Thursday, March 30, 2023

MendoFever’s Website is Getting an Overhaul


Good day MendoFever Readers

Matt LaFever here–the overworked and underslept Founder, Editor, and Lead Reporter of MendoFever.

First off, thank you for your continued readership and support. I was perusing my analytics this morning and was humbled when I saw 44.9% of visitors on my website are considered “returning” for grand total of 19,839 returning visitors. This means that nearly 20,000 of you folks have brought my news coverage into your local news diet. Simply put, I’m floored.

Now, here is the exciting news, is being revamped from the ground up. In my humble beginnings of July 2020, I used to create MendoFever, a simple user-friendly interface but with a definite ceiling of customizability without some deep coder knowledge.

So I brought in the big guns. Working with two North Coast-based experts in media management, rebranding, and coding, I’m excited to present tomorrow, Saturday, March 5, 2022, a new, better version of

Let me tell you some of the design principles we put into place to better your experience on MendoFever:

  • Readability is the Priority– We took a critical look at some of MendoFever’s readability issues. Many found the font too faint, too small, and image captions strangely sized actually obscuring the images, especially if accessing on mobile. MendoFever 2.0 uses a crisp, clear font called Rubik and the font size adapts to the device you’re reading from.
  • Intuitive Shareability– I hope every article MendoFever publishes at one point generates the impetus to share it with others. To further that goal, prominent buttons on each article will allow readers to quickly share what needs to be shared via Twitter, Facebook, or Email to help friends, family, and neighbors stay informed.
  • ‘Trending Now’ Bar– For those in need of a quick dose of MendoFever, the ‘Trending Now’ bar is featured at the top of the homepage and displays the most popular articles of that day.
  • Categorical Organization– Analytics indicate some readers come to MendoFever for our crime reporting, or our fire reporting, or our op-eds/letter to the editors. To honor those readers and arrange our news based on these groups, the homepage will be populated with clearly labeled and easily navigated sections dedicated to those topics.
  • Overall Appearance– I’ve always wanted my website to feel Mendocino County. Somehow capture the rugged, simple beauty and the utilitarian competency we find in ourselves and in these parts. An earth-tone-based balance of browns and green conjures Carhartts and hillsides and boots that somehow just feel Mendocino.

Alright, let’s get honest about something. Change is hard. Despite MendoFever 1.0’s flaws, that’s how my readers have accessed my writing since the beginning. The new interface will take some navigating, some learning, and some getting used to— for readers and myself. I appreciate your patience and understanding in that process.

As a result of the website change, for a few hours on Saturday morning, the website will be down and if you go to it will appear “under maintenance.” We expect the product to be live on Saturday afternoon.

Please, if you notice an issue, email me at and tell me what you’re experiencing. It takes a village, as they say. With so many loyal readers providing constructive feedback, I do not think it will take long for us to fine-tune MendoFever 2.0 and have an online space that has the sturdy charm typical of the average Mendocino County resident. 

For a moment, I want to recognize two people: Samara Mondello Smith and Marty McGee, the two people who made this redesign possible. Samara runs the social media optimization and branding company The Creative Circle. Marty McGee runs the specialized website coding business Company Juice. in the beginning, I messaged them and said, “I want the website to feel like Mendocino County.” That weird, abstract, squishy request was immediately met with “We can do that.” If you or your business are looking to move into the online space, Samara and Marty are local and have a passion for supporting their community. Thank you so much, guys!

So, that about sums it up. I am already in the acceptance phase that some of you might rage against MendoFever 2.0. Please, if you find yourself lost or frustrated, feel free to reach out, or just keep exploring. My hope is your interest in MendoFever’s writings and news coverage will be a more powerful force than a website design.

The work of MendoFever is ceaseless. When I go on my evening walk, there’s an earbud crackling with scanner traffic. Where once I woke up and read the news, now I check the booking logs and CHP reports. Need-to-know stories, at times, take precedent over R & R. If you have found the product of these labors informative, please consider donating by pressing the PayPal button below.

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Once again, thank you for your support and readership. I am still humbled every day that so many come to MendoFever for their local news.

As always, reach out if you know a story that needs telling.

Matt LaFever

Founder, Editor, and Lead Reporter of MendoFever


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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at if you know a story that needs to be told.

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