Welcome to the new BaylyBlog!

Joseph, Ben and I are very happy to present the new BaylyBlog! We hope you like what we've done to the place. Please take some time to look around. And while you check out the new design—I think Ben did a bang-up job, myself—you can also take advantage of a few of the new features:

  • The most important new feature for our users is the search functionality. Joseph worked hard on this one, and it really paid off. Every single blog post ever written on BaylyBlog has been indexed, and you can find it easily by typing something in the search box. When you arrive on the search page, you can filter search results down by blog tags and by publish date. You vaguely remember a post about trebuchet's and pumpkins, but you're not sure when it was posted? That's easy to find.
  • David and Tim can now feature particular posts that will appear in the slideshow at the top of the site. They can feature any one of the thousands of posts, making it easy to bring important topics back to mind.
  • The side-bar is now much more helpful and much better organized. David and Tim can now promote conferences and events more prominently. Blog tags are helpfully sorted by usage, giving the user an idea of the relative importantance of the tag. A recent comments block, along with a recent comments feed, is listed. And the links to other blogs and ministries don't seem so imposing now that they are no longer in one big list.
  • Another great feature Joseph provided is the "Related Posts" block that will appear at the top of the sidebar when viewing a single post. By his own admission, he spent a couple hours going through old posts that were suggested to him as he was working on the site.

Again, we hope you enjoy the new blog. If you see anything out of place, don't hesitate to contact me. Happy reading!

Lucas Weeks

Lucas serves as an assistant pastor at Clearnote Church in Bloomington, Indiana. Although he pines for the warm, tropical weather that was familiar to him growing up in west and central Africa, he has since made peace with the harsher climates of North America.

Want to get in touch? Send Lucas an email!

Comments

Joseph,

I'm curious what technology you used for indexing and retrieval.

Eric

Hi Eric. We used Apache Solr. It is also what generates the list of related posts. I hope people find it useful.

Joseph-- it's a little embarrassing to ask this (like a son asking, "Is it dark outside?" Use your eyes, kid!) but did the Lord give you success with the search indexing issues? Apparently so because it looks like everything is working.

God is good, Daniel. I came home, prayed, opened my computer, and the problem was gone. 

Funny, my RSS feed in Outlook still gets the comments from the site but it didn't get this actual post.

It's fine, except for one thing: light gray fonts on a white background are not easy to read, especially for those of us in the senior category. For some reason, an increasing number of sites use this color combination,and it is frustrating.

Hi David,

The RSS feeds on the old site were a bit crazy, with at least 6 different addresses you could use to subscribe. It's entirely possible that I missed one or two. Could you please email me the address of the post feed you are subscribed to? My gmail is jtbayly .

Thanks,
-Joseph

Well, if we're voting, I have to say I find this design (including font and colors) much more readable.

Good work!

Dan, thanks for the input. I am looking into options where users would be able to increase the contrast for better readability. The gray-on-white (as opposed to real black-on-white) is actually meant to be easier on the eyes of most readers but I understand that it could make it more difficult for others. Please let me know if there are other things to consider as we continue to improve the site.

Looks great, gentlemen! Thank you for all your hard work.

I like the new site. One thing that I would vote to change though is the little box that pops up, suggesting posts to read. I find it distracting.

Ok, right after posting that I realized that you can tell it to stop suggesting posts to you. That's nice.

Very nice.

It would be nice if the RSS comment feed had the title of the post the comment was coming from, on it.

I agree with Daniel, it is much more confusing trying to follow comments...

I agree with Daniel, also: the comments are harder to follow (where one ends and another begins). I also find it harder to read the gray on white - most likely because of my senior eyes that are starting to develop cataracts. Otherwise, it looks good. Nice job, men.

Joseph,

I spend a lot of time with Solr these days. Feel free to ask questions.

Hi everybody,

Regarding your request to put the title of the post in the comment feed, we will add it shortly. We've been working like crazy on over 50 things that needed (or still need) to be fixed. Decisions are still waiting to be made on some of the other requests. We'll keep you posted.

Thanks for your patience,
-Joseph

P.S. We're sorry to those of you who are reading on tablets and smartphones. We know the site is constantly out of date for you. (And so you won't see this comment until tomorrow sometime...) We are waiting for smarter people to help us with that problem. If it makes you feel any better, I'm in the same boat with you... And so is at least one of the blog owners. Yes, this is marked as high priority. :)

How in the world does it produce such good results and so quickly?

But all kidding aside, if we run into problems, I'll take you up on that offer. Thanks.

Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way, but I miss the ability to read through articles by clicking next or previous post. I liked this feature before, unless I'm just not seeing it. Thanks for your work men!

We'll add it to the list, Phil. Thanks for the feedback!

I suggest adding a couple of photos of the bloggers, especially important on a site with a lot of argument and when some readers probably think the bloggers have horns.

But we'll have to get an expert at Photoshop to remove the horns.

Add new comment