10 Things To Know About The New Listverse
Well it has finally happened – we have successfully migrated the entire site to WordPress VIP and you are now looking at it! It has been a very difficult task and incredibly time-consuming, but hopefully we will all appreciate the benefits that come with the move. This small list is just to let you all know what has actually been going on and what to expect with the updated site. Normal lists will resume tomorrow.
We are now running on the latest version of the WordPress software which we use for Listverse. Prior to this we were on a very old version which was buggy. In addition to using the latest version, we will be automatically upgraded to all future versions, meaning that we are always up to date with bug fixes and improvements.
The comment system remains largely the same (ie, no nested comments and no comment voting) but we have made a few tweaks to improve them. The first is the use of gravatars – these are small images that represent each user. If you want to have an avatar show up, you can add one in your user profile or you can add it via Gravatar.com which will mean it will not just appear on listverse, but any other website using gravatar technology. We have also slightly changed the layout of comments so that the number is now larger. This makes it easier to backtrack over comments that other readers have referenced. It is also (at least in my opinion) more attractive.
Prior to this move the administration involved in posting a list was immense. Here is a breakdown:
1. Write list
2. Post list to site
3. Use FTP to upload icon for list
4. Log on to Listverse via Telnet and sync the two servers
5. Stay up to publish list at 12 each night.
6. Run update script to update various parts of the site such as the archives
The new system means that we now:
1. Write list
2. Post list and icon to site with delayed publication date
As you can see this is cutting a huge amount of work which will, hopefully, give me plenty more time for research for new lists. I am quite astonished at how much deadwood gets added to a process over two years.
I have created a new simpler logo for the site using the alternative logo sent in our by our logo competition winner. It is much smarter I think and retains our unique look. I have also updated the little icon (favicon) that appears in the address bar of your webbrowser as the old one still referred to “list universe” when we are now officially “listverse”.
I am sure most of you will have suffered from the stability issues that we had on the site over the past year and a half. No matter where we went, the problems continued. Now that WordPress is officially taking over the administration side of the servers, this should not be a problem. We should now suffer no downtime at all and comments should always get through. Thanks to everyone that alerted me over the last year to problems – it was a big help. Thankfully this should no longer be necessary.
Wordpress VIP is spread out over hundreds of servers around the world which means that a person in Australia should find the site much more responsive than before as they will be seeing the site on Australian servers – rather than waiting for the American servers to dish stuff up. This is the same for most countries now and it is an excellent system (used by Google and Amazon). This widespread network helps reduce downtime, load time, and the effects of things like Digg and Reddit front pages.
I couldn’t do an administrative post without reminding you all that the Listverse Book will be out in November. Be sure to pre-order a copy! You can do so from the advert at the top of the page on the right hand side.
This is the only list I will be publishing today as I need to focus on making sure the transition to the new servers goes smoothly. We will be back with our normal posts tomorrow. In the meantime, use the comments on this list to tell us whether you like the changes we have made. Be honest but not nasty :)
I really can’t thank you all enough for having suffered uncomplainingly through the troubles of the last year and for putting up with the move of the forums and listverse. It will take a little getting used to, but before long it will feel just like home. The content will certainly remain as before and hopefully the comments will continue. Listverse has been a real joy for me and the dedication of the readers really enhances that. As my gift back to you all I promise to make no more drastic changes for at LEAST a year!