John Woltman's
Excuse of a Website

Welcome to my new site - JohnWoltman.com

Posted June 27, 2009 by John Woltman

Hello everyone, and welcome to my completely revamped website.  There's loads of new changes, so please keep reading this post and find out about everything that's changed!

I've put a lot of effort into this site over the years, and it is now time for what I hope will be the last major change for awhile.  As you may have noticed www.jwoltman.net is no longer the main site.  Some people had trouble remembering it, so I switched to www.johnwoltman.com which I hope is more memorable.

So what's new besides the domain name?  Too much to actually write about, but here's the gist:

  1. New Layout - not a huge departure from the previous site, but more modern and graphical.  I have always eschewed graphic-laden sites, but I've kept my image files down to a manageable size.  Plus the site looks good even if you turn all the images off.  The layout is also standards compliant.  If it doesn't show up correctly in your web browser, you're probably using Internet Explorer, which does not support standards correctly.  I recommend you install the Firefox browser instead.
  2. New Map - the map feature is actually useful now!  Since I travel a lot, you can visit my travel map to see where I've been.  When you click on a map marker, you'll have the option of visiting the story that I wrote about that location.  The map is updated automatically whenever I post about a business trip or vacation.  Right now it's rather sparse, but I am bringing all the old sites' content over, and adding new things all the time so keep checking back.
  3. New User System - you can sign up for an account.  If you're a member of my family you'll be able to see additional content that normal visitors cannot: journal entries, essays, and other personal writings.  Please note that I will not give out anyone's email address or other contact information.
  4. New Comment System - anyone can leave a comment on my posts and photographs.  If you're not logged in, you will have to pass an "are you human?" test.  If you're logged in you can skip this.  Leaving comments lets me know people are reading this, so keep the comments coming!
  5. New Profile - if I said that Facebook and MySpace have had no influence on this site then I would be a liar.  If you look to your right you should see my beautiful visage - underneath that is some basic status info.  You'll notice that the Location is also a link - click on it to view the location in Google Maps.  If you click my picture you'll be taken to my full profile.  The profile now includes a 100% factual autobiography.
  6. Featured Articles - if you look at the top of the site, you'll see an image with the words "Featured" over top it.  This is a way for me to highlight content that I think people will especially like.
  7. Featured Links - these are links to my other sites and sites of particular interest to me.
  8. New Search - A searching ability has been missing from my site for a long time.  Now there's a box to your right that lets you type in a few keywords and search for any relevant posts.

Is that everything? Not by a long shot!  The most exciting changes for me are in the backend of the site.

  1. New Backend - the previous site layout ran on a system called TextPattern.  While TextPattern was a step ahead of the even older and creakier e107, the new backend system blows TextPattern out of the water in terms of versatility.  The Drupal system provides me with an easily maintable article system.  I can do everything online - post photos, videos, and music with just a few clicks.
  2. New Authentication - I log in to the site via OpenID.  And to do that I use a bitty bit of hardware called a YubiKey.Yubikey
  3. Mass File Uploading - it's dead-simple for me to upload large amounts of files (mostly photos) and caption them on the fly.  I used to need four separate programs to post my photos
  4. News - This isn't a feature for my visitors, but it is one of my favorites: news feeds at the top of the home page!  I have all my news in one place without relying on third-party service like Google news.  I have feeds from the BBC (world news), Slashdot (technology), Shacknews (video games), WGAL (local news), and TUAW (Apple news).  The feeds are updated automatically so the news is always fresh and at my fingertips.

So poke around, leave some comments, and let me know what you think of the new design!