The latest news related to the Godzone.com website. Acts as my diary of changes to the website, a ‘Develog’ if you wish. If you’d like to recommend changes or improvements to the site, I’d be happy to hear them; please contact me and let me know.
28 November 2017
Still chugging through content. Upgraded to PHP 7.1, seems to be working fine with some performance gains.
16 November 2017
Lost track of all the changes, mostly working on content including BBH Hostels and DOC campsites and Huts for the Te Araroa trail. Better category/tag pages introduced, plus removed a repeated intro on ‘paged’ archives. Cleaned up code on backpacker listings for SEO – needs to be implemented on other listing types – for example first paragraph is now either the excerpt or body (previously p wrapped other page elements). Started creating bespoke SE0 titles and descriptions. Writing new intro copy according to SEO best practice. Many new custom fields introduced for facilities. Better coding of conditionals and resultant page source on backpackers, for example divs (needs to be implemented elsewhere). Made iconography more clear, telephone, mobile, free-phone. Might change Qualmark process so results can be filtered by rating, currently a ‘hard’ image is defined.
28 October 2017
Updated region category page layout with bigger map and sub-navigation icons. YHA Hostels added.
12 October 2017
All TOP 10 Holiday Parks updated. Unfortunately seems to be some issues with affiliate booking site terms meaning that some will be removed (Bookings.com, TripAdvisor). For the moment going with Bookit as it’s a NZ provider.
03 October 2017
Implemented srcset on archive pages and Holiday Parks listing templates. See Kauri Coast TOP 10 for an example. Starting to add colour to the site. Site is quite light but looking at lazyload again. Site language changed to en-NZ to focus on NZ market.
02 October 2017
Finally started work on this project again. Long story. Have updated the details of Visitor Information Centres and Holiday Parks to keep them current, plus changed information on their display. Updated the theme, theme css and functions. Font Awesome and Bootstrap updated. Made Layouts, Content Templates etc more efficient.
12 May 2016
- Implemented caching with some good results (see below). Note that YSlow gives a 0/100 rating as Godzone does not use a CDN; I don’t think it’s necessary as the site is quite lean, and I feel using a CDN means the site is less environmentally friendly. Will be turning caching on-and-off over next period so if you run tests don’t expect them to look the same as below.
- Looking at options regarding serving images with set dimensions, and/or retina versions. Personally I feel trying to attain high speed scores here are a red-herring; having one image scaled for all devices saves a lot of hassle and disk space, and the images in question are only a few KB. Have created several sizes of the same image and seeing if srcset helps.
- Testing the Lazy Loading of images, mixed results. Can conflict with slider.
- Implemented a slider on the homepage (design)
- Created a new default listing template which is “big news”; separates style from content. Added custom fields to a Default Listing template, but notice image duplication occurs. See the Ata Rangi listing which uses the new template.
- Better SEO for images; added TITLE and ALT tags to the Default Listing template above.
26 April 2016
- Added “Back to top” auto-scroll button (usability)
- Added search function, still testing (usability)
- Added images for TOP 10 Holiday Parks (content)
- Updated and improved layout for Holiday Parks page (design)
- Alphabetised listings on category pages (usability)
- Added a random sort tag to listings for random display
- May introduce manual sorts in future to bump certain listings to top of category
- Added more Vineyards & Wineries (content)
28 March 2016
- Returned from a 6 week trip to New Zealand where I visited several vineyards and gathered other content.
- Visited ProWein in Dusseldorf for additional research.
- Changed the category ‘Artisan Wineries’ to ‘Vineyards & Wineries’. Felt that ‘Artisan’ is a misused term similar to ‘Boutique’ and ‘Gourmet’. Want to avoid the marketing labels and keep it real.
- Combined the ‘Auckland City’ and ‘Auckland & Hauraki Gulf’ regions into ‘Auckland and Hauraki Gulf’.
- Redirections for above implemented, some internal links changed
- Caching and minification turned off in NZ after some issues with hosting provider set-up, will investigate further.
- Started the associated website “De Wandelaar” based in The Netherlands. It will use similar content to Godzone, however will convert it to Dutch language in due course.
- Set up a separate testing website. Will devote one day per week to R&D, the rest to content.
1 December 2015
- Completed the basic template for directory listings and will test this over the next few weeks and modify. An example is Te Whare Ra Wines. Resize to see it change appearance. Have moved items around, taking page speed analysis into account.
- Started adding Artisan Wineries.
- Implemented automatic character limits on directory category pages. These vary depending on the device size (mobile vs desktop etc.). See the Marlborough category for an example and resize screen to see them change. Content creation guidelines are coming soon.
- Implemented caching and minification for more speed and environmental impact.
- Upgraded hosting specifications in New Zealand.
- Godzone logos added for branding, including favicons.
- Lots of minor CSS changes. Updated fontawesome.
18 November 2015
- Entire site has been re-built on the bootstrap framework with a very minimal, custom-made theme to keep things fast and independent.
- Created this What’s New page.
- Created the standard newsletter, a version of the newsletter for trade, plus a general contact form and a specific trade inquiry form.
- Search form on homepage and search results now has a “reset” button. Added a spinner graphic to let the visitor know the search form is updating the available entries if a selection is made.
- Multiple responsive design updates to the site. Mobile (phone) devices have much more stripped-down approach for speed and content discovery.
- Responsive menu bar added for navigation.
- Travel guide added to main navigation along with regions, for example West Coast.
- Visitor Information Centres (i-SITEs) added to the travel guide. Initial layout for i-SITEs created.