New technology for Patheos

Going to Patheos has worked well for this blog.  Our readership is up half again what it was before we made the move.  And I’ve gotten used to the form (short posts on the homepage with a jump to the rest of it) and like it.  Yes, we’ve complained about the new Disqus comment system, but hopefully you’ll like some new technology that has been implemented. Details after the jump.I’ll let my editor, Tim Dalrymple, tell about it, from a message he sent to his bloggers

Patheos made a successful move today to Cloudfront for our server solution — which should considerably increase page load times — and to a new mobile solution.  The move has been made seamlessly so far, although we always expect little bugs here and there for our troubleshooting team.  Part of the reason for the move to Disqus was so that we could make this move to Cloudfront.

Overseas visitors and bloggers will notice a particularly big difference.  Cloudfront serves a cached copy of the site from the Cloudfront server closest to those who make the request (i.e., visit Patheos) – so page speed will be considerably improved for all cached content.  Things that are not cached are things that are called by the scripts – ads, Disqus Comments, the Related Channel Content widget, Social Media embeds and anything else that runs a script which gets the functionality on the client side.  Improved page speed will help us with page rank and search engine optimization, and may well lead to more pageviews per visitor. . . .

Mobify (our mobile solution) is now deployed on the site for almost every page except the Library and Worship Community Directory.  The Patheos mobile site loads much faster and can be read on phones without having to expand the screen.  The mobile templates are populated in real time with the same content that shows up on the live site.  In particular, notice the “accordions” for the mega menu in the upper right hand corner of every mobile screen.   These same accordions also work on the filters for our new site search, which is also on every screen.  Please note that Patheos Mobile will only apply to smartphones and not to tablets.  Also, please be aware that we are still getting all of our direct ads and ad networks set up and operational.

As a final note, the new Patheos Site Search is now deployed and early troubleshooting seems to be done.  Site search can be a real difference maker for Patheos and we will want to aggressively promote it.  Over the past week since search has been live, visitors who use site search view 6 times more pages and are on the site 5 times longer than visitors who do not use it.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.


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