Website Update: August 2020

Submitted by Andrew Simard on 2020-Aug-29 Sat 15:19
3 minutes
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Maintenance Update

As with any website, some maintenance occurs on a pretty regular basis. The 500 Foods website is no exception of course. Here are some things that have recently been updated or improved upon. As this has been the first full month with the relaunched site, there have been many behind-the-scenes improvements all around, but things have settled down considerably feature-wise as compared to last month.

New Artwork

New banner artwork (sourced from Shutterstock) has been added to the site. More is coming, along with more content to go with it. The new artwork hopefully rounds out and completes the overall look of the site. No further changes are planned in terms of structure or navigation. All the pieces are in place. Now the focus is on content for the most part.

Rocket.Chat

The Rocket.Chat service that powers the live chat function on the 500 Foods website has been updated to v3.60 which was released just yesterday. Mostly behind-the-scenes improvements.

Google Ads

Google Ads (aka Google AdSense) have been enabled on the site. These appear on the Container Culture, Better Than Organic, and News From Here blog pages as well as the Watchlist and News From Elsewhere pages. Basically anywhere that anonymous users might visit. Not so much for paying customers. Doubtful that it will bring in any significant income anytime soon, but best to get it all sorted out now rather than later. Kind of planting a seed, so to speak.

Annoyingly, someimes the ad blocks are completely empty. This makes the site look like it is somewhat broken, but I'm told that it takes a few days for the Google ad engine to sort out which ads to supply and this will be a rarity rather than the common situation it has been these past few days.

And if you don't like the ads (who does?) then by all means register an account on the site and you'll be rewarded with a completely ad-free experience.

Registration

Speaking of registration, the registration page has now been updated. It asks some additional questions, and now requires that a photo be included with the registration. Naturally this will scare off the skittish, but also seems to do a good job of blocking all the bots.

E-Mail Digests

Also new to the registration page is the option to subscribe to daily or weekly digests of new website content. Another way to avoid ads, but still requires registration so you wouldn't be seeing the ads anyway. This is an alternative for those who are adverse to the many RSS feeds that are available or for those who just like to get things in their inbox. Like me. I like getting useful things in my inbox.