Today i visited php.net, and they welcomed me with top ad informing me about the new site, expecting it to be a lot better i clicked on it with little hesitation.
Step into the future! Click here to switch to the beta php.net site
The new sites design is much like the old, the colors and layout has not changed much, and on some points it does feel a little better.
Impressions of the new Beta php.net Site
The colors are pretty much the same, which is to be expected, considering that the familiar purple colors has become strongly connected with PHP development – for those visiting the reference regularly anyway.
The thing i really like about the new design however, is that the amount of irrelevant information on the frontpage has been drastically reduced. It's now become much easier to navigate to the areas of interest from the frontpage.
On the down side, the new frontpage makes really poor use of available screen real estate, likely due to margins and paddings that are to large – but what's worse, there appears to be an alarming lack of contrast between elements on the page as a result.
The font-size on the entire site also appears to be to large, which contributes to the broken contrast between elements. Zooming out to about 75% seems to grant some relief to the symptoms however.
Improvements to the Site Search Function
It seems there have also been made functional improvements to the site, one of the more apparent improvements is a feature similar to Googles Autocomplete. This new feature will display suggestions that are similar to what you are typing – hopefully this will eliminate the need to search for PHP.net stuff on google, when its the reference on php.net you are interested in.
While the new design is definitely better than the old, i still think there is room for much improvement. The new design of php.net is just to simplistic for my taste.
What would really improve the design, would be some softer colors, and some better use of CSS styling, or perhaps adding some border-radius to their boxes.