Hello everyone! We’ve been hard at work since the start at 2021. You likely noticed that last Thursday, we launched a whole new website! We’re really excited about it and we hope you like the new and improved experience. We built it predominantly in-house with some assistance from our long-time technical partners. Here’s what’s new!

The Magazine

The online magazine is how Untapped New York started and it’s still the first thing you’ll see when you land on our homepage. Our aim with this redesign was to improve web page performance and readability, while making the design timeless yet modern.

Speed: The new website is faster than ever. The pages on our website load 33% faster now and the page shifts nearly 50% less than it used to (page shifting on websites is caused by ad loading, a necessary evil). All this means an easier and more pleasant reading experience!

New Homepage Organization: We’ve organized our homepage by popular category, so below the main slider you’ll find the latest in Secrets of NYC, Upcoming Events, Filming Locations, latest videos featured on Untapped New York, and articles connected to our podcast, Secrets of New York.

Articles: Our articles layouts are still photo-centric, with a large (but not too-wide) image on top. Our font is bigger now, for easier reading. We have a nice new slideshow option and if you click on an image on some articles, it will open a lightbox for you to see all the great images from within the article.

Ads: Overall, we’re running fewer ads! This is great for you, but a sacrifice for us financially in an effort to improve reading experience. Since the very beginning, we have always aimed for the least intrusive ad experience possible (think of websites with huge pop ups, ads that slide down and take over your screen, endless feeds of ads). We don’t believe that’s on brand, even though it’s what the rest of the publishing industry does to stay alive. If you love what we do, we would love for you not to run ad blockers or better yet, support us by becoming an Insider member!


Speaking of Insiders! One of the main goals for redesigning our website, besides improved performance, was to create a hub just for our members. We love you guys! We now have a dedicated destination for Insiders, at the same URL as before, untappedcities.com/insiders.

For those who don’t know about Insiders, it’s our membership program offering unlimited virtual talks and tours, access to NYC’s most off limits and fascinating places, and more. You also get unlimited access to our virtual archive of recorded tours and talks. Get your first month free with code JOINUS or gift a membership for someone you love!

Easier Navigation: With its own menu bar and site layout, the new Insiders website makes it a lot easier to register for our upcoming events, manage your account, and find the video archive (members get unlimited access to over 100 talks so far!).

Beautiful new layout: The layout of our Insider event listings is new and eye-catching and like the magazine, the page loads faster so you can register for your events quicker!

New Features Coming: The backend structure of the new Insiders hub makes it easier for us to add new features, and we’re planning on launching a member forum soon. If you have suggestions for other features, please let us know!

Everything else remains the same: logging in, managing your account, gifting memberships, and registering for events!


Untapped New York tours website

We’ve also got a new hub for Untapped New York’s tours, making it a lot easier to navigate and find upcoming in-person tours in New York City. We’ll also be launching experiences in many new cities soon so stay tuned!!

Final Thoughts

2020 was challenging to say the least. We’re grateful to still be around, full of ideas for the future. One silver lining was expanding our membership virtually, which enabled us to meet many of our fans all around the world. These are you die-hard New York lovers and former New Yorkers, who now live elsewhere. Seeing you, and our local Insiders at our events, getting emails from you and other fans gives us faith in humanity and our mission. We hope to keep inspiring people to discover New York for decades to come.

We started out 2020 feeling more positive than ever but like everyone, was sidelined by events beyond our control. We were also trying to clean up the mess of our last website redesign, handled by an agency who bungled the whole thing. They spent more than 6 months trying to fix and then ghosted us at the beginning of the pandemic before everything was fixed and completed. (Don’t be like them!). It feels great to take things back in our control and deliver something to all of you that finally reflects how we see ourselves. We turn 12 years old this June! With this new website, we lay the groundwork for our future and how we will continue to serve all of you in the best way we can.

When I first founded Untapped New York in 2009, I knew nothing about online journalism or about coding. Since then, I taught myself all I could know about web design and how to run an online publishing business. In a small company, especially one operating in a global crisis, everyone on the team has to chip in. Any wrong decision could mean the end of our dreams — mine and the people on our team. I handled nearly all of the technical aspects of this website redesign and after we launched, I spent four sleepless days and nights trying to identify the root cause of about 8 lines of JavaScript error. The most talented technical people we enlisted for help were stumped. The issue didn’t affect anything on the front end for any of you, but had an impact on the backend. Like doctors seeking to treat an unknown disease, our work isolating the issue was a scientific, often frustrating, but also fascinating exercise. One morning, at 4 AM after being woken up by my 3 year old, I had my aha moment. I deleted one line of conflicting code in a seemingly unrelated spot, and everything worked.

In my opinion, creative endeavors are the most rewarding in this world and being an entrepreneur has been the unexpected calling of my life. To be able to lead a business that is rooted in a topic I’m passionate about has been the blessing of my life. To find countless people with whom the idea of urban discovery resonates too has been the true joy of what we do. If in this pandemic world, you are thinking to start your own business — don’t be afraid to go for it. And don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Find people you trust to help you get to where you need to go and keep them with you. Do everything with integrity and honesty. Hard work and humility is what gives a company staying power. I’m so thankful for my team here at Untapped New York, our guides and the rest of us behind the scenes. And for our longtime partners, many who trusted us and saw our potential from the early years.

Please poke around the new website and let us know what you think! As always, we love to hear from you.


Michelle Young, founder Untapped New York