18 March 2013: Miscellaneous Site Updates and Changes

One of the nice features of running a site using WordPress is that there are a whole host of options, features, and other bells and whistles readily available and easily added to the site without a lot of work. Yesterday I added a feature-laden package to the site and have begun implementing some of the new functions. Many of these are back-end functions and only serve to simplify my life. Others affect how you interact with the site and what’s available. In no particular order:

  1. You can now receive news posts by email. To be notified of new posts or comments, there are check boxes at the bottom of the Comment form. On the bottom right hand side bar is a form where you can enter your email address. Clicking submit engages a 2-step opt-in process which is quite simple. Opting out is equally simple. You can also easily manage your “subscription” on the WordPress.com web site. It works. You do not need to be registered on the Clary Lake Association web site to use this feature. Try it out!
  2. If you only want to be notified of news posts and/or comments on a post, you’ll find check boxes at the bottom of the “post a comment” screen that you can check to be notified by email. This feature requires that you be logged into the site.
  3. I’ve added a Feedback/Comment form under the About menu. It has fields for Name and Email Address but they’re not required so you can, if you wish, send a private, anonymous message to the webmaster (me).
  4. I’ve cleaned up and simplified the side bar menu and moved the Site Login links to the top of the page, right under the weather graphic.
  5. You’ll also notice at the bottom of the side bar menu are a couple of small images which you can click on to see a larger image. One will be a feature an image which I change from time to time. The other… well eventually I’m thinking of setting up a web cam on the lake.  To that end I’ve setup up a rudimentary, non-automated mechanism just for fun, taking a picture out my office window with the camera I use for Skype and uploading it to the server. I’ll manually update it periodically when I get a chance- perhaps when I do my water level chart updates. Maybe some day we can even have a “Dam Cam” with real-time updates.
  6. Beginning to implement Post Categories which allow you to sort posts into various bins for more convenient reading. These are accessible on the sidebar in a drop-down list which also shows post counts. Current categories are Site News, News, Petition News, and Uncategorized. I still have to go through existing posts and categorize or re-categorize them. Posts can be in multiple categories.
  7. There is now a dynamic “To Top” button that magically appears on the bottom right-hand side of the page to give you a way to quickly and conveniently get back to the top of the page.

There are other features that I haven’t even investigated yet. Enough for now. I’ll update this post with comments as more stuff becomes available.

1 thought on “18 March 2013: Miscellaneous Site Updates and Changes

  1. George Fergusson Post author

    Well in a classic example of mission-creep, what started out as a “rudimentary, non-automated mechanism” has turned into an fully automated web cam system which updates with a new image every 2 minutes. I happened to find some functional free software and thought “what the heck.” The image out my office window is pleasant enough but looking northeast through the trees, it doesn’t really show much of the lake; you can make out some of the houses and camps over on the Duncan Road.

    I’ll be keeping my eye out for a good wireless web cam that I can mount down on the shore.

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