Building Survivehive from the ground up has been a learning experience for me. When I first built Survivehive, it was a heavily modified copy of free forum software called “phpBB.” This didn’t work very well for ease of use. Although it allowed others to write posts and share useful information, it wasn’t presented in a very easily consumed manner.
Back in June, I made the change to a WordPress blog. This worked well, and as the site grew, I added custom code to make the Alert Center work, as well as the Preparedness Checklist Generator. The problem being that I was new to WordPress. This lack of understanding made the code a little less then optimal. Once I got better with the ins-and-outs of WordPress, I took on side projects in addition to my full-time job in order to help fund In-Vitro Fertilization for my wife and I (You can read about that here.) This meant that re-writing the Alert Center and Preparedness Checklist Generator got put on the back-burner for far too long. When I did get to work on it, it was in-between other tasks.
Finally, this brings us to now. After months of squeezing in 10 minutes of code when I could, I was finally able to re-write the Alert Center, and with that came a redesign of the website!
Now, you may look at it and see that very little has changed as far as output of the Alert Center goes, and you’d be correct. The biggest change you’ll notice in that respect is that each alert category has an archive now, allowing you to view more than just the most recent 5 alerts. On the back-end of things, it’s significantly better engineered and designed, not to mention drastically more efficient, to allow for future growth, increased usage, and added alert categories.
I am also working on making the output of each of the alert categories available to other website owners, where they’ll be able to populate a widget with the Survivehive alerts as they see fit! (Coming Soon)
Aside from the back-end programmatic changes, I’ve over time tweaked the theme to suit the “outdoorsy prepper and survivalist” kind of feel.
Lastly, I’ve dumped the “Disqus Comment System.” It worked well, but made it more difficult for people to leave comments than most were willing to put up with. Hopefully this helps people get involved in blog topics!
I think you’ll find that the new Survivehive website operates faster and more reliably, while still delivering all of the same content!
I’d love to hear what you think of the new look and feel! Let me know in the comments below!