For those of you who visit this site regularly, you've probably noticed quite a few changes in the past years… most hopefully for the positive. After the annual assessment last year, I realized that I this space was being very under utilized and set out to improve it…
First, there was a complete redesign completed in July '06. The old design was the basic Drupal pushbutton theme with a handful of tweaks. Although a few people haven't liked the new colors, the new theme is 100% unique to CaseySoftware and is not easily mistaken for any other site. It was inspired by some of the templates on the site Open Source Web Design. If you're ever need to check out various layouts or explore color palettes, I suggest you browse for ideas.
Second, there was a complete rebuild of our backend systems. There was a mish-mash of applications such as Drupal, dotProject, SugarCRM, exponentCMS, ZenCart, and phpBB running and keeping track of everything. In one fell swoop, exponentCMS, ZenCart, and phpBB were eliminated and replaced with Drupal and a handful of different modules and customizations. dotProject and SugarCRM are still integrated using the Domino Bridge, so no changes were required there. And finally Mediawiki now serves as a repository for ongoing documentation. There are still some ideas to tie more pieces together, but nothing in the near-term.
Next, there was an increase in the blogging schedule. After averaging 2-3 posts/week for September, I dedicated October to getting 4-5 posts/week out. With that small change, traffic almost quadrupled in no time at all. During the holidays, my posting schedule slowed down a bit but traffic settled to a much higheer level than before.
Next, by looking at some of the numbers and data, I found that most people subscribed to specific content categories, not the main rss feed. Interesting. Therefore, I've broken down my blogging into 4 different themes each which have a dedicated day of the week. If you're only interested in dotProject, that news will generally happen on Mondays and Thursdays. Alternatively, if you're interested in the Business for Geeks (b4G) series or CaseySoftware in general, those are for Fridays. See if you can guess my other themes…
Finally, the ads. I've tweaked them, rearranged them, and made some choices on which ones are used. The extra revenue brought is not the point of the site, therefore I've been highly selective about which types I use, their placement, and which ads appear. Since the placement changed, I've seen them become more relevant more often and the overall clickthroughs are much higher. Regardless, months ago the total begain covering all of CaseySoftware's hosting costs and actually became a meaningful number on the balance sheet.
So with all of that, what additions to the site would you like to see? Which ones have you liked or disliked? How can this site be more useful? Which topics would you like to hear more about?