F1Fanatic’s third birthday redesign

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I’m delighted to mark F1Fanatic’s third birthday by revealing a brand new design and lots of new features.

Continue reading for more on the redesign and new stuff on the site this year.

The new look

The F1Fanatic redesign was created by Dreamfly.

Thanks to all of you who completed the survey last year on the site design and contributed ideas on how to make the site better. I hope you agree the new look is more attractive and also easier to understand. Here are some of the changes in detail:


The old font used for every F1Fanatic logo since the site began in 2005 has been dropped – I think the new one is slicker, more distinctive and recognisable.


Many of you said you wanted to be able to follow discussions more easily. The two new menus on the right are part of the attempt to improve that. At a click you can see the most popular posts and where the biggest discussions are taking place.


Instant links to information about drivers, races and teams. I’ve spent quite a bit of time revising and expanding the driver biographies, and the team and circuit pages are brand-new.

Some recent posts have been designed to look best in the new layout: here’s one example.

I’ll write more about the deeper changes to the site later.

Spotted a problem?

There are bound to be technical glitches with a brand new design and I’m going to be working hard over the next few days to get everything working properly.

If you do spot a technical glitch please send me an email or leave a comment below. And if any of you can suggest solutions to those problems that would be magnificent!

Please do give me any feedback on the new site as well – what you like, what you don’t like, stuff that’s gone missing, anything…

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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63 comments on “F1Fanatic’s third birthday redesign”

  1. Happy birthday to F1Fanatic. Nice new design!

  2. Thank you! I shamelessly ripped off some ideas from your own fine site :-)

  3. Would it be possible to have a setting to hide the side menus if we don’t want them?  I’d rather have the extra screen width to read the content…

  4. That’s a good idea – I’ll have a look how it could be done. I’ve got a few bugs to fix in the meantime though – the ‘more’ links and comment links aren’t working quite right yet.

  5. btw… absolutly love the fact that I can now subscribe to the comments – this way I can know when someone responds to my posts.

  6. Very nice redesign- although the old browser i’m using at the moment prevents me from fully exploring everything.

  7. I like it!

    happy 3rd!

  8. nice

    one suggestion/request: is it possible to get the whole frame to display in the middle,  rather than on the left side? I have a pretty large widescreen monitor, and about 25% of it on the right side is totally unused gray space. i think that having the fram centered or extended to use the full space would make it look alot better/easier to read. im using Firefox by the way.  just a small suggestion.

  9. Lovely! Happy 3rd!… I still don’t know how i got to this website, but im glad i did!… thanks you Keith!

  10. Looks awesome Keith. Congratulations!

  11. I like the color combination but I agree with Scootin159 and 420. A fluid width perhaps?

  12. happy birthday, looking good!!

  13. I’m with 420 here, a lot of space on the right hand side is wasted on widescreen resolutions/monitors. Here’s what it looks like: http://i27.tinypic.com/13zzkoi.png

    If possible, I’d love to have the main content column a lot more wider. Really like the comments section in the sidebar.

    But anyways, congratulations on the redesign and more importantly, this site/blog’s third birthday. I’ve been a silent lurker mostly for the last few months and make sure to check the site everyday atleast twice. Keep up the great work, and hope to be here for the 4th birthday as well :)

  14. Happy Birthday, F1 Fanatic!

    The re-design is cool, very neat and well laid-out.  I have one minor doubt: the old site looked like a site, rather than a blog – this one is very obviously a blog.  In some circles blogs are viewed with disdain and it may be that your previous design slipped by such objections more easily.

    Just a thought.

  15. Nico Savidge
    5th March 2008, 6:24

    i love the new design, great color scheme – happy birthday, f1fanatic!
    i really like the "reviews" section – it was hard to find that info in the old site, and now its very easy. thanks

  16. Keith

    Looks fantastic — well done and I look forward to the next three years


  17. Happy Birthday!  Looking really good *thumbs up*

  18. @ Clive – blogs rule, you know that :-)

  19. It’s rather good. I actually thought I’d gone to the wrong website when I came here and saw that things had changed.

    I’m actually quite impressed :thup:

  20. Happy Birthday F1fanatic.
    A nice concept, will take some getting used to though but overall a nice layout.

  21. very nice! like it a lot

  22. Happy birthday! I must say it looks really nice! A beautiful, well designed blog like all of them should be ;). I like the new logo a lot!

    Yet, i have a sugestion: We can barely notice the search option lost in the middle of those ads. Could you move it to more relevant place? On top of the page, next to the subscribe button would be my bet…

  23. Nice look. The comments section lacks visual cues about which comment is made by which author though. As it is now it’s hard to know if a comment belongs to the name above the comment or below it. Perhaps increase the spacing between the comments or put some colored background or frame around it to better separate them.

  24. Excellent update Keith!

    I agree with others that using a centre alignment for a fixed width main container is perhaps better – my main monitor is 2048 pixels wide…I could fit 2 F1 Fanatics side by side :)  I think the CSS for this is to set your margin-left and margin-right to auto.  However, you have a drop shadow on either side and I’m not sure how that will affect it.

    Currently, including the drop shadows, it takes up about 1000pixels, which I guess caters for the minimum commodity resolution of 1024 x 768, so I wouldn’t expand the fixed width container.

    I, too, would like more space for the actual content.  The Top Posts and Special Features seem to be disproportionately large relative to the old site because of the space available, although slimming that down would make the text either too small or insufferable to read with multiple lines.  A bit of toughie that one, but someone suggested that to optionally hide the side menus.  That wouldn’t be hard to do with a simple JavaScript link/button to toggle the display of them (CSS div display to none, inline, block etc.  depending on the structure), however it would require a bit of testing to make sure it works OK across the site.

    I really like the footer quick links, however I can imagine that in epic discussions, it would be a pain to scroll down to – not to mention I wouldn’t have noticed it if I didn’t read it was there…I usually scroll down to "submit comment" at the very most. Although I can easily get to top and bottom by pressing the "home" and "end" key, this is not known by everyone.  Maybe a small link at the top to link to the bottom, and vice versa?

    Sorry, this isn’t meant to be a bashing post :)  I do like the modernisation of the site, and the neutrality has been enhanced without the Ferrari in the header.  I like the use of blue and green to indicate the Top Posts and Special Features – small things like that add up!

    Great update for the sites 3rd Birthday, this is the best blog on the net without a doubt, keep it up!  Happy Birthday F1Fanatic!

  25. Milos:  Naturally I know that blogs rule – it’s just that some don’t!  ;)

  26. As a sometimes graphic designer I applaud the new look. Of course, it will take some tweaking as users respond, but the basics are there. As a reconverted fan of F-1, after a two decade lapse, I found the old look to have an "edgy" quality that gave the site a certain degree of freshness and non-corporate credibility. The new toned-down look should be followed by a toned-down name: "FormulaOneFancier" or some such.

  27. I’m having problems with the new design, such that I’m finding it difficult to read the site at all. When I open any of the articles, as the page loads the content appears, once it’s finished the "Top Posts" box expands downwards and I can no longer read the article text. The first thing I see is the comments. Very occasionally this doesnt happen and the article text remains, however I can’t work out the pattern to it.

    I’m using IE 6.0.2900 (I know, work PC). I’ll try it at home on Firefox and seee if it’s any better.

  28. Happy 3rd birthday, F1 Fanatic!

    The new site design looks really good, but I’ve just got one question – what happened to the "Top Commenters" section? Has it gone or am I just looking in the wrong place?

  29. Congrats on the new design. I can see where you’re going with it from some of the above posters screenshots, however in my IE6, its a mess. The top posters box expands to fill the screen and all other content drops down below. And there is plenty of free space on the right. I agree with the others that a centre based view would be good.
    Keep up the good work.

  30. Love it Keith.  Happy 3rd I did not recognize it at first even with the warning.  Looks great.

  31. Oooh, shiny!

    Definitely the best new chassis on the grid :-D

  32. Happy Birthday to F1Fanatic
    The new look is really great. Stylish and modern.

    Keep up the good work Keith. :D

  33. Love the new site!!!Thanks Keith!

  34. The new look for the site is awesome! Well done Keith and happy birthday f1fanatic!!

  35. It looks really good Keith.  Well worth all your time and effort.

    My only slightly negative comment has been mentioned before is the footer.  Unless I had read your intro I would never have looked there as I rarely go past the bottom of the commets box on any site.  I like the layout of the footer and will follow some of the links when I get time but it would be a shame if a lot of people missed it.

  36. Thanks so much for the feedback so far everyone I will look into many of these ideas for future changes to the site.

  37. Stephen Dunn
    5th March 2008, 18:30

    The new site does look great, is clean and easy to navigate – yours is really the only site I am using nowadays, its that good.

    I also agree with previous comments.  the categories section is rather "lost" as a footer.  If you raised it towards  the top of the page, it would be invaluable as an aid for people entering the site just before races who want to check out details and track etc. Its a minor point only – congratulations on the best F1 site both in content and now looks.

  38. Rocco Siffredi
    5th March 2008, 18:54

    The new design is excellent! This has been my favourite blog since I started actively collecting F1 videos and insightful articles/analyses/reviews back in 2006.
    Two thumbs up:)

  39. wow!  long overdue update to the site design, but boy was it worth the wait.  Looks amazing.

  40. looks great happy b day

  41. Just want to add my congrats! I will agree with the constructive feedback you’ve received, but the look is fresh and clean. Very nice update.

  42. Well – What can I say but happy third and the don’t it look good as well Keith – many thanks for an admirable outlet for our angst and the good info /insight on F1 – it’s been rocky at times – what with the server issues last year and that bleep comments editing tool – but looking forward too a great new season again well done Keith !!!

  43. Scott Joslin
    5th March 2008, 22:24

    Looking great! Happy Birthday F1Fanatic! Here’s to a great 2008!

  44. Too bad the people with widescreen are having trouble,looks great on my monitor.

    Happy B’Day F1Fanatic

  45. Happy 3rd Anniversay & Way to go Keith!

    The new design is pretty slick and much better than the last one, absolutely loving it. Keep up the good work.

  46. Scott Joslin
    6th March 2008, 13:53

    One tiny thing Keith, would it be possible to still have the number of comments within the main headline as before. I used to remember how many posts there was when I had posted and then when I would return to the site, if I had seen the comments figure go up I knew I should check out that story again.

  47. Yeah that’s one of the bugs we’re working on – those links were breaking the layout for some reason.

  48. I like the redesign but almost every time I come onto the site an error warning pops up saying something about not being able to move the focus because it is invisible. Anyone else have this, as I could do with knowing whether it’s the site or my computer.
    Good apart from that though.

  49. Vertigo, what browser (and version) are you using?

  50. What do you mean by “browser”?
    And “version”?
    I am not computer literate in any way.

  51. Fair enough.  What’s it say at the top of your window?  i.e. mine says "F1 Fanatic……. F1 season – Mozilla Firefox".  It’s the last part (after the "-") which is most significant.  It likely says "Internet Explorer".  If so, can you click "Help" : "About" from the top of the window, and pull the version number as well?

  52. It just says Internet Explorer, yeah. Also I am apparently on Version 6.0.2600.0000.xpclient.010817-1148IS, whatever that means.
    I like how F1Fanatic has become my own personal troubleshooting site. :-)

  53. Perfect.  Means you’re running Internet Explorer version 6.0 for Windows XP.  Possibly the worst browser out there, but unfortunately also the most popular… makes just about every web designer out there cringe in agony at the sheer mention of it’s name.

    btw… you can upgrade your web substantially (more secure, more stable, more features) by simply using firefox instead: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/

    The installer is painless and takes roughly 3 minutes.

  54. Actually if you download it from here then I get some money! And it doesn’t cost you anything.

  55. Thanks a lot Scootin159.

  56. Happy Birthday F1Fanatic !
    For some reason the page didn’t load correctly yesterday, and I was privately wondering what you were on about and whether you were all on drugs ;) so I witheld comment.

    Now I can see it properly, I must say it does look great.

  57. A quick update on some of the bugs:

    – The IE6 flaw has been fixed
    – The numbers of comments have been added next to the articles
    – The ‘more’ links should now work properly.

    One outstanding problem that remains is that the tabbed menu doesn’t completely work properly when you arrive at certain pages after clicking on a comment. There are a few other minor style problems as well. If anyone’s spotted any other major problems, please do let me know.

  58. Firefox rules, although Opera deserves honourable mention.  Maybe if we could get all the web designers to ignore IE, Microsoft would have to give up on it…

    Thanks for fixing the comments numbering link, Keith.  I am a happy bunny again.  :)

  59. Not much wrong Keith except – I seem to have dropped off the daily updates – unless you have been too busy in which case – my apologies – just gtting withdrawl symptoms – especially so close to lift off of the season

  60. Nikos Darzentas
    13th March 2008, 12:17

    great design, great insight, great content – I just opened 6 F1Fanatic tabs in my Firefox… :-)

    simply great

  61. cheers… great stuff… keep up the good work…

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