The site rebuild project continues apace. The new Balloon Juice site is in place and pretty much fully functional on the Development site. And by that I mean that the design is done and the coding is pretty much complete. I’d say we are down to details there, like the auto publishing of new posts to John’s twitter, and working on bug fixes.
Even as we complete that, we are now in the phase of combining the new design/programming with 18 years of balloon juice posts, a zillion images, the 5 million comments, and the entire contents of the WordPress database, merging it with the newly developed site. That takes time. To avoid surprises when we go live, we are doing this merging and the database conversion on the actual infrastructure where the new site will reside when it’s live.
We are also indexing the entire site, including the comments, so our search function will be able to search comments as well as front page posts. That takes time, and it takes a ton of space to index 5 million comments, so infrastructure had to be adjusted, as well. As part of this process, we are converting the WordPress database structure to something more appropriate for Balloon Juice, which will make it more stable. All of which also takes time.
We love stable, right? It’s worth the time to get it right.
At this stage of the game – in this second phase where we’re converting the database and merging all the data – it’s not possible to accurately predict how long all of that will take, because you never know exactly what you are going to run into. I wish I could tell you that testing will start within a certain timeframe, but that prediction would be worthless. Could testing start in a week? It’s within the realm of possibility. Could testing start in 3 weeks? Quite possibly.
Functionality: is it helpful to be specific? Already in place on the new site:
Balloon Juice banner with balloon man and rotating tags in the banner
All the usual things like About Us, Contact Us, etc.
Links for all the usual things like RSS feed, Balloon Juice Facebook, Cole’s twitter feed, etc
Navigation on desktop and mobile sites – top of page, bottom of page, previous post, next post, go directly to comment box
Little blue bird for sharing Balloon Juice posts
Balloon Juice Meetups
Nominate a Rotating Tag
Submit photos to On the Road
Site feedback form to submit general feedback or report a problem
Featuring area with 5 links that will change periodically
View Posts by Topic
View Posts by Author
View Posts by Month and Year
Comment system that lets you see formatting as you create your comment
Spam filter that lets you say fuck and talk about card games and establishments where gambling is allowed
Update: If you have any questions, ask away!