So life is crazy busy and I have been slacking on this website.
But I've put a good 50+ hours into it over the last three weeks.
Unfortunately a lot of that effort was behind the scenes and won't make much difference on the front end.
I migrated the site to a different host. The previous architecture was good in that it was structured to allow for lots of redundancy and growth. It was bad in that it was essentially unmanaged and required a lot of attention and maintenance that I'm not good at and got tired of dealing with. Some upcoming changes scheduled for February and March would have broken the site so I was at a crossroads and decided to move it.
The new host should be more than sufficient for the level of traffic the site currently receives, but more importantly, it requires much less attention from me on the back end and has some customer support for the specific CMS I am using. So going forward, when I have an hour or two to throw at the site, it will be more for new content creation and less for boring back end maintenance.
After the move I spent lots of time getting the content management software and a dozen different plug-ins from a dozen different authors up to date, which was necessary to get the site to run on a newer version of php.
As part of that process I had to replace the filter/search module for the Fake Bullion Database
. The new filter looks a little different but functions similarly, and the database now has a keyword search feature, something that was lacking on the old filter.
I also added a cryptocurrency gateway to the membership/donation system
. Select cryptos (currently BTC, LTC, ETH, NEO, PIVX, and QTUM) can be used for the Yearly (non-recurring) and Lifetime options, and for straight donations. I could use some help testing this if anybody is willing to throw a little crypto at the site.
I got caught up on six months worth of Google alerts and added a dozen stories to the News
I also got rid of the ads. The only ads running were referral ads. They only paid if a customer clicked through and bought something within a set time frame. The payouts for those programs have steadily decreased, and they haven't generated any revenue for the last 2+ years. If a company is interested in some kind of sponsorship deal in the future, I will certainly entertain it, but for now, the ads are gone. That also allowed me to rearrange things a bit to work better with the new database filter layout.
But it also means I am relying 100% on donations and memberships
to keep the site afloat.
Please check out the site and let me know if you find anything amiss. I welcome feedback on the new database filter and anything I may be able to tweak to improve the user experience.
Now that the bulk of the boring web development stuff is out of the way, the next work session will be focused on adding new items to the Fake Bullion Database
A big thanks to all of the existing donors for sticking with me through the slow times and helping to offset the bills.