Over the last 16 months – if memory serves me well:
- overhauled ourlocality.org, news.ourlocality, join.ourlocality and support.ourlocality.org to simplify and clarify further the offer
- researched and added new templates (including a number with Full Site Editing capability) and template demos (Twenty Twenty Two, Twenty Twenty Three, and intro to the WordPress Patterns Library) and removed older themes, which we are no longer able to support
- switched the default template to Twenty Twenty One and created placeholder content as a quick start guide
- supported migrations to new templates (e.g. East Lothian Antiquarians and supported refreshes, which was in the throws of an important fundraiser e.g. Dunbar Community Bakery and publishing formats e.g. Dunbar History)
- researched and added new plugins like “The Events Manager” and a new GDPR manager “Complianz”; decommissioned and removed some older ones (e.g. have been removed from the wordpress repository or were infrequently used like the excellent Crisp ticketing system)
- managed and pruned our user base, so that anyone without an active account was removed to remain GDPR compliant (we will hold user data no longer than we legally need to)
- in progress removing Google Analytics or migrating users to G4, enabled Plausible and Burst stats, which are easier to setup for compliance with GDPR
- said goodbye and good luck to old website users who have gone solo (goodbye – for the second time – North Light)
- and said hello to others (welcome Amisfield Walled Garden, Haddington’s History Society), and migrated some others too
- provided same day support to all requests logged by email, semaphore or telepathy, resolving many, problems within an hour or so
- dealt with umpteen boring security related matters behind the scenes, quietly protecting our account holders while they sleep
- removed any residual spam from site accounts (a few of you had forms that you didn’t manage or monitor) and enhanced security against all forms of spam – thankfully reduced since we have removed most forms (honeytraps) from customer websites
- researched a news feed aggregation service for ourlocality blogs, news with the notion of including also local websites external to our network and an activity pub feed to mastodon (though this remains still in early stage development)
- replaced our news feedburner service with a simple WordPress subscription by email, having explored another option which turned out to be intrusive and peddled unwelcome spammy content (just like social advertising sites do) alongside our stories
- curated OurLocality News and the social advertising end too, when we could be bothered
- addressed any obvious publishing errors before customers noticed a problem, recognising that this creates a minor moral hazard
- provided ad hoc support to users having problems 100s of support requests for advice and many more follow up questions like:-
- general and detailed aspects of website and media management, space allocations, login problems, templating, domain selection etc
- third party integrations
- setting up of professional email,
- manage mailchimp properly,
- social advertising, and
- safer and secure document sharing.
Every day quietly someone is updating their website, perhaps adding the minutes of boring meetings that they have diligently compiled and that until now you thought no one ever read – well you are wrong, it seems they do!
of original articles
With over archive 4000 articles in the news stream, this year saw fewer pieces published, as the social advertising platforms and newsletters remain the preferred way to communicate. When we lose a customer we lose the archive of news, and often they do too. The past unlike the present seems to be less interesting to website owners.
of new sites and demos
The rate of new website properties was maintained, but largely as a result of new demos being put up by us. As the platform adjusts to the world of Blocks, Patterns and Full Site Editing we know there are many people out their who are stuck in Classic mode and missing out on the new design paradigm.