Because working on donnayoung.org has been incredibly time consuming for the past 5 years and the work load has not been getting any lighter, I am automating as much of the work as I can. My What’s New page is the latest victim of this automation. What’s New is now plain, bordering on ugly, whereas before it wasn’t. Why would I do that?
The new What’s New page has a simple format and the items listed on What’s New page are added automatically. Unless something breaks, I don’t have to do anything at What’s New. I’ll tell you what it is behind the automation.
The magic behind the automation is SimplePie a feed parser that I am using with a template from PV.M Garage. With simplepie, I am bringing together my various RSS feeds into the What’s New Page for donnayoung.org. That means that any new content at my blogs, at homeschoolforms. com, and my manual DY rss feed will automatically appear on the What’s New page without any help from me and I like that concept very much.
Let’s look at the difference between the old and the new.
The Old… typed in by me, of course
The New… automated via my rss feeds and SimplePie
The items are sorted by date. Next to the date, I added the url name so that visitors can tell the source of the article — perhaps some people want to only visit the big site and not the blogs. I did that with-
<?php echo $item->get_base(); ?>
Every item contains two links to the article, one in the title and a generically labeled button at the bottom. The content of the item, the description, will vary in length and sometimes it will be too short or it will be cut off, but I’m not going to concern myself with that minor stuff.
The BIG thing here, for me at least, is time.
On a side-note, I finally updated the root pages last Tuesday, 4/7/15, the homepage and site indexes, so that they are parsed in the same way as the pages in the folders. I activated CloudFlare on Tuesday. I’ve been using CloudFlare at homeschoolforms.com for a month and it seems safe to use for the big site. Now perhaps the site will load more quickly for other countries and, hopefully, for the USA.