alexsbrown.com Converted to WordPress!

Alex S. Brown, PMP IPMA-C

This web site is now powered by WordPress, a popular blogging tool. But I promise you,

This site will NOT become a blog!

Instead, WordPress has let me use its content management features to dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes me to update the site. That will leave me more time to write, so I can deliver more articles to you.

Benefits

The new site also provides some benefits to you as a reader:

  • Articles are now organized by category and keyword
  • More ways to search and sort articles, including
    • Full-text seach
    • Key words in a “tag cloud”
    • Category views
    • Lists of related articles for each article you read
  • A more consistent look-and-feel across the whole site
  • More ways to get to a growing catalog of articles and material
  • The ability to split long pages into multiple pages (the article index was getting too long)
  • The ability to have visitors post comments

In the future, the site should be able to more easily expand to fill new needs. Some ideas that I have planned include:

  • More on-line recorded speeches
  • Guest authors
  • More articles about topics other than project management
  • More collections of articles and speeches on specific topics

The great thing about the new site is that I can sort and categorize articles, creating groups of related articles to meet different people’s interests.

Details of the Changes

The web site should look much the same. I am using a new font, Verdana, because I read that it is even easier to read than Arial on a computer screen. The navigation along the top is virtually unchanged, except that the recorded speeches now have their own link.

The list of articles has changed quite a bit. New announcements like this one will be mixed into the master list of articles. You can also use the sidebar that appears on the right of many pages to click through to specific lists of articles:

  • By category, showing different critical topics
  • By date, showing the articles for specific months
  • By tag, showing all articles which relate to a specific keyword

The tag list is special. The larger, brighter words have more articles, while the smaller, dimmer words may just have one or two. This list is called a “tag cloud” and it helps people see what topics are most important on the site at a glance. I picked the list of tags, and assigned them by hand to the articles, so it is not the same as a simple text search. If you thank a particular keyword is missing, let me know.

I also put donation information and my Skype contact information on all the pages with the sidebar. I really do want to hear from people, and this new area seemed like an idea place to continue to reach out.

Will It All Work?

I tested the site many different ways, but I cannot guarantee that everything will work perfectly. As recommended by Jakob Nielsen, all my old links and pages will still work in the new web site. If something is gone or outdated, then the old page will take you to a new page with relevant information.

Of course, things might not work out perfectly. Let me know if you see anything out of space. Please contact me with any problems.

Next Steps

I do plan to do a visual face-lift on the web site soon. With WordPress in place, it will be easier to make site-wide changes. My goal was to first move all the content over, without making any major changes. Now I can look at the visual appeal of the site again.

Many of the old “News” items are missing now. I will be moving the old newsletter stories into the “News” area gradually. I will also be updating the “about this site” page to reflect the new technology I am using.

Also, if you want something new on the site, please do let me know. With the new WordPress platform, it has become much easier to offer new features. There may be a plugin available that lets me quickly offer a new feature on the site. If you like to “Digg” or do other social bookmarks, for instance, let me know. I can add in software to make that easier.