Following on from launching the new Surfulater Web site and Support Center we have now completed a major update to the Blog. I realized today that the blog has been up and running for over 5 years now. In that time we’ve written 121 Posts, which have attracted 439 comments. This is not a lot of posts compared to many blogs out there, but unlike many other blogs, we keep on writing new and hopefully interesting content on a reasonably regular basis.
The blog software we use is the ever popular WordPress and we had fallen quite some way behind in updates, for the version we were using. Updating Web Server packages is not something I am fond of doing, so it is much easier to keep putting such tasks off. And that is something I am quite good at. In this specific case I am very pleased to say the entire upgrade process was painless and trouble free. I did lots of backups along the way in the clear expectation something would go wrong, but it didn’t!
Once the WordPress upgrade was complete it was time to upgrade the Blog sites theme to match the new Surfulater site theme. I have strayed a little and included a nice seductive banner image which I feel distinguishes the Blog from the actual Surfulater product site.
I’ve also taken this opportunity to add some enhancements, which I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time. You will notice two things that stand out below each post. The first is the social media sharing bar which most people will be familiar with. This enables you share a blog post with sites like Digg, Facebook, Google Buzz etc. or E-mail the details to a friend or colleague. It is simply a way of enabling you to help us tell more people about our great product, Surfulater.
The next new feature is the list of ‘Related Posts’ which you (only) see when viewing a post in full. ie. click on the post Title. Note that some posts may not have any related articles. These lists are automatically generated and some fine tuning may be required. However from the brief inspections I’ve done they seem quite good and will enhance blog usage. It has also dawned on me that this could be an interesting capability to include in Surfulater one day.
The Blog Sidebar now includes ‘lists of Recent Posts’ as well as ‘Recent Comments’. Note that ‘Recent Posts’ are also displayed in the footer area of each page on the main Surfulater site.
The WordPress upgrade was a major one which gives us a much enhanced package of features than we had previously. We are already making good use of some of the new features and will do more as time permits. From a site administrators point of view the overall experience has jumped up a notch or four, which is great.
If you have any suggestions for improvements to the blog do let us now.