UPDATE: I hate to keep this post front and center, because I don’t like to make it seem like I’m ungrateful for those that did donate, but there were only a couple of people that did and I thought that maybe it was my long-winded post about all of the cool changes I made that bored you guys 🙂
I think I will only come out and ask for donations at the beginning, ASB and end of the season, so you don’t have to keep hearing about this from me! Not that you can’t donate other times, but I won’t be making a “push”.
So, for those of you that didn’t lose your job this year, or are on food stamps, etc., if you could spare some for the site I would really appreciate it!
I just wanted to quickly update you on some of the changes I made to the site over the off-season. I worked really hard to improve the site for 2013 and would like to see what everything thinks about the updates. Here are some of the “improvements” I’ve made with the money I received in donations:
- BRAND NEW SERVER: This was the #1 major change I made in the off-season. Hopefully each of your memories are short-term, and you were disillusioned after such a terrible season that you didn’t notice, but the last couple weeks of September the RWO site was horrible when it came to speed!!! Pages wouldn’t load properly, it took forever to post comments, etc. I was quite frustrated (not to mention it happened at the end of the season right after I posted my “Donations Please” drive :-)!) So, I decided that I couldn’t handle another season on the current server hardware and went out and upgraded us to a new platform. For those geeks out there I moved the site from a shared hosting server to a VPS. I think you can agree that the site is WAY faster at loading, posting comments, etc. It was a VERY long process moving the site over, but I’m extremely happy with the purchase and feel that the donation money went to a good cause!
- ADDED A RATING SYSTEM FOR PRE/POST GAMES: I really wanted to have a ratings system last season, but didn’t get to it in time and it didn’t make sense to have one 1/2 way through the year because it wouldn’t be complete. I like the idea of us rating games before and after, to give a historical perspective of what we felt at the time. I also changed the thumb up/down to a star rating and put those ratings in a box showing what the top comments were for each post. I also have the top games of the year, based on our ratings, and feel this will really be beneficial if we get a lot of people rating games after they are played. Then we can look back and see what games really stood out to everyone as the best of the year.
- ADDED A CALENDAR / UPCOMING EVENTS: I wanted to have an easy way to view what was coming up. I liked the idea of an Event Calendar for our site. I preloaded the whole season of games and put it in the sidebar. It is also OPEN TO ANYONE that wants to post an event. Just send me: WHAT, WHERE and TIME and i’ll get it on the calendar. If you guys want to meet somewhere before a game, let me know and I’ll post it. I could add the feature to have you guys post your own events, but that would require an upgrade to the calendar ($75) that I didn’t have to spend…I do recognize the colors are a little hard to read right now. I need to fix those soon before people start losing their eyesight trying to read stuff!
- UPDATED THE SITE FOR MOBILE PHONES AND TABLETS: This is something I REALLY wanted to do last year, and believe me I TRIED! I even paid a couple different people to get this working on the site, but they failed! Well, it is finally working now and it looks pretty good. Sadly, the plugin is pretty powerful, but the way I have the site laid-out it doesn’t display perfectly. I wanted it a lot like the Inside The Rockies site, where you could see the post and a red circle with a number of how many comments there were. At least it is viewable on a phone now, something that wasn’t done last year! I’ll keep trying to fix this so it is better!
- CLEANED UP PAGES LIKE NEWS, GAME DAY, FB/TWITTER, etc.: These pages were driving me crazy because they didn’t show just a few lines/image of the article with a link. They showed the whole thing! So, it was ugly and disorganized! Plus the Twitter/FB links weren’t very cool. Well, now everything is much better.
So, that is what I’ve been up to, how about you? 🙂
I just wanted to thank each of you for your continued comments and support. I love this site and the group we have here. It has been a lot more work than I was expecting, but it has completely been worth it! With help from those that do write-ups for me during the season (JEEM!) as well as your donations that really help offset costs, it has been a great ride so far!
Please let me know what you think and if you’d like anything added to the site to make it even better.
A quick note about money. I was hoping that I would get enough money monthly on Ad’s to keep the bills covered without needing any sort of steady donations, but I was a bit to optimistic as to how much money Ad’s bring in. Let’s just say I made enough in Ad’s last month to pay for a medium soda at Wendy’s. Not even a large. I really don’t want to add more advertisements to the site, because I think it detracts from the information and look and feel of things, and I don’t know if it really would bring in much more money having more ad’s. Perhaps if you guys would tell others about the site, maybe they would enjoy the Ad’s enough to pay some of the bills? Just click on the Twitter or Facebook links for pre/post games to spread the word. I’d also love to get more people that love the team and could add to, and enjoy, the atmosphere around here…
Also, don’t forget to donate if you have some spare change lying around. I burned through my reserves over the winter on three position players at center field 😉