Change Log

change log

November 28, 2019

No. 00: Alteration to Main Menu CSS

Reason: With the addition of some child items to the main menu, I found that the longer items ran over the page margin.

Note: Depending on how the menu evolves over time, an alternative layout could be considered to be more responsive to the length of items.

November 13, 2019

No. 00: Modification to OG: Image structure

Reason: Update from November 05, while quick to implement, relied on placing an image at the start of each post or page and using CSS to hide it from the browser view. This opened up the possibility of the Class tag being misapplied when rendering – or left off altogether during a subsequent edit – and creating glaring formatting issues as the user first opens the page/post. The modification eliminates the need for the image to be within the body of the page/post, instead leveraging Custom Fields as a clean, out of the box solution.

Note: The initial pass of the updated code targeted only posts. When creating global changes, I need to be mindful of is_single() vs is_singular().

No. 01: Public access to web development change log

Reason: After much consideration, I came to the conclusion that web development should be managed more like software development. This thought initially developed from visiting countless sites over the years and seeing how their style, navigation, and content would evolve or even go away over time. Some sites had occasional popups to point out the changes but those were usually one off options and very interrupting of the user experience. With that in mind and knowing how my site has gone through a significant update, I felt that this would be a good time to begin implementing a public facing change log. The goal of this change log is to not only help make the users aware of what changes have taken place but the thought process that went in to it.

Note: While the entries will be descriptive of the changes, certain key programs and processes will be mentioned in broad terms to maintain the integrity of the system. When appropriate, however, lessons learned will be published as a public post.

No. 02: Adding Privacy Policy and Change Log to learn more

Reason: The items are being added to the Learn More section of the menu: Change Log and Privacy Policy. Privacy Policy already exists within the footer. The decision to include Privacy Policy is for the convenience of the user. Change Log is being shifted from a private file to public, and Learn More is the most obvious category to place it in.

Note: A few additional items are planned to be located under Learn More in the near future.

November 05, 2019

No. 00: Finalized transition from traditional WordPress editor to Gutenberg

Reason: With planned phase out of traditional editor, early adoption of this shift will ultimately better serve my clients and improve my skill set.

Note: There was an initial learning curve. However, through continued efforts with Gutenberg, I have found that the new editor offers the functionality I was hoping for with improved flexibility.

No. 01: Transition from Detailed Navigation format to Content First structure

Reason: Analysis of traffic data found that enforcing a heavily structured navigation creates a loss of interest in older/lower listed items.  Initial testing has found that a shift towards a Content First structure increases traffic across the board.

Note: As the level of content increases, the traffic trends may begin to decrease.  Based on continued analysis of the interest threshold, additional style and navigation changes may occur.

No. 02: Refactor the CSS structure

Reason: Some redundancies were noted with the CSS.  The structure was examined, with separate Classes & IDs using identical tag calls merged.

Note:  Follow up reviews should be held periodically and/or after major updates.

No. 03: Transition to CSS based banners

Reason: Image based banners, while allowing for extremely controlled designs, created multiple performance issues.

Note: First and foremost, the high resolution images created a heavy data hit – both with the transmission and the page cache.  Naturally, this had a parallel impact on the page load time. Next, to accommodate adjusting page sizes, a supplemental style implementation needed to be enforced to keep the banners on the page, typically resulting in the use of negative margin boundaries.  This approach created unintended formatting consequences that shifted between browsers.  Switching to CSS generated banners has eliminated these issues while maintaining a high fidelity that carries over through high resolution displays.

No. 04: Streamlined security analysis

Reason: A recent and large scale breach forced a review of current security measures.  With a thorough analysis to determine structural weaknesses and trending issues, the focus shifted to streamlining the security maintenance to gain the largest impact from the effort.

Note: While a self-service tool is being developed for use with the general public, certain supplemental processes will only be provided to patrons/clients in an effort to maintain the integrity of the system.

No. 05: Restructuring Open Graph Meta Tags

Reason: Previous implementation of Open Graph Meta Tags required page level entry.  The restructured tag system eliminates redundant efforts with improved content formatting.

Note: This change has helped to slightly reduce the turnaround time per post.

No. 06: Full review and standardization of image library

Reason: Determined multiple dimensions of same image lead to the total web site disk space being unnecessarily large.  This contributed to longer scan times and the accumulative file size for site backups to become bloated.

Note: Performance benefits seen immediately.