When I first started Senior Housing Forum I purchased a web domain and a cheap, cheap, cheap hosting plan, then installed a very basic WordPress theme. It wasn’t elegant but it did the job. At that point my goal was to publish one article a week. That first week’s article got read maybe 50 times, mostly by sympathetic friends and family.
I kept writing, publishing and promoting the website. As the amount of content we deliver increased it put more strain on the website, resulting in a couple of changes in our WordPress themes and hosting companies. The worst of these was a complete, unmitigated disaster caused by the hosting company that crashed the whole website for almost all of a very long and painful Thanksgiving weekend a couple of years ago.
Traffic has continued to grow and the amount of content and complexity of the website has continued to strain both the hosting plan and the capabilities of WordPress. The most obvious to the reader was that, when going from article to article, the load times were painfully slow.
A few months ago I started talking to Sage Age Strategies, a Senior Housing Forum Partner, about doing a complete “clean sheet of paper” redesign of the website with the following goals:
- Improve the load times for the whole site, requiring a change in platforms from WordPress to Drupal.
- Clean up some things that were not working very well, like the job board (which will relaunch in a much different form in the next few months).
- Make it easier to find articles that are of particular interest to various reader segments.
- Add a small bit of additional banner advertising, because bloggers need to eat too.
- Better serve the Senior Housing Forum Partners who make all of this possible.
This is the link to the development site. It is a functioning website that doesn’t have the most current articles and will change a lot over the next few days, but it is close to ready to launch, perhaps as early as Friday. I know it looks radically different and some of you will miss the simplicity of the old look, but we just cannot continue to do a great job of providing you thoughtful, helpful, thought provoking articles by me and others using the old design and the old platform.
If I may, I have three requests:
- Give the new design a chance to grow on you.
- If you see things that are not working right, please forgive the mess and let us know what is not working. It could be something that is actually broken or just something that makes the site not work for you.
- I would be grateful if you would recommend the website to just one more colleague in the industry in or out of your company.
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