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2019 Website Updates

Big changes to the website recently that aim to improve the user experience.  Or UX, as it is known among techies — and now Lexus shoppers.

Style is taking a back seat to pagespeed performance and search engine visibility — but that doesn’t mean we’re tossing the baby out with the bathwater!

Core Improvements

Core elements of the website are better than ever before. The homepage and many category and tag pages are automatically ‘infinite scroll’ so you never have to click onto the “Next Page” buttons. Just hovering momentarily at the bottom of the page will load nine more articles.  Something lost along the way is the old ‘Dynamic’ homepage that included a selection of randomized Supercar posts. The dynamic element added about three seconds to every homepage load and was deemed unfit for the 2019 web world of instant content and ruthless Search ranking competition.

AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages

Also fairly new is that on mobile devices you will automatically be shown what is called an AMP web page that is hyperfast and loads within just milliseconds. Individual pages vary, of course, but the AMP pages are streamlined to the point where they are 10X less data intensive.  This is important because our reviews are deep!  They average 55 photos each.

The AMP tradeoffs are often worthwhile for new visitors and those seeking just a snippet of info.  At the bottom of every AMP page is a link to open the desktop version of the site as well.

Why might you need that? The entire site is mobile-responsive to look beautiful on any size or shape screen. But the standard mobile pages have more goodies that slow the loading times.  Elements like sidebar content are only available on non-AMP pages, while the lightbox and gallery layout and user experience is arguably smoother on the non-AMP pages.

Besides loading ASAP, a bonus of the AMP layout is an automatic slideshow that animates all by itself and without using any GIF formats, which is cool for some of the detailed Road Test Review photo galleries with shots of the vehicle from all sides.  If you ever want to see an AMP version of a post or page, simply add “/amp/” to the end of the URL (without quotes).

Oh, and there are fewer ads on AMP pages.  You’re welcome.

4800 Articles and Counting!

The constant push-pull is to build out amazing articles and pages without totally crashing or taking forever to load.  An advantage of AMP pages is that they are super lightweight — allowing the desktop site to have a deeper feature-set.

We’re no longer flying solo and have back-end help to keep the site performance zippy. After about five years publishing here at CRD we’ve amassed a tremendous amount of data!  Making 140,000 images available almost instantaneously is not easy to accomplish.  Those ads you see for a $5/month website?  We are a million miles from that basic-ness. =]


We’ve decided to re-enable comments, which are now on for all 2018 and 2017 articles. You may comment via various social logins and subscribe to any replies.

UPDATE: Comments are off again. It is all just spam.

Custom Search

Another cool new element available on non-AMP pages is a Google Custom Search Engine. In addition to searching the normal way by keywords, you can now search everything we’ve ever posted via Google’s smartie web crawlers.  This means that if you searched for Cherokee but an article is missing that tag, you will find all of the content anyway.  The Google Custom Search is located in the end of the sidebar column or in the website footer of all pages, or at the dedicated permalink above.  The results show Images by default but regular results are available via the ‘Web’ tab.

An added bonus is that this internal Google search also acts as an image search!  It is slightly tedious to thumb through all the image result pages but this is a limitation outside our control.

Lastly, the popular “Latest Videos” page has made the transition to the new site intact!  This is a grid of our latest 50 videos — check it out and be sure to subscribe.

We’re building some great new pages to showcase our awesome columnists Carl Malek and Ben Lewis. Watch this space!

Found a bug or want to share feedback?  We’re always around on social and email — so get in touch already!

Thank you for reading CRD — please tell your friends about this fun site. Or even better — come work with us.


Tom Burkart


PS: What car are we craving *right now*?  The TT-RS!


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