We've improved the performance of the gallery by backporting some of our location pages changes. This has made the gallery pages both faster and easier to edit.
Posts filed under Developments
This weekends Wainuiomata website development included adding support for GeoDjango and installing PostGIS on the servers so that we can enter coordinates for each location. We've just rolled it out, although it won't be showing yet as we have lots of locations to enter now.
We still want to look at using OpenStreetMap on the main site as it shows we are all about open source. But for the time being it's still using Google Maps in the admin because of the location lookups.
It would be nice to use NZ Post APIs if possible for location lookup to coordinates, if it can do that. But things like that will take time to develop, right now the library we're using already supports Google Maps for location lookups (or MapBox).
We've expanded the idea of the business and clubs directory a lot by adding public places, locations and landmarks, as well as schools. It's going to take a while to fill this in with original information and photos especially since this is being done by volunteers in their spare time, however I think the end result is going to be really awesome and help show Wainuiomata to the world.
The website has almost hit 800 pages (790 to be exact) and this number is going to grow if we add every location, school, club so we've started to experiment with adding more people to the website with the "editor" role and setting up review workflows.
Editors are able to upload photos and make edits to pages, even preview them but not able to publish for everyone else to see until approved by a moderator or an admin. Having people with the moderator role as is a new thing, so this is something that will need to be earned over time.
We have mostly been adding empty pages for now with just the place name, and sometimes a link to the Facebook page and website if we can find any. But a lot more is going to need to be done, this is just to scope the thing out for now. Every single place is going need photos taken for example and they can't be copied from other websites, we have to have unique content.
We're thinking of integrating with OpenStreetMap, as we are thinking of showing a map on most one of these pages, so Google probably won't allow us to keep using the free tier anymore (we only have a single map page right now).
And finally, everything is indexed as well, so all these new locations we've been entering area already discoverable through search, even though there isn't currently a way to navigate to them (yet).
You will find places like https://wainuiomata.com/places/pukeatua-bridge/ and https://wainuiomata.com/places/wainuiomata-lookout/ and there is a lot more to go yet.
We're also looking at using open data troves like https://www.gw.govt.nz/your-council/open-data/
You may have noticed an increased presence on our wainuiomata.com Facebook page, but that doesn't mean we stop on the website, far from it. Apart from the redesign planned over the next few months, I've been thinking about bringing the Business Directory we used to have on the old site back (rebuild), but also a separate Clubs area. Hopefully I won't be burning the candle too much from both ends but the design can be put off a few more months probably.
We realise that times have changed a lot since we last had a business directory. Back then we manually entered everything from a physical copy into the system, but these days there are a lot of different ways to get this data. Even Google has information about a business if you search for it by name.
Just about every club in Wainuiomata seems to have a Facebook page, some even only have a Facebook page or a broken website. So linking to their Facebook page is crucial.
We're using Wagtail and we can develop this sort of stuff pretty fast now. We want images and an image gallery possibility under clubs. It also should help with some smaller businesses who may not have budget to put up a good side of their own. In the past we've offered clubs their own website but we realise that this is taking on a lot of work, so offering a page on wainuiomata.com is the next best thing and it all becomes searchable too, as every page, post and comment is indexed on our site and refreshed every 5 minutes.
For now we will probably pre-seed all the data ourselves first, but in the future, I'm thinking businesses should be able to update their own page. There is no cost planned for this, we always want this to be free. The only requirement, must be a business or organisation or club in Wainuiomata only. So not Lower Hutt or Petone, Wainuiomata only.
A while ago now we had to temporarily disable registrations on the website until we have better systems in place to manage spammers registering on the forum and posting spam.
Existing users can still log in, we have only temporarily disabled new user registrations until we have something to manage this better.
This website has been around for a very long time and most of the active userbase registered around 2005-2007 so if you have forgotten your password and somehow don't have access to your original email, don't hesitate to contact either myself or Shane to get that restored. Otherwise the self-service works too.
Meanwhile, we are well aware that the website doesn't work very well on mobile. It was made in a different time when mobile wasn't as big as it is today. A redesign is on the books and definitely needed. We acknowledge this is a problem that needs to be resolved.
Also don't forget to check out our Facebook page and if you are a local club in Wainuiomata that wants something shared, contact us.
This year, 2023 marks the 20th anniversary that we have been running the Wainuiomata Online Community website for. We don't remember exactly the date anymore, but the fist version of the website would have gone live some time in 2003.
We've finally done it! All the data from the old ynui.co.nz forum has been imported into the new website after weeks of hard work, that is all the threads, topics, comments, profiles, etc.
The new forum software has been uploaded to the wainuiomata.com site, but we will keep the old website running for a while until things have settled down. The new forum (and the rest of the site) is written in Django, while the old website was written in PHP and was very different in design.
We did manage to keep things as similar as possible to the old forum design, so that the data could be imported without too much rework.
Please note that you can't login just yet, there are still a few things to sort out before we can enable people to login with their old ynui.co.nz accounts (as well as create new accounts) but hopefully this won't be too long. The main thing is that the new forum is up, which is a huge milestone by itself.
We are getting closer now to completing the move of the old ynui.co.nz forum and all the existing posts and comments on the forum to the wainuiomata.com website. There has been a great amount of work put into this project, rewriting the forum as it was on the old website, but in Django rather than PHP, so moving over a completely different system all together and converting the database to the new system.
I have put my best effort in making sure the old data (that is the posts, comments, and user profiles) are preserved when imported into the old system, by converting the data as it is imported and cleaning it where necessary. This has been a huge undertaking but well worth it, I have run a simulation of the import many times now, and am confident that when the time comes everything should be imported without any issues.
There are only a few issues to resolve now, and I expect the move to be done within 1-2 weeks from now.
I've finished updating the blog, which changes the URLs of all existing posts making them shorter. I have updated Disqus with a new URL map and setup redirects in place for the old posts which already had comments posted on Disqus before all the URLs were changed over.
I noticed that Disqus doesn't really update the old links when you look at the "also on wainuiomata online community" section below the comments and it doesn't really update the old post titles either, as I had also changed these earlier, but with the redirects in place everything still works fine including the old links to posts.
New comments added after this point should come up with the proper post titles and new URLs.
We've added support for Disqus comments for blog posts, bringing back commenting on blog posts. We had comments on our old ynui.co.nz blog a long time ago, but it became difficult to manage comment spam and we had to disable comments for a while.
I had always intended to bring back support for comments by writing a better spam filter, but it's just so much easier to use Disqus now. The great thing about Disqus is you can log in using either your Gmail or Facebook account which makes it easy for visitors to comment.
We are not quite done yet however, and this is a bit of a warning... I plan to make some changes to the blog which will change the URL of each post, I know this is normally a bad thing to do, especially for search engines, but it's really important and needs to be done in order to develop a new feature.
The way Disqus seems to work, is it links the comments to the URL of a page, so I am afraid that when the URL for each post changes, we will lose the comments from before. I am not sure how Disqus deals with this, but I have a suspicion we just end up losing the older comments when I change the URL for each post.
Because we have only just enabled Disqus and moved the blog over to wainuiomata.com, it's best to do this sooner than later, when there are almost no comments and the loss is not so bad. So I plan to get this done this week if possible.
We will keep you informed about any new developments to the site.