Note from Ryan: Latest 3 Flags Flying podcast has dropped and Braves Journal loyalists will find the Keltner Test most intriguing! Give it a listen here.
What’s Going On Here
Let’s dig right in. My name is Matt Langford, and I’m here to provide any help or expertise I can in the operation of Braves Journal. Currently, that means fine-tuning the site design, squashing as many bugs as possible, and cleaning up the site engine that powers this whole community.
I first became interested in web design as a sophomore in high school. I attended one of those schools that offered ‘trade expertise’ as electives. However, the only ones my school actually offered were jewelry manufacturing and web design. Guess which one I chose.
That was 20 years ago. Back when people thought the future of web design depended on Microsoft Frontpage and Macromedia Flash. A lot has changed since then.
If you go back farther than that, you’ll see a little boy anxiously sitting on the edge of the couch praying that Terry or David or Mark or Jeff or Tom or Greg or John or Otis would do something amazing. Also, why am I just realizing how boring all of their names are? I mean throw in a Dansby or Johan or something.
The rest is history. That one World Series title. A lot of disappointment. Despite it all, I couldn’t possibly give it up. I guess I’m just that loyal. Or perhaps a glutton for punishment. Both?
Let’s Get Back on Topic
Braves Journal has an incredible history, stretching back two remarkable decades. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting numbers:
- Over 136,000 users have registered on the site (some of these are spam)
- Over 540,000 comments have been written
- Over 6,800 posts have been published
- 500,000 unique page views in a year would be a down year
As you can see (and probably already know), this isn’t a small blog in a hidden corner of the internet that needs a lot of help. It doesn’t need some tech guy coming in and completely changing everything on a whim.
Improvements, not Changes
Over the years, from one editor to another, from platform updates to theme changes, etc…the site has been through a lot. As a result, there were some backend (not visible) and front end (very visible) improvements that needed to be made. As a type of full disclosure and openness, here is what we have done so far:
- Modified the sidebar to work in full and look much better
- Modified the nav bar to show all links properly
- Removed meta cruft from the footer
- Improved the layout of the comment form
- Added badges for certain commenters
- Removed superfluous image icons
- Added short author biographies on their posts
- Optimized spacing on mobile devices
- Increased the logo size
- Removed unused plugins
- Replaced outdated plugins with modern versions
- Made SEO improvements
- Compressed and optimized images
- Improved the speed and caching properties*
That Dumb Asterisk Above This Line
(Caching is basically a website’s way of storing and serving the site faster for viewers instead of rebuilding the entire site every time someone visits.)
When I made caching changes, I introduced a temporary bug that affected some users. Basically, the site wasn’t updating properly for them. If you’re experiencing this problem, the easiest fix is to clear the cache in your browser. You can also feel free to shake your fist angrily in my direction.
Wrap This Up, Man
If you experience any problem with the site, have a feature request, or just want to say Hi…leave me a comment below. If it’s really important, shoot me an email → MLangford at pm dot me.