’s The Beast’s CTO Ken Judy: “The homepage is changing in response to user interaction with the page: the carousel we used previously was difficult for some readers to navigate (it always seemed to either move too fast or too slow) and the layout was so rigid that doing seemingly minor things like accommodating longer headlines was difficult without significant time and effort. Plus, our old publishing system was sorely in need of an upgrade, which is going to allow our journalists to spend more time reporting, and less time filing copy.” Bottom line: we felt it was time for a change.
Great news brands are ultimately a badge for their readers. They say something about who they are and what they want that they can’t get elsewhere. The news changes every day but what’s constant is our commitment to our values. At The Daily Beast, that means fierce reporting at the intersection of politics and pop-culture, delivered with independence, irreverence, and intelligence. Always skeptical, never cynical, we respect our readers’ time and intelligence.
We hope you love our new homepage as much as we do. But we want to hear from you and we’ll make adjustments accordingly, iterating to constantly improve how you consume our content. Now more than ever, we at The Beast understand that we’re all in this together.