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GeoPrac.net Facelift PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 21 October 2008 00:00

As you can probably tell, there have been a few cosmetic and behind the scenes changes to the GeoPrac.net website. Rest assured it is still one of the premier sites for news and articles related to geotechnical engineering, geological engineering and engineering geology. But the software that runs the site was in dire need of upgrades, both for security and ease of maintenance. The new look was a byproduct of those upgrades (long story).

There are going to be some growing pains with the upgrades, including some broken links and other glitches. I appreciate your patience as I work to sort them out and I ask you to do me a favor, and if you come accross a problem, drop me a note - feedback@geoprac.net. If you're interested in more details about the new site, click through.

Reasons for the Changes

As I said, the software running the site needed upgrading. I use the Joomla content management system, it's quite a bit more complex than WordPress or other blogging platforms. Anyway, it was a major upgrade and it was long overdue. It involved installing the entire site (somewhere around 8,000 files plus a large database) on a testing server, finding updates to the various modules, plugins and other features and getting it all working. Then I pulled in the news, articles, weblinks, comments etc. from the live site. Finally, there was the scary moment of deleting the old files on the live site and uploading the new ones. Actually that scary moment took me three tries to get it to work! There are quite a few other steps I didn' mention in there, but you get the idea. Since you're reading this, I guess everything must have worked!

Cosmetic Changes

So the theme I was using for the old site wasn't automatically compatible with the new version of the software. Since I had to pay to download the updated version of the theme anyway, I decided to check out some other ones and found one I liked. I really like the ability to have some featured content at the top, and the module I'm using to highlight the technical articles. It also has a cool module for video content which I hope to take advantage of at a later time.

New Features

I'll write some additional posts later about a couple of new features and other changes. There are two major ones that I'm particularly excited about: the new GeoThreads section and the addition of locations for sponsor's banners.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 14:50