New Antyweb 2021!

And it’s all starting right now. I hope that when you read these words everything works fine, because although we tested the website in different ways, I know from experience that the reader will always find some bugs.

Changes

Layout

After more than 5 years, the look of the website has to be finally changed. Not only because the present one has grown old, but also because the entire environment has changed completely. Today, mobile is the most important thing, and the home page on the desktop is to be legible and simply pretty. Personally, I also wanted to return to the more classic content architecture and its layout on the website. The chronology is clearer when the texts are placed one below the other. The website is cleaner, everything seems clearer. It was also important for me that the layout emphasized the nature of the website. Technologically, aggressive, modern and legible – this is what the new Antyweb is supposed to be like and I hope you will perceive it this way.

New logo, i.e. rebranding.

The Antyweb logo needed to be refreshed after 15 years online. However, I do not like drastic changes in this area and therefore the task was not that easy. Yes, the first projects I saw were very intriguing, but I was looking for an element of aggressiveness in them and I couldn’t quite find it, until finally I saw this animating symbol (the symbol next to the logo on the website is animating, if you look at it, you will see this sequence).

And what is that supposed to mean? On the one hand, there is the classic letter A, which is about to turn into a more pugnacious version. And that’s what Antyweb is about. Various opinions, sometimes professional, sometimes emotional and sometimes provocative. And in my opinion, this logo represents us very well. It is supposedly classic and similar to the previous one, but at the same time there are some indentations in it, but only within the word Anti, because this is something that distinguishes us. Apart from that, the changing symbol in my eyes complements the whole thing very well and gives a new character to the whole logotype.

Technology

Many people congratulated us for being able to optimize WordPress in such a way that it would be able to maintain such a website at the appropriate level and speed of operation. But the time has come to say “enough” and say goodbye to current technology completely. Now WordPress is just an admin panel. The rest … you can read more about it below.

However, technology does not change just because a new and better one has emerged. Technology is also a faster-running website, more fond of Google and, most importantly, better interaction for readers. That is why my main goal and KPI for technology is how fast the website works and what traffic we are able to absorb, without the need to add servers.

Michał, tell me what you did

The Autentika agency and its boss, Michał Samojlik, were responsible for the design of the new Antyweb. I asked him to describe what he really thought up and did:

I am pleased that it is, if I count correctly, the fourth version of Antyweb, which we have the opportunity to design at Autentica. This time the challenge turned out to be connected with the brand rebranding, which only added flavor to the whole exercise. So we received a new mark, which definitely emphasizes the “character” of the website against the background of impassioned competition. The new Antyweb required a design that would match the style of the new logo.

However, rebranding was not the only or even the biggest reason for the decision to redesign the entire website. The UX / UI field in the last 5 years (yes, that’s what the previous version had) has advanced significantly, new solutions, trends, patterns and mechanisms have appeared. It was high time to reflect the industry’s progress in how Antyweb looks and works.

Mobile first

Yes, it is an industry cliché, but the traffic statistics of most publishers are a clear proof of this, especially if we are talking about the category of broadly understood technologies. We started completely with the mobile version, treating the desktop as “will-do-it-yourself”. And it was so. Information architecture, layouts of individual screens, advertising net, interactions were prepared with smartphones in mind.

When looking for a distinguishing feature, we decided to focus on large photos in the background. So we have the opening of the home page and the article in the form of an image that fills most of the screen space. From time to time, you will also encounter special articles or videos that have their own solutions:

The format of the column, favored by readers, also retained its individual character, and here we completely gave up on photos.

One

The main page is modular and is published by the editorial office. Managing the entire layout and content from the CMS side gives unlimited possibilities of adjusting the layout to the needs of both journalists and advertisers. So don’t be surprised if you encounter previously unseen elements or change the order of blocks from time to time.

Fight for the reader’s attention

However, it is more interesting in places that may be less visible, but very important from the publisher’s business point of view. It’s all about distributing traffic and fighting short and shallow visits. It comes down to keeping and changing a few options in the reader’s eye to go further, to choose new content. So we have links to the home page and category menu as floating items.

In addition, the system automatically displays previews of other contextually selected articles in pre-determined places, thus replacing the editorial staff of the website. The key also takes into account the need for effective placement of ads and a newsletter subscription gateway. In the near future, we will conduct research that, based on the collected data, will allow us to optimize the system if necessary.

All this is intended to maintain the reader’s interest and provide options in the event of the first signs of being saturated with the current content. A lot of changes took place in the advertising net itself, new formats appeared. However, let me not elaborate on this topic, because I believe it would not be a very popular topic among readers 🙂 However, we tried to combine good exposure of customers’ advertisements with unchanged reading comfort.

Continuing the 5-year tradition, we hope to be invited again in 2026. Thanks Grzesiek!

Completely new guts

The new Antyweb infrastructure is primarily a change from a monolith to microservices. WordPress has been replaced with a few smaller services with dedicated functionalities – only the administration panel has remained from the old website.

In building the infrastructure and, in fact, the new Antyweb, we used the latest technologies and trends in the approach of building applications based on micro services.

Frontend, or what you see, is a PWA application, i.e. a progressive web application, which when translated into Polish means that it is an application built with the premise of “mobile first”. The aim is to ensure the highest quality reception of web applications by all devices and browsers, regardless of the quality of the Internet connection. Immediately after entering the website, some things are saved in the device’s memory using service workers (a small code responsible for the way the elements used on the website are loaded), and the re-entry to the website is much faster thanks to the use of saved data.

That’s not all, because a mysterious API will appear. In order to display information on the website, the front-end client needs to download data from somewhere. The place from which it downloads them is the API, which in turn retrieves data directly from the database or Elasticsearch (the database system responsible for BIGDATA), depending on the resources downloaded. To shorten the server response time as much as possible, the downloaded or built data is saved in the Redis system for later display.

The aforementioned Elasticsearch contains documents that are actually a representation of the article and all its connections. So it is such a large database (in the form of json) with text files.

Both the frontend and backend are built of modules, which facilitates the maintenance and expansion of the entire system.

As an application, Antyweb is headless, which means that the content of the backend is separated from the frontend and static files. These files are stored in the S3 service on AWS (cloud object storage – a service from Amazon). What does headless technology give us? First of all, it is much faster data serving thanks to the division of the application responsibility and adapting the CDN to the appropriate transfer of static files.

The new Antyweb is also very flexible when it comes to managing the appearance, data and its flow. We can build a new home page at any time thanks to the modular structure of the website. We can add a subservice or a completely new page layout. Each element of the website is a module that can be managed virtually freely.

Looking from below at the new infrastructure, we also have a very flexible data deployment system. Everything is automated (which means that no files on the servers are changed manually) and guarantees full system consistency. And the whole process of realsising the new version of the application is done with just one click (I saw it with my own eyes, it takes between 3-5 minutes). This approach is called continuous integration.

The implementation of all these complex sounding technologies allows us to use resources much better and more efficiently. They say we need fewer servers to handle more traffic. Why?

This is how the interaction with the Antyweb application looks like now:

The user enters the page – the query is sent to the server, the base html is returned, which is built on the server side and contains all the information (i.e. all modules are already connected together). Then, when you try to switch to another element of the page, only those modules that are new and needed at the moment are replaced. There is no need to re-download HTML.

Antyweb is no longer a website but an application tailored to our needs.

Of course, I’m not so wise to understand it all, Sebastian Szczepański, who is the father and mother of this solution, helped me in the technological description. Sebastian is professionally involved in designing such complex but necessary technological solutions.

Thank you

We would never build Antyweb ourselves, so I would like to thank the Autentik team for their patience, understanding, great approach, and Sebastian for creating a solution from scratch, thanks to which Antyweb has caught up with and exceeded the current standards in many respects. Hosters who bravely maintain Antyweb, for a mega pro consumer approach, for night calls, no nerves during implementation, for patience and amazing support

Readers!

For being with us all the time, for all valuable comments, also for those less nice but sincere etc. Thanks to you we are constantly mobilizing to work, so now we count on your opinion about the new Antyweb. Let me know what you think doesn’t work. I’m sure there is still a lot of room for improvement. Even if we tested the website for 2 months, we will not find as much as you do in 30 minutes.


Source: AntyWeb by antyweb.pl.

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