Well, last night I decided I was really tired of all the brown on brown of Psdtuts+ and I chopped up and Wordpress'd the new design and voila it's live! ... well mostly live. Still have some kinks to iron out ...
One of the first things you may notice is that advertising on Psdtuts+ has all but disappeared. I've removed Adsense, stripped back the banner ads to a single spot (as of 1st December, it'll be a rotating one through the new Miiingle), ditched the affiliate banners, and shuffled text-link-ads to the footer. Why you ask?
Well aside from the fact that it's much cleaner, in the next month or two we'll be moving the site to have a subscription section. Subscriptions will cost $8 a month and the sample PSD files that are at the end of every tutorial will only be available to subscribers. Additionally, I'm looking at putting together some video tutorials for subscribers as well (though that remains to be seen).
The reason for this is largely that bandwidth has become something of an issue. We use Amazon's S3 service because the site gets Dugg so much and most cheap webhosts (and some expensive ones) would fall over serving that many images and zips at once. But even with S3's cheap pricing, bandwidth for file downloads alone is over $400 a month. This is what you get when you give 20mb files away at the end of tutorials that see 15,000 visitors a day :-) So once I get a payment system running, the sample PSD files will only be available to paying subscribers. I think this will make for a good long-term solution for the site and will allow us to afford to pay for more tutorials on the site. And don't forget the tutorials themselves will always remain free!
As you might remember, I began designing up a new version of Psdtuts+ after receiving lots of criticism about the brown on brown color scheme when I wrote a tutorial about Web design. It was a good excuse to start redesigning, and the new site is much cleaner and more readable. I think it looks better too, though I am bracing for people to disagree in the comments.
Gravatars & Flickr Stream & User Links (soon)
Additionally I've added Gravatars to the site so that when you comment you can have a little picture appear next to you. It's really easy to get a gravatar, just sign up for a free account and it associates an image with your email address. Then when you comment here (or on other sites using Gravatar) your picture will appear!
There's also now a Flickr group you can join to share images you've made using or inspired by Psdtuts+ tutorials.
And tomorrow I'll finish off the user link feed so that anyone can submit links to tutorial sites, inspiration sites, and so on to appear in the sidebar. The links will be moderated for quality of course, but it'll be an extra way for people to interact with the site.
We could also get some forums, I suppose, though there are probably lots of other Photoshop forums around. Does anyone think Psdtuts+ forums would be a good idea? If there's demand I'll install some!
Increased Payouts for Tutorial Writers
Finally we're increasing payouts to tutorial writers from $75 to $125p/tutorial. The rules for submission and acceptance are the same, but I hope that this will provide more compensation for all those Photoshop stars out there as I realize it's a lot of time you need to spend. ou can learn more about the rules and criteria on the Write a Tutorial page.
You may have guessed that we are slowly building a team of Photoshop stars to keep this site going in to the future long after I have run out of tutorial ideas! So if you're interested in writing on a consistent basis for Psdtuts+, then please let us know when submitting! I'm very excited to expand the team and hopefully you'll get some publicity out of writing for the site too as our audience is growing quickly.
Onwards and Upwards!
Anyhow so I hope everyone likes the new site. If there are any bugs or kinks you notice, please let me know in the comments and I'll get them sorted out pronto!
Oh and you'll be happy to know that I have no less than 7 tutorials waiting to be published. Now that the site is up, we can get back to posting!