My hiatus was due to a well needed break from the site to enjoy the holidays and catch up on some other things I had wanted to, but despite the lack of new posts, the site hasn’t been dormant.
The most obvious change you’ve likely noticed is the presence of Ads like the one below:
As of January 6th, I signed up for Google Adsense to populate the site with ads to help with revenue for the site. I’ve played with a bunch of options in an attempt to make them as unobtrusive as possible. While I’ve successfully run this site since 2013 on a home built server that sits on a shelf in my basement, the burden it puts on my ISP and the relative unreliability of the site since then has demanded a change.
With the revenue from the ads, I plan to move the site, along with backups to a third party host that specializes in WordPress. Not only will this minimize downtime and give me more reliable backups, but site performance should dramatically improve as will my ability to do some things that the current server cannot handle.
In addition to the ads, there have been several other changes which are likely less obvious. The biggest is that I have moved from a free WordPress theme called Septera by Cryout Creations, to their paid “Plus” theme. Although the theme is still the same, the Plus theme gives me a lot more customization and has allowed me to make several subtle tweaks that most people probably wouldn’t notice, but I think improves the look and usability of the site. Not to mention, I am entitled to priority support from the developers in the event I need help with custom CSS code.
I’ve added a new Review Index to the main navigation header at the top of the page. Although a “Reviews” link was always there, it just took you to a chronological list of posts. It wasn’t very useful at finding older reviews. The new link takes you to a large Index of reviews sorted by manufacturer.
The last noticeable change to the site is a new RSS Feeds option at the top. This links to something I’m calling the “Camera Bloggers Alliance”. This is a very early idea I am working on with a number of other bloggers who have camera related sites such as this one. The idea is to help promote and encourage readers to discover and read posts on other great sites.
Over the past year, I’ve developed a great relationship with many guys (and gal) who have the same interests as I, and even though their sites offer similar type of information as mine, rather than see each other as competition, we’ve formed somewhat of an alliance with each other trying to help each other out. Some sites are lucky to get 500 visitors a day, others are in the tens of thousands, but no matter what the size or scope of their sites are, our aim is to help each other out. For now, this section is just a list of RSS feeds, but I’m looking into ways to make it more interactive and useful.
Finally, in regards to actual content, I have been hard at work writing a couple of different historical articles that I really think you’ll all find interesting, I’ve secured hi-resolution scans of every single issue of the “Zeiss Historica” newsletter and have secured permission from the author to republish them here, I’ve done some interviews with a couple people who have a huge amount of knowledge in the realm of vintage cameras and photography, and of course there will be plenty of new reviews and Keppler’s Vault posts as well.
The first new post will go live tomorrow, so until then, stay tuned…