As I continue to get the site updated, I’m looking at what people seek on the old site and trying to get them mapped to the new site. Here is where I’ll keep a running log of the changes I make, with the newest ones at the top. You don’t really need to care, but some people do care, so here’s the log.
- Added the fall 2011 newsletter and removed password protection on the registration page because it’s time to register!
- Made both the “Register Now” and “Rah-Rahs in the iTunes Store” posts “sticky,” so they’re labeled “Featured” and will stick to the top of the home page in chronological order. New, non-sticky posts appear in chronological order below the sticky posts.
- Added some GREP-based redirections that will catch most old links involving dates in the URLs and redirect them to equivalent date pages on the new site. Message number matching remains an elusive goal.
- Password-protected the “Pay Online” page for dues and homecoming so we can work on it, test it, and not have anyone accidentally pay at the wrong time. We’ll remove the password feature before it’s time to pay. (BTW, this is also how info for registered marchers at Homecoming 2011 will work—you’ll enter a password to get to the info.)
- Fixed local avatars to work and added one for Rita (from a Val Wakefield picture).
- And this morning, after more spam attempts, remembered to go back and close comments on all the old pages as well as the posts.
- Closed comments on all posts imported from the old site to discourage spammer. Just FYI, comments will close automatically on all new posts after several days pass (for the same reason).
- Added a regular expression parser to try to redirect requests for old category RSS/XML feeds to the new equivalents. For example, the old http://oubandalumni.org/newsitems/departments/membership.xml should get redirected to the new equivalent http://oubandalumni.org/category/membership/feed if I’ve done it right. I’m not sure it will work for categories that have multiple words, since WordPress tends to use dashes in those where Manila would run them together with no spaces. Oh, it doesn’t work with old categories that had spaces. I’ve added a couple of manual redirects to catch the ones I’ve seen.
- Redirected the old URLs for RSS feeds to the new versions. Note that in the old site, the “/discuss/rss.xml” feed contained all posts and posted comments, but it was barely distinguishable from the main feed at “/xml/rss.xml” because no one ever posted comments (since you had to join, remember your password, and so on). The redirection for “/discuss/rss.xml” goes to a feed for all comments on the site, but this does not include the actual posts. The old “/discss/” feed redirects to the same thing on the home page as “Comments RSS,” while the old “/xml/” feed redirects to what the home page calls “Entries RSS.”
- Moved the sidebar from the right side back to the left side because it’s more familiar.
- Redirected the old “/donatenow” URL to its new destination. I can’t make “donate.oubandalumni.org” redirect to a single page yet, but it now at least redirects to the main page and doesn’t give a “domain not found” error.
- It would require a work-week of effort to try to install redirections for every old message, because the old system identified them by numbers while the new one, as you can see in any page’s URL, identifies them by readable names. All new posts and pages also have numbers, but I don’t have an easy way to map the old numbers to the new ones. We’re hoping that anyone who follows an old link will just type what they’re seeking into the search field and find it quickly—with the exception of some very old Homecoming info and some video stuff we haven’t gotten re-embedded yet, everything from the old site is here. As we see people coming to non-numeric pages (like “/donatenow”), we can add redirections so they get to where they’re going without taking any further action.
- In this same vein, last week we replaced the Google sitemap from the old site with a more complex one generated by the new site. That’s why if you now enter “OU Band Alumni” in Google, you get a huge organized list of departments and concepts.
- Fixed the “Donate Now” page to restore the PayPal donation button, in preparation for designing the form for this year’s registration and dues.
- Added new category “It’s fun to be on the Web!” for things like this post and other Internet funnies, like the Dustbury-inspired search engine queries posts.
If you have any questions or concerns about not being able to find something, contact me and we’ll see what we can do.