When I started the Winchester Family Business in October 2008, it had come to be because I suddenly decided to build a website after losing my job.  I built the site on a basic stock blogging template from a low cost hosting provider.  The site was blue and white and had no images, graphics, or any type of layout at all.  It was a simple blog format with me as the only writer sharing my opinions about a show that I had fallen in love with a year earlier and started blogging about at Blogcritics.  The idea of the site of simple, to stretch my love of 'Supernatural" further and to do more than write simple reviews for another site.  I wanted to create a unique fan experience.  Here it is nine years later and I couldn't have possibly imagined back then how much this site would evolve.  Heck, I couldn't possibly have imagined that "Supernatural" would still be on the air!  Odds have certainly been defied in many ways.
 
Today marks yet another new step in the history of the Winchester Family Business.  This is the sixth site redesign I've done since I started the site.  Most of the changes have been done out of need to keep up with the constantly changing web technology.  There are so many issues and complications I face now with site security, spam, and site speed/performance that I never faced when I first started the site.  Our current redesign was necessary because of our outdated web site platform (too slow and clunky) and the need to keep up with the times from a user experience perspective.  With the majority of our views happening on phones and tablets now, we needed something that could run better on multiple devices while giving the same user experience.  This latest design makes that all possible.  
 
So what is new?  Here is a list of the new features incorporated into this design:
 
 - The new site will be faster.  This new template is sitting on a modern framework designed to load site applications quickly.  It’s been rather exciting to see how well all the pages load during testing.  It’s never been this good before.    

- New front page layout.  There is a new main slider that will be updated less frequently (to give readers time to read it!) and highlight what’s new with some of our more active pages like Caption This and Season Thirteen reviews.  

- New bottom navigation menu.  There is a new menu at the bottom that provides quick and easy one touch links to our popular and most important pages. A new feature is direct links to just Dean, Sam and Castiel articles! Other popular option include links to all our "Lighter Side" articles, slideshows, interviews (including San Diego Comic Con Press Room interviews) and Supernatural convention reports!  Recommended sites will also be housed there now.  

- New polling.   There is a dedicated poll section on the main page now! 

- New calendar feature.  This is going to be a work in process for a small bit as I catch up on entering events, but the goal is to have a calendar that shows all the important Supernatural events like upcoming episodes and conventions.  I will track past events too.  We can also mark fan events and anniversaries on this page.  

- New “bubble” section - This is just under the articles.  It links to readers' favorite pages!  Right now it’s doing Caption This, Latest Comments, Marketplace (more on that below) and Spoiler Discussions.  These will change as other pages require attention.  
 
- New Video and Motivational Poster front page sliders - These aren’t replacing our video page and Motivational poster gallery, but they will be highlighting the most recent video clips from upcoming episodes and any other fandom relevant videos to be released as well as the most current Motivational Posters.
 
- New Marketplace - This one is pretty exciting.  Instead of running random Amazon ads on the site pages, I’m putting those links all together in one Marketplace page.  This marketplace will have all sorts of Supernatural merchandise from Amazon and perhaps other vendors like what had been featured in our gift guides.  If you run into any piece of SPN merchandise that’s not on the page, send me the link via contact us and I’ll get it on there.  This is also going to be a WIP for a little while, but at least it’ll be running in time for the holidays!  
 
- Better tag functionality.  Our old tag archives were slow, clunky, and impossible to navigate. I’m making that much easier.  Right now the top tags are on a rotating cloud on the front page (top 30) but the complete history will be on the archive page.  They will be listed in alphabetical order.  Click on the tag and all articles connected to that tag will appear in a blog format.  The best part of this new functionality is it’s fast. The one we had previously loaded so slowly that most usually give up before it loads. Also click on the tag in the articles pages and the same thing will happen.  
 
- New WFB writers page.  It’s a new design.  It looks a lot more modern and professional.  
 
Every other page will remain the same for now, it’ll just have a new look.  The most dramatic change in the new look is the background sheet will now be
white.  We have never had white pages before!  We have always run with dark themes.  
 
Everyday this week I'll be converting over more functions so the site should be completely operational by the time the new Supernatural episode airs! All feedback is appreciated!  Tell me in the comments below what you like about the new design, what you don't like, and what you'd like to see happen.  I'm open to all suggestions.  
 
Here's a little something for fun.  The site, archive.org, has captured some of our past history!  Our original blue and white blog and the first big template rebuild in 2009, the grey and yellow bloggers layout with some cool logos on top, are not available on the site.  Just the content.  But, it has the rest of them!
 
Here's the WFB circa 2011: (Note: It's difficult to hotlink to an archive.org page, so if you don't see the WFB page just copy the link and paste it into another browser window.  It'll load that way!)
 
https://web.archive.org/web/20110628151404/http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com:80/supernatural.html
 
 2012:
 
https://web.archive.org/web/20121104023905/http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com:80/supernatural.html
 
2014:
 
https://web.archive.org/web/20140604234526/http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/
 
2015:
 
https://web.archive.org/web/20150228145930/http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/
 
2016:
 
https://web.archive.org/web/20161220005910/http://thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com:80/
 
Thank you as always for spending your valuable time on this site, even after all these years.  I couldn't be more grateful, and everyone on the staff feels the same way.  All of you are what makes these site redesigns and upgrades possible.