Welcome to the New Popular woodworking.com! - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Welcome to the New Popular woodworking.com!

 In Shop Blog

If you’re reading this, then you already know: We’ve launched our new website and rebrand of Popular Woodworking.

The biggest changes are on the backend of the website. Our technology was getting a little bit long in the tooth, so we needed to upgrade things to make sure we are able to do all the things a modern website needs to. The same is true for our branding. Popular Woodworking is much more than a magazine. It’s a website, it’s a video streaming platform, it’s an online store and we’re serving up woodworking content on all kinds of social media and digital devices. Our new branding reflects that. Right now, you’ll see the new brand on our digital properties. With the November 2018 issue, you’ll also see the new brand in print.

With these foundational changes in place, we’re doubling down on our mission to be the best resource for inspiration and instruction in woodworking. On the website, we’ll be adding more content than ever before, both new articles and projects as well as the best stuff from our archives. In addition to our regular stable of bloggers, you’ll see some new faces and more projects. On the video front, we’re going to continue to create engaging project and technique-focused videos. We’ll also be doing more hands-on tool reviews and complete furniture builds with project plans. And in the magazine, we’re making room for bigger and better projects, more tool coverage and new departments and contributors.

As with any big project, I’m sure we’ll discover that some ideas were better than others, and we’ll continue to make changes to make the Popular Woodworking community the best it can be. Please send me a note at andrew.zoellner@fwmedia.com if you notice anything amiss or want to suggest ways to make what we do better.

– Andrew Zoellner 

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Showing 37 comments
  • idbill

    When I log into the website, I get redirected to the wp-admin! Woohoo! Now where did the woodworking articles go?

  • JohnMcL

    Website is a disaster that I cannot read. Zinno is a website “app” which I cannot abide.
    Thanks for the mail saying my October issue is in Zinnio – it isn’t. Can’t wait for the paper copy – if that goes, so do I.

  • Loves2ski

    This new format stinks! And that’s the polite version. The color scheme is awful to the point of being painful. The top-level layout is bad; it’s way to big for quickly scanning what blog entries I want to read. There’s no date or author information at the top level; you only see that once you’ve clicked on the link.
    Please fire the person that came up with this horrible idea so that they don’t pass this infection on to the magazine. Then bring back the old format. There was nothing wrong with it and it didn’t need to be fixed.

  • 8iowa

    The new web site leaves me completely befuddled. I can’t find my favorite blogs or the shop woodworking site. In my opinion Popular Woodworking has had a revolving door attitude toward writers and editors. I don’t seem to know anyone anymore.

  • Edward Hopkins

    I didn’t like the old site, especially that scrolling thing. It was time for a change.

    I read almost exclusively on my tiny phone, which is limiting, so the only suggestion I have is smaller fonts and images so I’m not scrolling constantly.

    The logo and colors are fine. You have great bloggers still, which is what matters. Thanks for keeping them around.

  • AlanWS

    I’m also not a fan of layouts that waste a lot of screen/window space, as it limits my control over that space. When your “upgrade” first showed up, mouseover of images caused them to turn into big orange rectangle, so the current annoying enlargement of images as they are moused over is an improvement.

    I hope whatever behind the scenes mechanism you have added is helpful, because the changes I see are not. Now that it’s working, I hope gradual changes make it more pleasant to use, meaning color schemes that better match those expected of woodwork, and more information available with less bother. I agree that Fine Woodworking’s website redesign is what made me quit visiting there some years ago.

    I notice others have had the same problem I’ve had of the last two or three paper issues of the magazine arriving torn. If you are trying to get me to switch to an electronic version, I would cancel my quite long-standing subscription first. I read a lot on computer screens, but will never settle for an app that does not let me read as I want to. Please don’t make your magazine read like a Harbor Freight ad.

    • AlanWS

      Also: Please change your paragraph settings for the comments, to make them easier to read. Either indent, or leave the space that was visible during editing. Thanks.

  • JBRowe

    Not a lover of the new web site. And add me to the chorus of Zinio haters.

    I got the email to download the latest issue via Zinio and complained that I hadn’t seen an email advising of the change. “Oh, sorry, we’re moving to that platform.” Bad CustEx.

    A couple of days later I got another email with a PDF download link and no explanation. When asked about it, Customer Service was surprised I got the PDF link, said Zinio was going to be the future.

    If so, my future will not include PWW. Keep the PDF, drop ZINIO, it’s HORRIBLE.

  • CaEd

    Nope, not a fan.
    Many of the reasons already mentioned.
    One biggie, don’t leave PDF. That works on many platforms, many other programs.

    Suggestion for future redesigns: have a link to the new proposed site and solicit comments from the horde BEFORE jumping the river to a ‘new and improved’ site.

    • noho

      Suggestion for future redesigns: have a link to the new proposed site and solicit comments from the horde BEFORE jumping the river to a ‘new and improved’ site

      -> you couldnt be more right !

  • Rich Gerhard

    It’s not a very good way to display or list your categories. My wife does editing, and she said ” you gotta be kidding me “

  • johnMTO

    WordPress ??? this is for amatures it is free not PRO what a F insult!

  • Rich Gerhard

    Looks like your website needs a lot of work.

  • TABlank

    Please turn off that right side column [Categories and Recent Posts]. It uses 1/3 of my screen and follows me no matter where I go on the website. Leave it on the home page. Once is enough to look at or ignore the links. You are wasting my pixels.


  • fmarabate

    I have got to say Ewww! I was not crazy about the old site always had trouble finding things, but just the look and feel of this new site are wrong. Nothing says this is a woodworking site other than the title. The whole thing is a bit garish, too big, and in your face.

    I’m not sure who you are trying to attract. I know I read Popular Woodworking because of its traditional woodworking focus and I believe others feel the same. This website makes me feel like new articles will be telling us how to craft furniture out of plastic.

    Sorry, don’t like to be critical, but just Ewww!

  • dpl1956

    I don’t care for this new site either. Reminds me of Fine Woodworking redesign. Must be the same person that designed both. I can add this to sites I don’t go to anymore. I agree with another reply that it looks like a standard template from some on line site. Please return to the old site and I will come back.

    • kj

      What the!!! Does this web site come with instructions? Sorry I really hate it, and what’s with the log in and log out, it is so small and I don’t wear glasses. I would have to agree with all the other comments it is terrible.

  • rheilke

    I really hate the idea of getting the digital magazine in a Zinio-style custom app. I don’t need another application (especially such a crappy one), and I want to be able to seamlessly read the magazine on any of the platforms I run, including Raspbian in the shop. I love the universality of PDF, and sincerely hope you’ll keep it. I get the digital issue due to eyesight problems; going to a Zinio-type format takes the value of a digital magazine away. When my first link to the new issue took me there, I thought that this may be the end. (I actually initially thought I’d gotten the email from someone’s hijacked email account, trying to spread the infection.)
    I hated Zinio over a decade ago, and I hate it even more now.
    As for the rest, I’ll need to have a deeper look, although I agree with others about the horrendous colour choices. Did a Microsoftie pick them? The colours really do look like they were chosen by somebody’s elementary school kid. Do what peterlakis suggested, and learn how colour does, and does not, work.

  • jkulak

    While any change needs getting use to and smoothed over just like a good woodworking project, using the wrong materials to start with ensure project failure. I think you will smooth over the design in time. However please loose the Zinio App. It’s harder to use, fails a lot and is not CUSTOMER/READER friendly. I appreciate the step into the 2020’s, make sure your readers can make the jump as well.

  • noho

    The new site is really awful. Seriously a pain to visit it now.

  • Jonas Jensen

    Terrible layout compared to the old website.
    Like someone else said: It looks a lot like some wordpress experiment from a college sophomore group.

    I can see that the Popular woodworking blog network has all disappeared. It really needed a thorough cleanup as a bunch of the blogs had been silent for years, but I still liked the idea of it.

    Like Rjhanby says, try to take a look at some of the older magazines for inspirations.
    To me the pinnacle of the magazine was 2009. Every single issue was worth reading cover to cover, and had a nice blend of content.

    To be fair, this last issue was better than the previous one, but still there is room for progress.

    I sent in a question on the blog post regarding the opening of the Excellence awards some months ago, but no one never took the trouble to trouble to answer that.
    So if you want to increase the probability of people actually commenting on stuff, it might be a good idea to actually leave an answer once in a while.
    If not people soon stop commenting.


  • peterlakis

    Guys, please go buy a copy of the COLOR INDEX. Use it to find any combination other than orange, teal and black. However, if you’re looking to agitate your viewers, keep it.

    Secondly, The font choice and design of the new branding frankly kind of sucks. It looks like more of a college sophmore’s attempt at using WordPress than that of a magazine that has been a cornerstone of the woodwork magazine world for decades.

    I used to get sincerely excited when a new issue would land in my mailbox. Now I simply watch the size and content dwindle, and can’t shake the feeling there’s a death spiral of bad decisions far beyond the reader’s vantage point that make Andrew and David’s job a perpetual uphill climb. (And most probably why Brendan didn’t last a year… following Megan and Chris)

    Really not sure what us as readers can do to help, but please stop. I don’t think these changes will be good for the life of the magazine. If there is something we as readers can do to help/advise, let us know. (surveymonkey?)

  • MCamaleri37

    Like so many others – not a fan of the new design. Also, please don’t abandon PDF for the digital subscribers. That Zinio app stinks, aside from the fact that I don’t want or need another app on my devices.

    • jbaker.rower@gmai.com

      I agree 100%. Zinio app was not useable. PDF is way better!

  • rmason

    So far I hate it.

  • Saville

    I think the new web page format is horrible:

    For one thing, making people scroll to see the content listing while each content entry is enormous and loaded with empty space is silly.

    Secondly the ads are not off to the side but inline so you have to scroll past them to see other content entries/links. They, too, are enormous.

    I did’t like your former web page layout, but this one is much worse.

  • Greg2242

    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! The old format was much better.

  • jweisgram

    Hmm, this new site operates differently from anything else I can recall, with the screen divided into left / right sides, where the left side scrolls and the smaller right side that doesn’t scroll.

    It just feels wrong to me.

    For example I have to scroll through the entire content of the left side to see what is on the bottom of the right side.

    It might work better if the right side didn’t take up so much room. There is a tremendous amount of wasted space over there.

    And what about those huge banners across the top…no. Looks amateurish. What’s the point of those being so large. It is jarring.

    On the other hand, my android phone presentation seems better. Until I try to scroll down and come across a seemingly endless series of posts that have no obvious relation. Too much content is crammed onto the home screen.

  • sbnathans

    So far I’m not a fan of the redesign. To me, I’m finding it more difficult to navigate and to find the articles I’m looking for. I preferred when this site wasn’t quite as in your face with the “buy this now” vibe. Also, what’s up with the “recent posts” being from 2015?

    • sbnathans

      The link to https://www.popularwoodworking.com/aug18 in the most recent issue returns a 404 error. I tried to use the new navigation to find where the links to magazine issues are but failed miserably. I recognize this is just the rollout of the new design and things will improve. At least that is my hope.

  • SSteve

    I like the cleaner look of the new design. I second the request for author’s names on the blog landing page.

    One issue, though, is that when I start scrolling down from the top of a page on iOS, the content jumps down when the logo is almost off the screen. There’s a video of what it looks like at https://vimeo.com/276448602

    • David Lyell
      David Lyell

      Steve, thanks for the input and I’ve forwarded that bug to the dev team already. I also would love to see author names – working on implementing that as well. Thanks for the feedback!

      • SSteve

        The jumping is fixed and there are author names now. Thanks!

  • Armandlatour

    The visual change is jarring.

    When I look at the page, it doesn’t speak to me as woodworking. Other than the name “Popular Woodworking”, there are no visual cues about woodworking.

    If the magazine will mirror these so called “improvements”, then the result will be a continued loss of subscribers and casual news stand purchasers.

  • Neitsdelf

    The landing page for the blogs really needs to have the author/posters name, and a few more than 2 to 10 words would be very nice!

    • rjhanby

      You nailed that. Looking at the new issue and reading the editorial. My thought is that making changes for the sake of making changes, despite the stupid seminar to which they send every new manager, is not necessarily smart. Flexner’s finishing article was just more of his tirade about manufacturers putting misleading and sometime just plain wrong information in their product literature. Arts and Mysteries was scratch stock 101. The panel gauge was not a bad project. but don’t most of us already have a solution for that or else are still lusting for a Hamilton gauge? (I bought the Woodpecker limited time duo a while back and love them). Even the Schwarz article was just the return of the son of even more campaign furniture. The Chinese influence article wasn’t bad, but didn’t we all already know that? I can’t think of an issue from the modern era (since they quit trying to be Wood Magazine) that had nothing interesting to me at all. Okay, to be fair the new dovetail saw to which they devoted a couple of paragraphs was interesting, but that’s pretty slim pickings for an entire issue. I think they lucked out that this issue didn’t coincide with my renewal time. My advice is go grab some issues after Chris or Megan got the hang of running the magazine and use those for a template. Oh, if you could get an issue to my mailbox that didn’t have tears in the cover or pages, that would rock too. The several times that I’ve called and reported the issue, the replacement arrives in an envelope and in pristine condition. For the record, I’d be willing to pay a surcharge to get all the issues delivered in that fashion.

      As for the website, this morning was my first look at the new format. I’m not sure how much time they think we spend on the website. Personally, I switch to my browser tab that stays open to the new blog entries screen, hit refresh, and look at any new entries. Same thing for the Lost Art Press and the Crucible tool sites. All this update bought me was being unable to tell at a glance if there were new content. I’m not threatening to leave or anything melodramatic. but if something blew up my set of tabs that Chrome always restores on startup, any changes that would make me reconsider adding your tab when I reconstruct my set might be a bad idea. And again, making changes just because you can is not the best reasons for change. Changing your back end processing is going to happen over and over, that’s just the nature of the beast, but I don’t know what was lacking in your previous blog entry presentation. This change strikes me as silly as Outlook not opening a find window when you type f

  • Rick Hansen

    Well, the navigation arrows are rather annoying.

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