Welcome to the New Publishing Genius Website

by | Aug 10, 2015 | Behind the Scenes

Hello, and welcome to the new and improved online home of Publishing Genius. The update was past due, and when the site started crashing a lot I knew I had to steal some time to fix it up.

If you’re interested, the Wayback Machine can show you what PublishingGenius.com looked like throughout the press’s history. Here’s the first iteration of the site, from 2006:

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.32.09 PM

There was even a Weblog!

That was coded in HTML. Pretty amazing, right? Do you ever miss Verdana?

Things have come a long way since then. Over the weekend I installed the first ever Publishing Genius SSL certificate. An SSL cert is for security—it encrypts the communication between your computer and the PGP server. See that green padlock in the URL bar (if you’re using Google Chrome)? That means everything’s locked down.

Here’s some other stuff about the new site that might be interesting to people who like to look behind the scenes. I’m not a developer and only a beginning “designer,” whatever that means, but here’s some notes:

  • It’s built on WordPress.org, hosted with GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress. I don’t love this server configuration because load times have been extremely slow, even after stripping out the few plugins I’ve installed. But what’s nice about the account is it caches for me automatically (I found this out when I called them because they won’t let me install WP Super Cache), and backups are automatic too.
  • The new theme is Wootheme’s “Storefront,” which is free. I’ve done almost no customizations yet. I really should change the link colors at least. So far I have failed at making a child theme for the site, which is worrisome because I did have to tweak the functions.php to translate Woocommerce’s default verbiage (they call everything “products,” which to me is a sad thing to call books). (Making a child theme allows you to retain changes like that when the theme is updated.)
  • Which is also to say that I’m using the Woocommerce plugin to handle sales. Finally. No more jury-rigged shopping carts. No more having to edit PayPal buttons to put things on sale (this is huge because I love to put things on sale). Woocommerce is an amazing thing, one of those “why is this free” things, even though the settings options are a little counterintuitive and then you want to change something and to do so you have to buy an extension for $19.
  • And also regarding selling books, now we can take credit cards without having to go through PayPal: I set up Simplify Commerce which processes credit cards right on the checkout page (thus the need for the SSL certificate).
  • Still using Disqus for comments. Is there anything new out there that I should know about?
  • Check out that sweet search bar! It’s the Ajax Search Pro. To be honest, this search bar is the thing I’ve been dreaming about for months. All I really want the PGP website to be is a white screen with that search bar on it.
  • Another cool plugin I’m using is WP Facebook Open Graph protocol which crosses Ts with the meta tags sent to Facebook and other social sites. It’s totally something you just activate and leave alone, no settings. Beautiful.
  • But my favorite plugin is Enable Media Replace. This allows me to pull an image from the media library and replace it everywhere it appears with a new one. This is important because, like, I might have used a too-small image for a book that came out 6 years ago, or one that doesn’t fit the current drop shadow standards or something, and it might appear in a few different posts on this site. This plugin allows me to upload a new one that replaces the current one everywhere.

Coming soon, Nick Sweeney is going to run a “what are you reading lately” feature. We’ll be giving away a very cool (and short, like 4 minutes long) audiobook of Michael Bible’s Simple Machines in the next couple weeks. Probably some other surprises too. Stay tuned via Twitter to see how long we can actually keep this up for.

And for the rest of today till August 26, you can use the discount code BEAR-Y CHEAP and preorder The Well-Dressed Bear Will (Never) Be Found our next book, a graphic novel from Jarod Roselló, for $5 off!