Welcome to the new Winchester Family Business! Okay, aside from some new pretty colors and a new layout, underneath it’s pretty much all the same. We still love and obsess over Supernatural, and we still strive to be a fan site that is a welcoming place for all fans. We will still continue to provide original content that is meant to spurn discussion and inspire the fandom, not to mention inform. We aim to please!
It’s interesting, but in talking with fans at conventions last year and through Twitter, a lot of people aren’t aware of what we do on this site. If they do visit this site, it’s because of an article link. They don’t spend a lot of time exploring what else we have beyond that one article. That’s understandable, since there are tons of other sites out there all vying for a "Supernatural" fan’s attention, so what makes us so different? Plenty. We are the ONLY “Supernatural” fan site out there that does original daily content about “Supernatural.” I’m not talking about sharing news links and spreading the word about this project or that project. Sure we do that, but mostly we want to discuss and explore here, as well as have some cheeky fun. We are going for a full fan experience here, one where all fans are welcome and interact with respect. Then again, if you’re a frequent visitor to this site, you know that!
That’s one of the reasons why I went for a redesign. We do a lot here. So much so, several of our features are getting lost in the clutter. I’m hoping to make it easier to navigate and explore. Below is a detailed walkthrough of this site. Not only is one needed for the new site design, we also have many new visitors each month to this site who could benefit from this as well. Hopefully you’ll find this little tutorial useful.
Our New Front Page
The biggest problem with the old front page is that it had too much on it! New articles, which got updated far less frequently, were being coupled with other daily articles that rotated through much faster. News articles are blurbs and shouldn’t command the same attention as our original articles. Too many original articles were getting lost in the shuffle. I have moved our news articles to the “Latest SPN News” ticker. Along with any Supernatural news, new spoiler page entries will also be listed in this ticker. Since we’re on the topic of the spoiler page...
Sablegreen’s Spoiler Page is our most popular page currently. I’m bringing it out more. The spoiler page can be accessed through our top menu, as well as the old way, through the feature box. That is now at the bottom of the front page, in a new features section. New entries can be accessed through the ticker. For those that want to see older spoilers, old spoiler entries can be found on our archive page (or will be very soon). More coming on that page momentarily.
Our newest articles can be found in the “Featured Articles” slider at the top. These are the ones with the very pretty pictures. Links are clickable on the picture. Other recent articles beyond the five most current ones are in the Recent Articles section further down the page on the left hand side. This section has been made bigger to give more prominence to these articles rather that the cluttered and shorter columns I was using earlier.
For those looking for older articles, there are several ways to see those. You can go to our Articles page, which is accessed through the menu bar at the top. Articles list in order of publication there, but they all are there. Yes, there are 95 pages worth, featuring roughly 14 articles a page. Do the math! That’s just articles too, not news and announcements.
We do have a Search box too, if you can find it. I’m always moving it. I can assure it’s always on the front page. Right now it’s on the right hand side halfway down. You’ll also find if in the left margin on other pages. Just type in the keywords you’re looking for, and it’ll take you to our search page and list articles with matches.
Articles also can be found on our Articles Archives page by category (I’m also working on a way to look up articles by date). Articles archives are now in our new vertical menu, which can be found on the left hand side on any page. Article Archives is the top entry. Articles are listed by News and Announcements, Articles, and Spoilers (coming very soon). Click on either link and it’ll give a selection by category. Choose a category and it’ll list every article in that category in order of publication, most recent to oldest. Access will also be available soon to our updated ratings chart (yes, I’ve blown off season seven) and a countries chart showing every country (that’s been reported to me) Supernatural has aired and what channel.
Articles are also listed by author. Through the top menu, there is the WFB Writers section. This page has been changed to list our writers with their bios (those that provided one anyway!). If you click on the “Read More” box under each author, it will open a new page showing the bio and all the author’s articles. You can also on that page send any comments to the author if you wish. I will warn however, “you suck” type messages usually get deleted. :) I’m working on a way to also list articles by guest authors too. That’s an important item on my “To Do” list.
There is also a section on the front page called Latest Episode Breakdown, located on the right hand side. That’s just my clever way of showcasing articles relevant to the latest episode. This box will also be in the episode guide under the episode. Can you tell how proud I am of our article discussions? They are our forte. In times of Hellatus, this will be a special features box.
Latest Comments are now on the right hand side, halfway down the page. There’s an extra tab too. That shows our Most Commented articles. Yes, hard to believe that “Is Sam Winchester Really Okay?” is our most commented article ever, but it is.
Polls, Photo and Video Galleries, Episode Guides (by season), CBOX, and links to are sister sites TV For The Rest of Us and The Supernatural Crossroads are now in the new vertical menu as opposed to the top horizontal menu. I had to create a new vertical menu because the top one was running out of room! Plus it’s pretty (I know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder). Since many of you don’t know what these other menu items are, here’s a quick rundown:
- Polls: After each episode and other times at random, I’ll put out polls. They’re usually embedded in an article somewhere, but sometimes they aren’t. All active polls are kept on our Polls page. They are good for 30 days. Currently you can only vote in a poll once, but if you prefer to vote in a poll daily, let me know and I’ll look into that. I love doing polls, because the outcomes of those polls often don’t reflect what’s in our article comments. We have a ton of lurkers on this site (statistically I can prove it), and polls seem to best reflect their opinions.
- Photo and Video Galleries: I’m amazed how many people don’t know we have this! We have a set of high quality screencaps for every single “Supernatural” episode. I’m always working to update the Photo Galleries for each episode. Currently, our season one photos are lacking very much, and I’m in the process of upgrading what I used to have for season four. I’m a little more than halfway done. What I had for that season before really sucked. I’ll be fixing season five next too, as well as going back and updating season one (although “Home”, “Faith”, “Salvation” and “Devil’s Trap” have a complete set). Season six and seven have a ton of goodies, and seasons two and three are decent. By the way, if you’re looking for some very complete galleries (like 1100+ photos per episodes), I HIGHLY suggest Home of The Nutty. They outshine anything we could offer in terms of volume. But we have a great sampling!
- I’ll also have up soon several promo and silly misc photos in the gallery. I have quite a collection that needs to be shared! Ardeospina’s Daily Motivational Posters are also kept in their own galleries right here. Don’t know what they are? Then you MUST check out this gallery. They are hysterical! A few will make you tear up as well.
- The Video Gallery has always been a WIP. It features some of my favorite videos, but I must admit, I’m not very good at keeping it up. The goal is to have relevant Supernatural videos there like the 100th episode celebration, Comic Cons and stuff like that. Like I said, a WIP. I’ll ALWAYS take volunteers for building a proper video gallery. In the meantime, there are a few entries in there you might like.
- Episode Guides - This has also confused many people. The Episode Guide is meant to not only list every Supernatural episode by season, but it is meant to show every article that we’ve done on this site related to that particular episode. You see, we pride ourselves here on having the best episode reviews and discussions. These pages are meant to provide easy access to those articles and discussions. So if you’re feeling reminiscent of say, “Mystery Spot” and want to read all about it, our Episode Guide will be there to help you. Our reviews are a little light in the first two seasons since I didn’t start writing about “Supernatural” until season three, but there’s some stuff there. Coming soon, links to every one of Bardicvoice’s excellent episode reviews. She’s been doing them since the beginning! I’m also fixing some broken links, so bear with me for now. (For a very comprehensive breakdown of each episode in terms of references, pop culture shout-outs, quotes, music etc, there is no better place to get that info than Supernatural Wiki. They ROCK in their episode breakdowns. I’m considering linking every one of their episode entries to our guide. For now, you can easily find the episodes in their Canon section.)
- CBOX - Did you know that The Winchester Family Business had a chat room? This is our CBOX. This is very popular with several Europeans on our site, but really it’s for anyone. It’s always active. So, if you feel like chatting with other SPN fans, give it a try.
Supernatural Quotes. They can be found in the center near the bottom of the page. These aren’t just simple quotes. These are transcriptions of entire scenes, ones that stand out in a particular episode. I’ve been terrible at updating quotes, but I do love them, so I have a new feature now where every time you visit the front page, it selects from a random set of quotes instead of just showing one. I only have six right now, but I plan on continuing to build. If there’s any scenes you want done, put it in the comments here or send me a message through “Contact Us.” I’ll make it happen.
Forum. I keep going back and forth on the forum. I created the forum in August because there seemed to be a small demand for it. It was an opportunity for people to create discussions beyond the ones we were doing in articles. I closed the forum back in November because spammers were using it more than people, but I reopened it again after The CW boards were abruptly closed. Since then, it is still only getting mild use. I’m still not sure what to do about the forums, but for now they remain. I do wish I had time to spark discussion there, but as you can tell by what I’ve written so far, time is a bit lacking given my long “to do” list. I have new ways of clearing out spam, but it’s still not 100% effective. The forum hasn’t been updated with our new template yet. It has the old colors. It falls rather low on the fix list right now.
Download Episodes. This is a convenient page designed to give you quick and easy access to all those places out there to buy episodes for download and DVDs. I'm still working on the page, but the iTunes links are there right now. There will be Amazon links and Hulu, which has the most recent five episodes. Whenever "Supernatural" is available for streaming on Netflix, we'll have that too. I'll evenutally put up links for streaming in other countries as well.
Social Media Box. This is located underneath the pretty picture slider. This is a constant work in process. Linking to other sites is very important, and I’m always looking for ways to make it easier. Currently there are links to our Twitter, Facebook, and RSS feeds. Yeah, I got to do better than that. At the top of bottom of each article, you will notice there is a chance to share the article through numerous social media sites. If you’re on Facebook, give the article a quick “Like”. That helps us tremendously. Tweeting the article does as well. Success as a site depends on the number of links we get out there. I can only spend so much time on Twitter!
I believe this guide is overwhelming enough now, so I’ll stop there. Thanks for indulging me in my ramblings about what is essentially my pride and joy. Despite our large growth and what I believe to be a most impressive collection of writers, when it comes to the behind the scenes workings, this site is mostly a one woman show. I’ll do my best to service where needs may come, but I am only one person. I’m relying on all of you for any suggestions, issues, feedback that will make your experience better. All that can be communicated through Contact Us, which is on our top menu. Thanks again for spending your time here. I couldn’t be more grateful.
For all the latest Supernatural info and article links, follow The Winchester Family Business on Twitter at @WinFamBusiness
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