Wiki Modernization Overview
Reducing the Number of Ads
  • We released a new ad layout that has fewer ads on the site.
  • This new layout reduces the number of ad units on FANDOM by 30%.
  • This improves the design and speed of wiki pages.
  • The ad layout we chose was released after extensive testing across the site.
  • Featured Video and site design changes enabled us to reduce the number of ads.
Featured Videos
  • Featured Videos are about the subject of the page, on-topic, and relevant.
  • Featured Videos are placed near the top of article pages (examples: Alec Ryder, Newt Scamander).
  • Featured Videos also appear on mobile web.
  • Ads in front of Featured Videos helped us to reduce the number of ads on the site.
  • Videos autoplay (with the sound muted) and minimize when you scroll. You can disable autoplay in the video player’s settings for 2 weeks.
Page + Article Header Redesign
  • We tested a redesigned page and article headers on several communities.
  • The logged in and logged out versions have slight differences because these two groups of users have different needs.
  • The final product was released on June 13th to all FANDOM wikis. It was released to Discussions on July 27th.
Other Design Changes
  • We released modernized versions of key right rail modules. More modules will be modernized soon.
  • The Fan Feed, located at the bottom of the page, was updated to include wiki pages, community discussions, editorial content, Featured Videos, and wiki spotlights.
Questions or feedback? Contact us!

Since the beginning of the year we've had a consistent goal throughout our product development: reducing the number of ads on the wiki page. This was a big part of the project we call Wiki Modernization. We knew that by making design and product improvements to the site, we would be able to provide a more modern web experience to users and advertisers without all of the ad clutter that we've had on pages up until now. We are happy to announce that we have achieved this milestone. As of this past Monday, October 2nd, a brand new ad experience is live across the world that has fewer ads per page. In fact, we have slashed over 30% of total ad units on our site. This is something FANDOM and users alike have wanted for years, and it's incredibly exciting to have accomplished this!

Where can I find this new ad layout?

You can find this new layout on every article page on every wiki around the world, so go take a look! Something that will be of particular interest to a lot of people reading this is the behavior of the right rail. Rather than being chock full of ads, the rail will follow you as you scroll. On most pages, you'll see the Trending FANDOM Articles module scrolling with you, then it will change to an advertisement, and then it will change back to the module. You'll also notice that the Trending FANDOM Articles module is smaller than it used to be.

You'll also see that there are fewer ads on the bottom of the page. Instead of many small advertisements, you'll now see one advertisement across the bottom of the page, similar to ads that are at the top of the page.

Why is this new ad layout a good thing?

There are two key reasons for this new layout:

  • Modern web expectations. We've all seen websites where ads are in your face and crammed into every corner of the page. These kinds of sites are a big reason why advertising standards have changed. Users don't want to see them, and advertisers don't want to be associated with them. Keeping up with modern design standards is important to fulfilling the needs of users and advertisers.
  • Page performance. Having fewer ads per page helps the page load faster. Ads use "calls," which load everything that an ad needs to display and function. Let's say, as a conservative estimate, that there are 20 calls on each advertisement and that there are 7 ads on the page. That's 140 calls that need to be loaded. Cut the number of ads down to 5 and now there are only 100 calls. That may not seem like a lot in the abstract, but it represents a real increase in page performance.

How did we accomplish this?

At the beginning of the year we recognized that a few key elements of the site could be changed to create an ad experience that was more attractive to advertisers and provided users with a better-performing website. Primarily, that involved:

  • Redesigned page and article headers. By redesigning the header area, which had not been touched since 2011, we were able to make a small but very noticeable change that gave the site a more modern design.
  • Featured Video. Our new Featured Video product is the most crucial piece of Wiki Modernization. Not only does it provide a modern digital experience for a web audience that is increasingly looking for video content—by 2020, 80% of internet traffic is expected to come from video—but the advertisements that play in front of videos are in such high demand that they offset the removal of many of the advertisements across the site.

Video is a major priority for FANDOM across editorial and wikis. There are many benefits we can provide to fans with Featured Videos to complement the unmatched content you provide. This program is still in its infancy but we're working hard to develop it into something that will foster feature-quality video content that resonates with audiences and drives them to interact more with your wikis. We are excited to see how it grows.

Final Thoughts

We'll continue to review what the best ad layout is for FANDOM wikis to achieve the goals of Wiki Modernization and our business, while satisfying fans, but we're excited to have this layout live on the site.

As always, if you have any questions about advertisements on FANDOM, feel free to let us know!

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