The Site Will Be Migrating to a New Theme and Undergoing Tests for a Couple of Weeks – Please Don’t Mind the Mess
Google has written me, once again, saying that because I refuse to offer a responsive, mobile-friendly theme for the blog, they are dropping JoshuaKennon.com from the search results shown to people using devices such as phones and tablets. Given that I hate mobile versions of sites, this puts me in the uncomfortable position of having to find something that satisfies their technical requirements while deviating very little from the desktop experience to the point that I wouldn’t call it a meaningful change.
Since I’m going to have to overhaul it, anyway, I figured I might as well make the best of it and concurrently roll out a long-awaited wishlist of things that I want fixed. Examples: Now that screen resolutions are much higher, I want the body width expanded from 640 pixels to 900 to 1,000 pixels so I can use higher resolution, Retina-quality photographs. I want to introduce a print.css file so that those of you who want manually printed copies of the blog can get a nice, clean version without any ads showing up (that will be the last to happen, but it is on the wishlist). I want to create the basic framework for the forum that will eventually be added due to all the requests I’ve received about getting it online sooner rather than later. I want to have the ability to better integrate audio and video in case I get busy again and it’s more convenient to use another medium from time to time.
While I can use a testing environment, sometimes I, Aaron, or someone else might need to get into the site for a few minutes and move things see if something we’re working on passes muster or is doing what it should be doing. During this process, you will likely see the barebones, ugly, non-formatted version of the blog.
Do not panic. Do not worry. It’s temporary. It won’t look like that. It won’t look anything like that. To provide a reference point to assuage your concerns, the site to which you’ve become accustomed over the past few years is using an older version of this template, which we beat into submission to make it look like it currently does. Long-term, the new version of the site will have almost the same visual appearance as it does presently, only with higher resolution and a bigger body, likely down to the color scheme.
That’s the easy part, though, that comes last so I don’t want to have to deal with it while we’re testing other functionality.
For new readers, you’ll know you’re seeing something that is temporary if the site doesn’t look like this, which is the usual format:
TL;DR: Please pardon our mess. Hard hats are to the left. Watch for falling CSS or out-of-control PHP. It will be this way, on and off, for a couple of weeks. Hopefully, it won’t be too intrusive as we’ll try to do most of the work when traffic is at its middle-of-the-night lows. If you see something to which you object, the odds are 10-to-1 it won’t be in the final version, anyway, so don’t worry about it. In the end, little will change from your perspective.
- 05/05/2015 at 8:00 p.m., CST – You may witness long requested social sharing buttons appearing and disappearing. At the moment, the PInterest one won’t work because we have a hotlink protection function on that is interfering with its ability to extract images for the pinboards. We are aware of this and it’s on the list of things to fix once everything else has been done.
- 05/09/2015 at 1:30 p.m., CST – The new framework will remain live for the next couple of weeks as we modify and test things. Many of the old posts will have huge “featured” images that aren’t sized correctly and look terrible. Please ignore these. They will be fixed toward the end. In the meantime, I’ve renewed the licensing agreement with Shutterstock so we can get higher quality editorial and stock images for these slots to improve the overall look of the site. You will also notice the old CSS class for captioned images caused some weird line breaks that we have to go in and manually remove as part of the turnover so please ignore those as well. We are aware of them. I’m going to spend the afternoon building the landing homepage.
- 06/02/2015 at 4:06 p.m., CST– Mobile devices aren’t scaling images on certain operating systems so you can’t see whole pictures on posts if you are using, say, the iPhone 6 Plus. That is a known issue. A few of you have been using the reader feature as a built-in work around but have mentioned the fact it takes away the ad revenue to offset the server bandwidth so you’d like me to correct it as soon as possible (I appreciate your consideration in that). 6:10 p.m., CST: Also happening on Android/Chrome. Status: FIXED. 1:10 p.m., CST, 06/24/2015
- 06/02/2015 at 4:07 p.m., CST – We are turning back on one of the major caching systems so the site speed should improve significantly over the next few hours once the static pages have been built and are being served from Cloudflare. Some temporary instability may result. We’re watching it. More information here.
Featured Image Licensing Credit: scyther5 / Shutterstock