Today I’m rolling out a new version of Mingtiandi with a range of content, design and technology improvements that will bring you more real estate information, make stories easier to find, and deliver that content faster whether you are working on desktop or mobile.
Adding Listed Developers and Design Sections
Starting today you will see new sections on the site covering publicly listed real estate developers as well as design and construction news. This broadening of Mingtiandi’s scope is in response to readers spending more time searching for and reviewing stories on the site about China’s listed real estate firms, as well as about design innovations and construction milestones. The new sections complement our existing coverage of outbound investment, retail real estate, property professionals and research and policy news.
Enhanced Delivery Platform
Although we are bringing you more information, we are now able to deliver this at higher speed, thanks to a few technical improvements.
Earlier, Mingtiandi was brought to you via a single server based in the US. Now that the site has been redesigned, and our readership is growing, this platform was no longer adequate, so I have added on a content distribution network that delivers China real estate intelligence to you from a network of 30 servers across the globe. Now Mingtiandi’s users can get industry-standard response times (3 seconds or less on a broadband connection) no matter where they are.
In addition to an enhanced delivery network, Mingtiandi’s new design also incorporates a number of other technical improvements that allow us to deliver richer pages, with bolder images, while ensuring that each page loads in 3 seconds or less. (Assuming you have a reasonable Internet connection — which can be a big assumption for those of us in China).
Richer Content and Improved Search
You may notice that the site looks a bit different today. To keep pace with the latest developments in design, Mingtiandi now features bolder typography, more images, and a simpler layout. My goal in this redesign is to make it easier for all of you to find and read the property intelligence that you need.
And, since 20 percent of Mingtiandi’s readers are now accessing the site via mobile, with that percentage growing each month, the new template makes use of what is called “responsive design,” meaning that your content should display equally well whether you are viewing it at your desktop, on a tablet, or through your phone.
Also to help you find the information you need more easily, the site now incorporates an enhanced search engine. Whereas the earlier version of Mingtiandi sorted search results in chronological order, your results will now be delivered according to their relevance to you, according to an algorithm customised to China’s real estate markets.
“Good Enough” Means “Needs Improvement”
Because Mingtiandi started out as a simple blog, the site’s earlier approach to content and technology was understandably basic. However, now that we are averaging more than 2000 visitors per week, and adding more than 100 news items per month about everything from billion dollar acquisitions in London to 33-storey doughnut-shaped buildings, the needs of Mingtiandi’s audience have evolved quickly.
Let Me Know What You Think
The improvements that you are seeing today in Mingtiandi’s content, design and technology are the result of several weeks of work, and a few months of planning, although I’m proud to say that all of this was still accomplished for a few hundred US dollars worth of expenses.
I hope that the new platform will be successful in bringing all of you the information you need on China’s real estate market, and I welcome your feedback and suggestions.