We’ve implemented a substantial number of changes over the past several months, the major drivers for this have been some vast improvements in the tools we use. Here is a brief rundown, with more details coming over the next several posts. Our primary function is the creation, publication and syndication of content, not designing websites. Therefore the tools we use for quick deployment are extremely critical to our objectives.
The first major change, is a host deployment tool. We currently have around 80 applications deployed across 50 websites, all of which are hosted on BlueHost servers. Several months ago, BlueHost implemented Simple Scripts as a replacement for Fantastico Deluxe to do application deployment. Revisions and updates are much more up to date and the installations are straightforward and painless.
Key open source applications have recently released major upgrade versions for better security, greater ease of use, and enhanced functionality. Joomla! content management (www.joomla.org) 1.5.x has major improvements over 1.0.x, which also required replacement or modifications to all the existing templates we have in use.
Drupal’s 6.x releases have been much more flexible and robust for our needs, so we’ve expanded the use of Drupal (www.drupal.org) as a CMS in a number of websites.
A major player in what we do, WordPress (www.wordpress.org) has introduced a wide variety of widgetized flexibility in verion 2.8.x and they have introduced some exciting new applications that we’re already running test configurations on. WordPressMU allows multi-user blogs. BuddyPress is bolt-on to WordPressMU to give it robust social networking capabilities, and BBPress is a new forum/bulletin board engine from WordPress. This blog was upgraded to 2.8 and a new theme installed within the past couple of days.)
Next post, we’ll give some examples of how we’re putting these upgrades to work.