The New XBMC Website Look

Posted By: Nathan Betzen on Jul 04, 2013 in Site News

After quite a lot of hard work, we are very excited to present to everyone the new and improved look for XBMC.org (as well as a very necessary WordPress update). In particular, thanks go to Zag and Da-anda for their major contributions to the site, as well as Keith, Clumsy, theuni, and many others.

For the most part, all of the really important things haven’t changed. You can still check out all the important news on our blog, download XBMC on the download page, and find all the critical links to our forum and wiki. The purpose of this update was not to substantially change the experience of XBMC.org, but rather to pull it up from its old 2008 look to something a bit more modern.

With that said, there are a few changes many are likely to appreciate. To begin, the About page actually covers the functionality of XBMC, in addition to giving background on the development team, the Foundation, and other software developed by the organization. We’ve created a page discussing how users can contribute, as well as a FAQ page on the XBMC Foundation. We’ve also created our own GPL Violators page to encourage reporting of organizations that may have either accidentally or intentionally released a copy of XBMC without also including a means of delivering source code, as required by the GPL.

We’ve updated our donation page to better recognize our donors. Today, if you donate, you’ll have visual proof of your donation for all the world to see. We’ve also gotten rid of the old, confusing “Members+” title and replaced it with the much clearer “Donor” title, both on XBMC.org and in the forum.

Feel free to browse through the site. There’s quite a lot to see. If there is anything you like or don’t, or if you think we’re missing important pages, feel free to sound off in the comments.

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Discussion - 72 Comments

  • Josei Jul 04, 2013 

    Congrats!

  • Hund Jul 04, 2013 

    It was in a big need of a redesign and I’m very pleased with the new design. The only thing I find strange is that you didn’t switch to Disqus?

  • Bettini Jul 04, 2013 

    Great worl! Really like it..
    The old one was lika a relic!

  • umOuch Jul 04, 2013 

    This looks FANTASTIC! Nice job guys…. your site is looking top notch. Now the front end is as nice as the redone forum. ;)

  • Furbi963 Jul 04, 2013 

    Ahora es más chulo +1

  • NineT9 Jul 04, 2013 

    Absolutely love it!!! so fresh so clean clean

  • Bobby Blixberg Jul 04, 2013 

    Excellent!

  • James P Jul 04, 2013 

    Clean, very nice A+

  • dr88dr88 Jul 04, 2013 

    Great improvement. The site match now the modern style of the Experience 1080 Skin within XBMC. So I would would propose to update the default skin of XBMC to Experience 1080 to match the modern look of the site.

  • Richy Freeway Jul 04, 2013 

    Excellent redesign, good clean look.

  • Panofsky Jul 04, 2013 

    Just noticed, when checking out the new site, that the Ouya sponsor link doesn’t work. Currently the url is ‘http//www.ouya.tv/’ and thus misses the colon.

    • zag Jul 04, 2013 

      Thanks, The link should be fixed when the cache updates

  • Thomas Jul 04, 2013 

    Website looks awesome, though I’m a little pertubed as to the choice of such a slim website.
    Forcing users to scroll is a bit strange, as is the extreme height on small comments.
    Ie. if a user doesn’t have an avatar anyway, showing an empty picture is not worth it IMO :D

    But I really like the colors and the style of it, I’m just a bit estranged in the 800×600 choice of appearance.. You know, it’s not 1999 anymore :P

    • Mario Jul 04, 2013 

      This.

      And in addition to its flaws for high-res screens, it also isnt optimized for smaller devices.
      Saying it just needs some standard responsiveness ;)

    • Michel Jul 04, 2013 

      Fully agreed to the comments :-)

  • T800 Jul 04, 2013 

    I like the redesign.
    The only thing I would like to see is the header of the website with the buttons to also be at the top of the wiki section and the forum section. There are no links back to the main site. As soon as you go to the wiki or the forum the continuity ends.
    I know it’s always been like that but it would be nice to see it all connected backwards and forwards.

    • Nathan Betzen Jul 04, 2013 

      I believe that’s a definite goal. No ETA on it though.

    • Ned Scott Jul 04, 2013 

      There’s a wiki skin waiting in the wings that just needs a few fixes, as well as an update to our version of MediaWiki.

  • Dave Jul 04, 2013 

    Loving the new look, any word on when an addon gallery might make an appearance? Love the “GPL Violators” link :)

    Looking forward to the post about the June dev cycle too.

    Keep up the great work guys!

    • zag Jul 04, 2013 

      The Add-on web front-end is pretty much already done.

      It just needs some paging functions added, since we have a lot of add-ons :)

      That’s definitely the next thing I will work on.

      • sphere Jul 04, 2013 

        Nice to hear :)

  • Oliver Schmid Jul 04, 2013 

    What a boring page you’ve created. This ‘new’ design couldn’t be any further removed from the sheer glitz and glamour that is XBMC. Does WordPress only come in dull and extra dull? Gray, grey, shades of gray and black. How many hours did that decision take? This is really pathetic.

    • Nathan Betzen Jul 04, 2013 

      Ah, you’re a doll.

    • Tom Faber Jul 05, 2013 

      Must say i agree… This is a shame. Look at the awesomeness of all the skins… Should have gotten a skinner to do this.. Look at the Plex site for example.

  • Kobe Jul 04, 2013 

    In the previous version i could read all the news in it’s entirety without pressing the annoying “Read More”-button every time, I’m really starting to hate that button. Is there a way to be able to read the frontpage news like the previous version?

    • Martijn Jul 04, 2013 

      It was the same on the old site, it just showed a bit more before it had the read more.

  • Henrik Jul 04, 2013 

    The colors are nice and design in general but it’s very slow on loading. And the comments must be possible to make more compact, I fit three of them on screen at 1600×1200!

  • Mizael Jul 04, 2013 

    Very good!

  • Wes Jul 04, 2013 

    Regarding the About->Pictures section, the following:
    “Import pictures in into a library and browse the different views, start a slideshow slideshow, sort of filter them all using your remote control.”

    Should probably read:
    “Import pictures into a library and browse the different views, start a slideshow, sort or filter them using your remote control.”

    • Nathan Betzen Jul 04, 2013 

      Good catch, thanks!

    • bulkzooi Jul 05, 2013 

      Picture library? It’s a list.

  • Mario Jul 04, 2013 

    I like the new design of your site, great work!

  • LeechGuy Jul 04, 2013 

    To be honest, I don’t like it. XBMC for me is all about the eye candy: the beautiful skins and fantastic fanart. The website I just find it plain boring. Where’s the color? I just don’t see any resemblance between the website and XBMC – the greatest media center software out there.
    I’m glad that others do like it and hope that I’m part of a minority who doesn’t.

    • rikardo1979 Jul 04, 2013 

      bueauty is in simplicity very often ;)
      Sometimes, less is more ….
      This way the site should be more fluent no matter from where or what you access it,
      I would say even Casio calculator would handle :)
      :cool:

    • zag Jul 05, 2013 

      I can make it pink if you want?

      And add Ponies!! :)

  • rikardo1979 Jul 04, 2013 

    Nice one Team and all who contributed ;)
    Thubs up
    :cool:

  • b0bba Jul 05, 2013 

    Why did you change the icon, now i will have a hard time time finding the bookmark. its just black on black in my eyes.

    • respect_rns Jul 06, 2013 

      I have to agree with b0bba. The ‘x’ in xbmc alone would have worked better for the favicon; it is a bit hard to distinguish :)

  • 摇电 Jul 06, 2013 

    干净整洁,喜欢

  • onny Jul 06, 2013 

    @Nathan Betzen: Hey, since there is a prominent “Donate” button on the main page and the foundation is willing to collect donations, you should really have a look at Flattr. There are a lot of FLOSS projects on Flattr and there are even pending donations for XBMC: https://flattr.com/thing/425578
    Please consider adding a tiny Flattr button at your donation page!

  • Oliver Schmid Jul 06, 2013 

    It’s time for a XBMC user poll regarding the new website design. But there must be some consensus on how many negatives it takes for the Dev’s to listen to the input. I would love to help, but my coding skills are poor. Btw, it took 15 scrolls to get to the bottom of the page.

  • Oliver Schmid Jul 06, 2013 

    @Mr. Nathan, if you are still the public relations person on the XBMC team then belittling a user for their input is the exact opposite of your job/task.

    • Nathan Betzen Jul 06, 2013 

      As a general rule, I never take seriously any “input” that includes the word ‘pathetic.’ Frankly, I rarely take seriously criticism that fails to include some kind of contribution.

      For example, “I really dislike this new look, so here is a CSS stylesheet I created using Chrome Dev Tools that I feel pretty confident will really improve the look of the site,” is a statement I’d take very seriously. Since none of your posts included any constructive feedback at all, I feel pretty comfortable ignoring them. Perhaps if I were paid to pretend to care about trolling comments, I’d have a different take on the subject, but I do this work for free. As does every single person who spent the past several months working on the frontend, upgrading the backend, and generally working their butts off to improve the site.

      CSS takes literally minutes to learn. How much time have you spent working your butt off to improve XBMC?

      • Klojum Jul 07, 2013 

        Wow… -Maybe- you are totally right about not taking any criticism mentioning certain keywords, but spitting it all out like that is a reaction unbecoming an XBMC employee in my view. Maybe you are totally right, but then again, these are still your ‘customers’ you are talking to, and at. And, I also know that you cannot please every single one of them no matter how hard you try.

        Truthfully, I too have my doubts if certain aspects of the new website are indeed an improvement compared to the previous website. I believe there is too much white space in and around the replies, especially when those replies contain no more than one or two lines of text. And yes, a white and light gray colored website is not the first thing you’d expect from a company that is based on a darker blue/gray color based application. I prefer a toned down website myself, perhaps because it is literally easier on the eyes.

        “CSS takes literally minutes to learn.” Yes, for some people that would be the case. Other people have other skills. Some people are F1 car drivers or astronauts.

        And in case you wonder, I’m one of the guys that is on the OpenELEC IRC channel a couple of days each week, trying to help out other people with their XBMC / OpenELEC problems. So I too am working my butt off for XBMC (from time to time) for free.

        • Nathan Betzen Jul 07, 2013 

          See, there are a couple areas where we disagree on the basic definition of things. First of all, none of us is an “employee” of XBMC. This is entirely volunteer work. I suppose you could say, “Spitting it all out like that is unbecoming of a person freely volunteering his time for XBMC,” but for the most part I would disagree with that opinion. XBMC volunteers fairly regularly respond to extreme negative criticism with the straight-up answer “code welcome.” i.e. If you really don’t like this, then you fix it.

          Second, XBMC has no customers. The Foundation gets no money from selling software, from advertising, or from venture capitalists. The only income we get is used to pay for travel, paperwork, and server costs (if any). What XBMC does have is users and contributors. i.e. Those who use our software, and those who contribute to our software.

          Generally speaking, all of our software is open source. XBMC = open source. The remote control apps = open source. This website = open source. We are always happy to take on new users who are happy to use our open source software. But we are even happier to take on new contributors who can actively make our software better.

          What we, and more accurately I mean ‘I’ am not willing to take is abusive language. If a user wants to act like a customer, he has the right to. He can hire a developer, pay him to make a fix, and then complain with great vitriol to him when the fix isn’t to his liking. But if he’s not willing to pay somebody for his software, then his only option is to, at minimum be positive and constructive, and preferably to simply do the work himself (the only guaranteed route in open source software development).

  • costi Jul 07, 2013 

    To be honest, I preferred the old website (even though it was dated). This one is extremely narrow (800px? in 2013? really?) and bland, it looks like one of the milions cookie-cutter wordpress sites out there. It has nothing in common with the XBMC look.

    “About XBMC”, information which IMHO should be displayed at the very top, is pushed down all the way into the footnote where no-one will see it. A new person entering the site will have absolutely no idea what XBMC is about, because the website does not advertise XBMC in any way. Sure, there is the “About” page, but asking people to go to a subpage to find out what the website is about is bad design.
    Where’s a skin gallery? An Addon gallery?
    Look at how Plex and Mediaportal websites look like. They are user-oriented, focusing on stuff like “what is it?”, “how does it look like?” and so on. XBMC website looks like it’s power-user oriented – the main page has a developer blog and recent commit tracker as its main features.

    • zag Jul 07, 2013 

      Thanks for the constructive feedback. Skin and add-on galleries are already in development and should be released soon ;)

    • Nathan Betzen Jul 07, 2013 

      I honestly didn’t even realize the About XBMC footnote was there. Or else I’d forgotten it or something.

      I neither agree with you nor disagree with you regarding the mindset of a new person entering the site for the first time. Honestly, I’m not sure what a new visitor would want to see.

      I believe you are speaking on the presumption that a new visitor would be completely new to the idea of XBMC. Such a person would, indeed, need a great deal of hand holding. The thing is, I’m not really convinced ANYONE comes to XBMC without some idea what it is.

      The name XBMC doesn’t really tell us anything, and it’s a weird enough title that people aren’t simply going to stumble upon the site randomly. Essentially, to get here, you have to have somebody recommend it to you. And that means 2 things.

      First, the site really needs to cater to people who do a lot of recommending, because that’s the only way we’re going to keep our traffic up. (Ever see the Facebook front page logged out? It’s very, very evident that they expect ALL their traffic to be word of mouth.)

      Second, the site needs to cater to people who already know something about XBMC, but would like to know more.

      IMO, we do a better job catering to recommenders than just about any other media center group out there. The forums, the wiki, and the main site (along with the RSS feed) are all dedicated to giving them all the latest news and info. And constantly updating content maintains a cycle of interest that’s hard to beat.

      Frankly, I’m more excited for the skin and addon galleries because they’ll be even more regularly updated content for recommending users. I think new users are likely to be as confused by those galleries as they are by anything else.

      Where I’m willing to agree this site falls short is with the semi-knowledgeable. It wouldn’t be a terrible idea to include in the top right corner a list of links to common or neat things you can do with XBMC. At least, that’s the first idea that pops into my head. To be honest, I’ve never really considered how to appeal to the semi-knowledgeable before.

      I definitely disagree with you on what is and is not bad design. Asking users to go to a subpage to find out about a site is only bad design if you expect the visitor to stumble upon the site with no idea what the site is about. If your presumption is that the user already has an idea what the site is about by the time they arrive on the site, you can afford to skip that step in favor of more interesting frontpage activity.

      • costi Jul 07, 2013 

        I see your point, but I think you value recommendations too highly. Yeah, people will probably come here based on a recommendation, but this does not mean that they will have any knowledge about the product. They might’ve seen the name on a forum, or in an article, on your sponsors website/promo stuff, or the person recommending it gave a vague description. There’s also a group of people that are looking for the perfect software to meet their needs and want to look at available features. To put it simply: people might head/see the XBMC name, but still have no, or very little, idea what stands behind that name.

        Facebook isn’t really a good example – everybody knows what Facebook is. They don’t need any form of advertizing. ;)

        I’m not saying a complete redesign is needed – but to have a header post with a description of main features and selling points of XBMC would IMHO greatly improve readability of the site. I also like your idea about “neat things to do with XBMC” box.

        • Nathan Betzen Jul 07, 2013 

          To be clear, I was definitely agreeing with you on the fact that we do a pretty bad job catering to the less knowledgeable.

  • xkalibr Jul 07, 2013 

    Woah, i didnt even recognize the page!! So fresh so clean! excellent work guys, im very impressed!!

  • Jan Jul 08, 2013 

    Looking good! Congrats :)

  • Marco275 Jul 09, 2013 

    Hi,
    Maybe you could consider more ways to make an donation, like iDeal or a transfer to an bankaccountnumber, I have no creditcard so not able to make an donation.

  • Stephen E. Baker Jul 09, 2013 

    Front page looks pretty good.

    I find this comments section a little hard to read. A bit more contrast, particularly darker text I think would be helpful. As others have mentioned it would also be nice if it scaled better to thin windows and small devices, maybe with a max-width instead of width, and media queries to hide the avatar icons?

  • Stephen Bush Jul 10, 2013 

    Sidenote; Were unused (WordPress) templates/plugins/skins removed, one default installed skin was found to have a security hole, even without using that skin it presented a hole just being on the system. Great work.

  • spryfrog Jul 10, 2013 

    Great work, guys! Love the clean and simple look. If i want bling I’ll put in on my media server, a website should be simple to get around. Now bring on 12.3!

  • whaupt Jul 11, 2013 

    I like the new look, congrats!
    Just one point i just found:
    On Downloadpage if I use latest stable release source, download shows “xbmc-11.0.tar.gz”.
    This should be xbmc-12.2.tar.gz afaik?

    • Nathan Betzen Jul 11, 2013 

      Good catch! Thanks.

      • whaupt Jul 11, 2013 

        you’re welcome!

  • Spudda Jul 11, 2013 

    I’m new to this site and also to XMBC, only found out the amazing things you people have packed into this awesome product today after spending hours viewing YouTube!

    Anyway, I like the site and can’t wait for my new media box I have ordered today to arrive!

    Thanks for putting something as amazing as this out there, which improves the bog standard viewing experience for anyone who has the fortune to find out about it :o )

  • Louis King Jul 17, 2013 

    Great look.

  • Alex Jul 18, 2013 

    Nice Redesign… looks great! Keep up the good work.

  • bob Jul 20, 2013 

    Great new look! Much cleaner and easier navigation. The links to the d Dev team and xbmc foundation don’t work.

    • Nathan Betzen Jul 21, 2013 

      Thanks for the heads up, bob. Those are both links to the wiki, which was having problems over the weekend. They should be working now.

  • bob Jul 20, 2013 

    Follow up to previous comment … the links that don’t work are in the ‘about’ section.

  • PatK Jul 20, 2013 

    This a template or coding?

  • PizzaCat Jul 22, 2013 

    This is how your website looks on my 30″ monitor.
    i.imgur dot com/u1OJ16u.jpg
    Cant you make it wider please?

  • J3nova Li0nheart Jul 22, 2013 

    Nice new look love Everything about it….Wordpress my seecond fav. next to XBMC :P

  • sol0matrix Jul 27, 2013 

    why wordpress it sucks for more then one reason why not drupal or other advance cms ?

    • Martijn Jul 27, 2013 

      because developing it would require time we (our web dev) don’t have atm. It is being planned though to make it a non wordpress site

About XBMC

XBMC is a free and open source media player application developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium. XBMC is available for multiple operating-systems and hardware platforms, featuring a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet.