I’m happy to announce that today I have launched a major revision to my web site. Version 20 marks my shift from the Joomla content management system to WordPress, which makes possible a much smoother navigation system, a return of item-by-item comments, and lays the foundation for this website for years to come. Read on to learn more details about what’s new.
- Improved Navigation Structure: The more flexible categorization system in WordPress allows me to categorize any piece of content into multiple content categories. Accurate categorization makes it easier to find what you’re looking for (and gives me fewer headaches when posting items). Additionally, I have simplified the menus into a single nested menu system that can take you—with one click—to essentially any content area on the site.
- Simplified Layout: Not only have the menus been simplified, but the whole visual layout of the site has been simplified to a two-column design. This design doesn’t really take anything away, but makes the site compatible with smaller screens (e.g., the 800×480 screen on my new Asus Eee PC) and dedicates more space to my core content. Additionally, photos are displayed as small thumbnails and you have to click on them to see the large version (another big visual improvement made possible by a standard WordPress feature).
- Comments Make a Comeback: The forum system I introduced in Website 19 didn’t go over so well. WordPress allows me to return to a comment system like that I had before, which will hopefully spur more reader interest and content discussion. Users are no longer required to register before posting comments (though registration is an option if you don’t want to have to type your name and email address each time, and registration may become a requirement again if I start getting significant amounts of spam or abusive posts). First attempts to post a comment will be held for moderation as a security measure, but once you’ve had one approved comment you will be able to post without moderation. Unfortunately I could not migrate user accounts or comments/forum posts from Joomla, so we’re starting from a clean slate (again)!
- Improved Mobile Version: The mobile version of the site has been improved quite a bit. Advanced mobile browsers (Apple Safari, Opera Mini, and the OHA Android Browser) are fed the full version of the site, while other mobile browsers are fed a simplified version designed for the really-small screen (240×240 resolution or higher). Most site functions are now available to all mobile users.
- New Easter Egg: As has always been my tradition, there is a hidden page somewhere on this site. The ‘Easter Egg’ I had used previously has been retired and can now be viewed here. Send me an email if you find the all-new Website 20 Easter Egg.
- New License: This site (except in rare places where otherwise noted) is now licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. This license explicitly allows you to make copies for personal use, provided you properly attribute the content to me and don’t make a profit from it (essentially; read the license for details).
As always, and especially with these major updates, there’s a possibility I’ve missed something. I do a lot of testing in a lot of browsers, but anything can happen. If you notice any bugs when using the site in one of the supported browsers, please leave a comment or contact me directly so I can look into it. Be sure to tell me what browser and operating system you’re using! Also, please let me know if you notice anything amiss with content—I did a lot of manual porting, and could easily have placed a few items in wrong categories!