Welcome to The Schumin Web, now powered by WordPress!

5 minute read

July 1, 2012, 12:01 AM

So how does it look?  This is The Schumin Web under WordPress in production – the culmination of about a year’s worth of effort in converting content from the old platform (a mishmash of whatever seemed to work) to the WordPress platform.  The work of the project known as “Falcon” is complete, and Falcon is now The Schumin Web.

I would also like to take a moment to thank the folks who beta tested Falcon over these last two weeks to make sure that everything was perfect and ready to go.  It’s always good to have a few extra sets of eyes looking at things to make sure that any mistakes are caught, and I appreciate your helping me check things over.

As far as changes go, there is a lot that’s different in this new build of the site – far more than I can say in a one-sentence site update message.  Here’s a rundown of some of the changes that have come with the conversion to the WordPress platform:

  • No more Splash Page.  After more than a decade, the Splash Page is no more.  The first page that a user entering through the main URL now sees is the Main Page.  The Splash Photo feature is now on the Welcome page.

  • Completely new URL structure.  If you are linking to or bookmarking anything on this site other than itself, then your links or bookmarks will no longer work.  It will probably take a few days for the search engines to catch up, so contact me if you were linking to something and can’t find it on the new site.

  • Fully restored content.  All photos have been restored from the originals.  I believe that the photos now look better than they ever did.  Additionally, all internal and external links have been updated for the new locations of things.

  • Full size images online.  I now offer my images online at the largest size that I have available.  See for yourself.  Click and download (but follow the license).

  • Categories in the Journal.  Notice how this entry is categorized “Schumin Web meta” (look at the bottom of the entry).  Now you can find other entries where I talk about similar topics.  This is in addition to sorting by date.
  • Journal RSS Feed.  The Journal now finally has an RSS feed.  Pretty self-explanatory otherwise, I think.  Here it is.

  • Comments!  At last, you can comment on my posts directly on the site.  Comments are enabled on the Journal, Quote Articles, Splash Photos, and Photo Features.  All posts are sent for approval before they show up (in order to weed out spam, trolling, etc.), but as long as you follow the guidelines, let’s have fun with it.  This is new territory for me, so let’s see how it goes, and see how much trouble we can get into with this.

  • Reorganized Archives pages.  The Photo Feature Archives and Splash Photo Archives have been reworked a little bit.  Now, rather than being arranged by year (for the Photo Feature Archives) or all on one page (for the Splash Photo Archives), everything is in reverse chronological order and broken out into pages after however many entries.  And each entry has a permalink, so it is now possible to link directly to an individual Photo Feature or Splash Photo and have all the information right there.

  • End of official support for the forums.  The Schumin Web Community is being phased out in favor of the comment system.  The forums will become part of The Fire Panel, a site more specifically about fire alarms and such.  I wish the new operators the best in their operation of the boards.

  • Six completely new photo sets.  There are three new photo sets each in Photography and Life and Times.  In Photography, James Madison University comes in as a 2010 set, and a new Afton Mountain set and SlutWalk DC arrive as 2011 sets.  In Life and Times, there are three new 2011 sets: From the White House to Quantico, Losing Weight, and Stuarts Draft High School.

  • Discussion of the site conversion.  I have added a page in Odds and Ends called WordPress Site Conversion, which provides links to all of the material that I referred to in creating this site, in hopes that it might help someone else who is undertaking a similar project.

  • Revamped Fire Alarm Collection.  The Fire Alarm Collection has been completely rephotographed and redone.  I’ve added additional alarm equipment, I’ve separated things where they were once together, and every single device has been rephotographed in high resolution.  Many of the previous photos were more than a decade old and very low resolution.  This is a vast improvement over what was there before.

And now that the conversion is complete, I have two projects related to the main body of the site still ahead: a major update to the Online Store, and a site redesign.  I was originally going to include both of these as part of Falcon, but both really were full projects in their own right and would have extended Falcon out far too long (and this already took a year to do).  For the Online Store, there are a lot of options that I have to weigh, including whether to change providers, and what products to offer in a revamped Online Store.  So stay tuned on that front, but it won’t be right away.  I mentioned earlier that I’m working on a Transit Center update, and so that’s coming before the Online Store gets redone.  Then for that redesign, I was originally going to introduce a completely new look for the site with Falcon, but the creative juices just weren’t flowing for a redesign.  So in order to prevent it from dragging the entire project, I took it out of the scope of Falcon and built a theme that looks nearly identical to the existing design.  The redesign will come in time, but just not right away.

Then while all this was going on, and to give you an idea of how long it took, I have been changing right along with the site.  I looked like this right around the time that I started working on Falcon, seen here with Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales:

Me on June 13, 2011, seen here with Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales

Then I looked like this two weeks before the launch:

In Dupont Circle on June 15, 2012

I believe the difference between the two pictures is about 90 pounds.

And now, after a year’s work, I have one website again.  And not only one website, but a far better one than I started out with.  And hopefully the site under WordPress will last me a very long time.

Web site: My brand new RSS feed!

Song: "CROCS ROCK?" by Natalie Tran. Yes, I love my Crocs. They are comfortable, and they are good transitional shoes as I continue to lose weight.

Postscript: And then this is another new feature: the "Postscript". Let's admit it: "Quote" has been a misnomer for a number of years, and so this new name assumes the function that "Quote" used to do. Maybe "Quote" will be used for quotes again? Possibly. They can run alongside each other, so who knows.

Categories: Schumin Web meta