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We Hunted the Mammoth 2.0 is coming! Add your suggestions for improvements.

Hard at work, or hardly working?
Hard at work, or hardly working?

We’re working behind the scenes to bring you a new, improved We Hunted the Mammoth — at least as far as the design of the site goes. As I think I mentioned earlier, I’m not doing anything radical. The aim is to streamline and declutter the site and to make it easier to navigate and use.

Here’s what to expect:

  • Less-cluttered sidebar
  • Less-cluttered main bar
  • Cleaner, clearer design overall
  • Better navigation between pages of comments
  • Buttons so you can blockquote, etc without HTML in comments. No more need to fear the blockquote monster!

Someone also suggested it would be better to do “nofollow” links for MRA sites rather than using donotlink, so I’ll be doing that.

I will now be able to use WordPress plugins, so I can add other features/options as well. I don’t want to add them willy nilly, but if they can add some useful functionality without cluttering stuff up I’m open to suggestions.

Any other features/plugins you want added? Upvotes and downvotes for comments perhaps? Polls in the sidebar?

Any stuff that gets in the way that you want moved or removed?

Any issue that you have with the design or functionality of the blog now that you think could be improved?

Let me know what you think, from your feelings about font size to possible WordPress plugins to look at.

Oh, and again: this redesign is costing me some $$, so if you’re a fan of the site and haven’t already donated, please consider donating through the PayPal button below. Thanks!

 

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Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

@David, are you switching to .org? YAY!!!

Install iThemes Security. Best security plugin out there, I install on all client sites and it’s a huge help. You can get by just fine with the free version, IMO, though I use the pro. (Happy to donate the use of my unlimited license to you, if you like)

Also, BackupBuddy by the same folks is great for regular, automated backups and easy reinstalls, if required. It costs, but again I’d be happy to donate it to you if you like. Hell, I’ll donate myself – I do a monthly maintenance/security package for clients for $100/month, and would happily donate that to you so you can focus on writing/researching and not have to worry about the tech stuff at all. I’ll email you.

(Just thinking about possible attacks here… even my clients, who do nothing controversial at all, have been hacked or hit with DDOS and the 2 plugins above have saved their bacon,, and mine)

I nth no comment threading and no edits. Typos are not a big deal, and I like having to think about what I’m saying before I hit post.

Being able to quickly get to the first page of the comment thread would be great – I usually go to the url and change it so I get there without having to click click click, but easier access would, well, be easier.

I notice Recent Posts and Most Popular Posts are often the same/similar, so just using one would likely suffice – a tabbed interface for seeing Recent Posts, Recent Comments etc would be handy.

If there is a way to keep better track of new comments, that’s always a good thing… threads get necro’d or comments get added, but often get buried under newer comments in the sidebar Recent Comments. Managing comments is hard 🙂 I can subscribe to comments in my Feedly, but that’s all of them and a bit hard to manage – if we could subscribe to/follow certain threads, that would be awesome (I guess we can now via email?).

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

Ooh, also being able to get to the next/previous post from below the comments would be handy! Not necessary, but handy!

smithshadow
6 years ago

The ideas about recent comments are good as sometimes I miss the necro comments which make interesting, if sometimes harrowing, reading.

Also up voting and down voting is something which may cause ill feeling.

@ Paradoxical Intention

I made the recent purchase from your store, Love the Pokemon types and Teddy from Persona 4.

Paradoxical Intention
6 years ago

smithshadow | August 26, 2015 at 11:15 pm
@ Paradoxical Intention
I made the recent purchase from your store, Love the Pokemon types and Teddy from Persona 4.

Oh, sweet! Thank you very much for purchasing from my store, and I’m glad you like the designs!

I got the manufacturing receipt a week ago, so please let me know when you get your order! I would also like to know what the quality of the products are as well, because I have minimal experience with RedBubble’s quality (It’s always been good for me), and I don’t know how their new products turn out. : /

Amy L Murphy (@LeMurphs)

I’m sorry if this has already been mentioned David, and it’s not strictly related to improving the site, but did you ever find out what the issue was with some people’s (attempted) donations being backed a while ago? I’ve tried to donate once or twice since then and each time I’ve had an email after a while telling me that it was unsuccessful but without any obvious explanation for why. I’ve tried both a one off donation and setting up a standing order kind of thing but neither have worked. It’s just a shame because I’d love to throw a few quid your way here and there.

Other than that, no complaints! Keep it up!

Olive O'Sudden
Olive O'Sudden
6 years ago

YES to previewing comments before posting. This shows up any html errors and seeing the comment in a new box with different shading makes it easier to read ‘with fresh eyes’ and catch typos and such; definitely a good alternative to allowing edits after posting.

Also it would be great to have threads so when someone is replying to a comment, there’s no need to blockquote and the discussions are far easier to follow.

Joe Fulgham
6 years ago

Please make sure your new WP theme is fully responsive. Sites should work well on any device connecting to them — tablets, smartphones, retina-displays, you name it.

Spaceman
Spaceman
6 years ago

– Definitely agree with others on improved pagination on comments. Please also if possible include an ability to select how we prefer to see comments appear in that pagination (latest comment as first or traditional timeline)

– Reduction in the “around the web” style ads that seem to appear frequently on the mobile version. They are some that are really bad for this site (lots are body shaming images). Same for the ads on iOS that automatically launch the app store.

– Direct reply for individual comments where it automatically includes the person’s name and quote

– For recent comments: A few wordpress sites I follow make the first few words of the comment visible in their “recent comments” section instead of what post they are replying to. Makes it a bit easier to scan for the general idea of the current thread going on to see if it is interesting to jump back in.

Rae
Rae
6 years ago

I would also LOVE to see a “who’s who” section added, kind of like the glossary but with the person’s name and a brief description with links to the tag/category for that person (as a writer, I’d volunteer to help set that up, but I’m one of the readers who consistently needs it XD).

From a buisness standpoint, I’d say keep both recent and popular post sections simply because they’re not always the same and, depending on how the popular post section’s algorithm works, it will show older posts that newer readers might not otherwise see.

May I suggest disqus as a replacement for the comments section? Some people don’t like it, but I personally do since you can set up your own profile through disqus and it works across any blog that uses disqus. That would take care of both the issues with comments and the username idea that a few people have brought up. Also, if you have an account with disqus it will email you when someone replies to/quotes your comment so you can keep up with the discussion.

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