First of all, our apologies to anyone who was inconvenienced or annoyed by any issues with our site recently, especially those who received a rapid-fire blast of several dozen tweets yesterday. We’ve been in the process of moving the site to a new webhost (DreamHost) over the past couple of days. That process is now complete. We have been able to fix some longstanding problems with the site as well as provide you with new features.
The problems with our old WordPress install were caused by how our previous host had set things up after a server move. The blast of tweets was caused by activating our WordTwit plugin on the WordPress install with our new host. A long queue of Twitter announcements for blogposts had built up in the plugin on the old host. For some reason the tweets were being blocked from release to Twitter. When we transferred everything over and activated the plugin, suddenly the block was gone and all those tweets were released at once.
Whatever the problem was with our old host, our WordTwit plugin is working again and we’ll once more be able to push out Twitter announcements of new blogposts automatically when they’re published.
There were a few other issues on the backend of the site that have been fixed, which will make the site easier to maintain.
We’ve dropped the Libertarian FAQ, since it didn’t garner enough interest from our readers and, it turns out, ourselves.
One new feature is that we’ve dropped the “www.” prefix on the url. Minor perhaps, but it’s a nice convenience. Hopefully, the site will be a little faster now as well.
Here’s the biggie:
With our old host we were unable to get our newest feature installed and up and running. We’re now able to offer you community forums where you can discuss myriad subjects from libertarianism and Austrian economics to politics and history and more. The forums are powered by the Simple:Press plugin. It’s similar to a phpBB system, but it’s built right into WordPress, so you only need one user account for the forums and the rest of the site. Come help us get the conversation started!
And please, let us know if you spot anything that might be broken.
If you haven’t installed the app already, you will be prompted and given options to do so.
Google already has “more than 150 publishing partners to offer full-length articles from more than 180 editions including CNET, AllThingsD, Forbes, Saveur, PBS, Huffington Post, Fast Company and more. Content is optimized for smartphones and tablets, allowing you to intuitively navigate between words, pictures and video on large and small screens alike, even if you’re offline.”
I’m pleased to announce that you can now subscribe to the Libertarian Standard on your Kindle ereader.
Simply follow the link to the product page or click on the ad-button below, in the sidebar, or at the bottom of each post.
Amazon sets the price, which is currently at $0.99/month, with a 14-day free trial.
We get a cut of 30%, which will go toward operating costs: domain registration, hosting, and the like.
If you have a Kindle ereader — not an app, sorry, but the physical device (the service is limited to them for the time being) — consider the advantage of subscribing to the Libertarian Standard. Posts will be delivered to your Kindle wirelessly (when you’re connected) when they’re published on the site. You’ll be able to read our commentary and analysis, as well as the syndicated Mimi & Eunice comics, at your leisure on a lightweight, very portable device, in sunlight, away from a decent wireless or 3G/4G connection. Good for commutes, plane flights, camping trips, and similar situations in which you’re not consistently connected to the world via the internet and can’t reach our site — particularly if you don’t own a 3G/4G-connected tablet pc and don’t like reading on a computer screen or lugging around your heavy laptop.
We decided to switch to a 2-column layout with only 1 sidebar, and we added some new features in the process. I’ll highlight the major changes.
The main content column is now wider, making the text easier to read with less scrolling. The remaining sidebar is a bit wider than the old sidebars were individually as well. We’ve moved a lot of the sidebar widgets, so that you’ll have ready access to the most relevant features and content depending on what you’re doing.
You will only see the blog archive widgets (for posts by date, author, categories, and tags) in the sidebar on the various archive pages, for when you’re actually browsing or searching the archives. We’ve long had our Tag Cloud page, also with a tag index, but now we’ve added a Blog Archives page. On this page we’ve embedded the Collapsing Archives, List Authors, and Collapsing Categories sidebar widgets with the Widgets on Pages plugin (and some custom css). When you have a hankering to browse or search the archives, check out these two pages.
By the way, in case you didn’t know, you can subscribe to author-specific and category-specific rss feeds, if you are especially interested in a particular author or topic, by right-clicking on the rss icon beside the author’s or category name, copying the url, and adding it manually to your favorite rss reader.
On all other pages with sidebars, you will find the recent posts and recent comments sidebar widgets. The site visitors and FeedBurner subscribers widgets have been moved to the About page. We switched to the Collapsing Links plugin to minimize the footprint of our blogroll.1
We removed our old popular posts widget from the sidebar entirely and switched to the WordPress.com Popular Posts plugin. Instead of displaying a small sidebar list of the most popular posts for the last 30 days, we recently created the Popular page where you will find lists of our most popular posts and pages (ranked by page views) for the current day, the last 7 days, the last 30 days, and all time.
We hope you’ll find the new layout cleaner and more attractive, providing easier access to more relevant content and features.
It appears there is a strange bug that causes the Collapsing Links widget not to expand. It only seems to work when the Collapsing Archives or Collapsing Categories widget is in the sidebar with it. Hopefully the developer will have this bug fixed soon or we’ll revert to the default links widget. ↩
We have some catching up to do getting some of Nina’s older strips published here, but once we’re caught up we’ll be posting each one as they come out. If you enjoy them as much as we do, please consider supporting Nina’s work!