Smashing Highlights 2007

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Sven is the co-founder and former CEO of Smashing Magazine. He writes at his Conterest Blog where he focuses on blogs, content strategy, writing and publishing … More about Sven ↬

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Although Smashing Magazine is quite young, a number of things happened in 2007. Aside from dozens of articles, we’ve organized few contests, re-designed our weblog and we also have released two WordPress-themes and a Smashing free font.

Although Smashing Magazine is quite young, a number of things happened in 2007. Aside from dozens of articles, we’ve organized few contests, re-designed our weblog and we also have released two WordPress-themes and a Smashing free font.

In this post we revise what happened on Smashing Magazine over the last year. Smashing highlights, setbacks and small sensations of 2007 — in a brief overview, month by month.


For us, the year began with a small traffic earthquake. The article 53 CSS-Techniques You Couldn’t Live Without has managed to reach front pages of almost every social network; it was recommended by hundreds of bloggers and drawn a huge attention to the Smashing Magazine.

It’s not a secret that this post has become one of the typical posts to follow in 2007. Extremely long and with dozens and dozens of large images. In January we were quite generous about the size of our images. Now, 12 months later, we know better. Currently the post reached 759 comments and trackbacks.


With the growing popularity of WordPress also the interest for decent WordPress-themes grows. This not quite new idea brought us in February to 83 Beautiful Wordpress Themes You (Probably) Haven’t Seen.

We’ve spent weeks selecting decent, professional and high-quality WordPress themes. It was worth it. Even although some readers complained that they actually seen these themes, at the moment the article has 849 comments and trackbacks.


A scandal in March — nobody wanted to read Google Gadgets, Widgets and Moduls, a well-researched article with many useful references. Apparently, we’ve got to have more images, as we did in the showcase Keep It Simple, Stupid!.


We’ve announced the winner of our logo contest. Ruan Deyzel from South Africa designed a Smashing logo we currently use — you can see it on the left at the top.

In April we’ve experimented with new concepts; in the article 35 Designers x 5 Questions we’ve gathered the opinions of 35 renowned experts across the globe. It wasn’t easy and took us much more time than we expected.

The result was an extremely long article with suggestions, ideas and tips from professional designers and developers. Questions: 1 aspect of design you give the highest priority to, 1 most useful CSS-technique you use very often, 1 font you very often use in your projects, 1 design-related book you highly recommend to read.


Since May we regularly present colorful collections with high-quality icons, graphics and templates. The first article of its kind, Freebies Round-Up: Icons, Buttons and Templates, has brought us 235 comments and trackbacks.


A quite unspectacular month. The most exciting article was probably (guess what!) a list of 80+ AJAX-Solutions For Professional Coding.


In July, in the article Wanted: Your 404 Error Pages, we’ve prompted our readers to design 404-error-pages and let us know about them. Few weeks later we’ve published the results in the article 404 Error Pages: Reloaded. We’ve received a friendly applause from our readers and the article was quickly forgotten. Weeks later thousands of Digg comrades passed by generating a huge traffic spike. After Digg’s front page the article found its path to other social networks. In the end, it was much more successful than we expected.

In comments Digg users complained about a “not-that-accurate” selection of the best 404-pages. The truth is, it wasn’t supposed to be the ultimate Best-Of collection; it was just a collection of creative ideas provided by excellent readers of a small weblog.

The most colorful, but not quite popular article of the month was Exploring Design: Outstanding Start Pages. We love large images, you know.


In August we’ve published one of the most beautiful articles we’ve ever written — Data Visualization: Modern Approaches was very well linked, cited and praised.

The typography-lovers could celebrate their passion in the article 80 Beautiful Typefaces For Professional Design.


In September we’ve celebrated our One-Year-Anniversary and therefore smashed our readers big time, one week long. We’ve organized two give-aways and offered our readers over hundred presents — books, accounts, tools and services. These posts had 2101 and 1855 comments and trackbacks, accordingly.


Screensavers - Best Of was the most colorful and popular article of the month, for the whole family, not only for designers and developers.


The November had a little surprise for us. The post User Experience Of The Future, actually a tiny creativity portion for monday inspiration, with only 12 images (nothing compared to our previous posts), was linked so often and so quickly that our web-hoster was fed up with the amount of traffic the article generated. Consequently the december has brought us a lot of problems.


The worst month of the year. Our lovely Webhoster Manitu throttled down our server, wasn’t cooperative, lied to us and finally thrown us away. The result was We Experienced Serious Server Problems. We’ve received many suggestions and offers. Not everyone knows that a project like Smashing Magazine can’t be hosted on “usual” Webspace or on a Managed Server. We need more. And terabytes of traffic are also quite costly. However, now we are finally back on track and run on a new server.