October 16, 2014 Last Updated 4:25 pm

Hearst gives SFGate.com a much needed website redesign

Original website was launched in 1994, during a Newspaper Guild strike, making the site one of the first newspaper driven websites on the web

The San Francisco Chronicle’s <strong>SFGate.com website got a much needed redesign, dramatically improving the site’s look, navigation and approach.


Above: redesigned SFGate.com; Below-left: old design

Despite being the home to the most technologically savvy readership on the planet, the Hearst Corporation’s Chronicle and its oddly named website, have been sort of a joke among techies. The original website is among the oldest on the web, dating back to 1994 when it was launched during a Newspaper Guild strike. It received its familiar look only a few years later and then only minor redesigns were undertaken.

The new look of SFGate is a dramatic improvement on the old site.

“SFGate.com produces a tremendous amount of content about the Bay Area and beyond,” says the Chronicle’s President Kristine Shine said in the announcement for the new site. “With this site redesign we wanted to be able to surface our content in an increasingly modern way and leverage more visual and engaging storytelling elements—such as photos, videos and info graphics.”

SFgate-olddesignThe new site puts a greater emphasis on video, as well as faster load times for pages and images.

“The next generation user is consuming video at a much more rapid pace than their predecessors,” Shine said.

“On the new SFGate.com, we’ve created more places where video can be employed within the design, providing our producers with new and more engaging ways to tell the stories that matter to Bay Area readers.”

At one point the Chronicle experimented with a paywall though its SFChronicle.com website early last year. But the experiment ended abruptly at the end of the summer that year. The presence and familiarity with the older SFGate website no doubt contributed to the limited appeal of the paywalled website.

  • alan 3 years ago

    sorry, the new web site sucks!

  • Christopher Riess 3 years ago

    Are you serious? It is the worst website redesign I have ever seen! After years and years and years as my homepage, I dumped it. I haven’t been back either. SFExaminer now gets my visits. You are doing a disservice by posting this fluff. The feedback on their site has been uniformly negative. That is a fact.