The benifits of working from home

In case you haven't already noticed, Toe Salad underwent a significant change over the weekend. Actually, this change was a lot more than a weekend project, it has been in planning and development for quite some time. All we did this weekend was flipped the switch. There are still a few bugs to get worked out and more content to be massaged and categorized, but overall it went very smoothly.

For those of you who are interested in the techy side of things, here is a list of what has changed:

  • We completely changed platforms. We are no longer using Drupal, instead we are using Django. Drupal is a PHP-based content management system, Django is a Python-based web application framework. Since freelance web application programming is what pays most of the bills for me, I thought I should probably have a site that showcases some of my skills. So while it is a bit more work to get a site up-and-running with Django, the net result is a ton more flexibility over the long term. It also gives me a test bed to experiment a bit more with newer web technology. A blog, a soap-box, professional development, and a resume all built into one :-)

  • While readership of Toe Salad has continued to grow, the forum has been dwindling. The forum has morphed into something different, but hopefully something better. Instead of a traditional forum, we now have a Q&A section. It is a place where community members can post questions, and other community members (including Toe Salad editors), can post answers to those questions. All (well, most) of the old forum content is still there, but it looks different now. I am interested in seeing how this change works out over the long term, and whether or not it increases use of the forum.

  • The theme for the site is based on Twitter's Bootstrap framework. While I am a web applications programmer, I am not a designer, so I need all the help I can get. Maybe one of these days I will be able to afford a real designer to make this site beautiful, in the meantime you are stuck with my feeble attempts. One major advantage of the Bootstrap framework is that it is responsive. This means the site will now look good on both a huge monitor and a smartphone screen. This is a major improvement for us.

  • User accounts still exist. You can post questions and comments anonymously, or you can login (as before). Before you can login using your old account, you will need to reset your password. You can reset your password here. As a logged-in user, you will have a score based on your site activity. For each question or comment you post, you will get a point. The more you participate, the more points you will get. They serve no purpose other than to give you bragging rights (although I have some ideas about ways to pleasantly surprise the most active members).

So, there you have it. A brand new Toe Salad, ready to boldly take on the future of minimalist footwear reporting.

What do you think? Do you like it? Any suggestions for improvement? Let us know in the comments!