Welcome to the NEW Sci-Fi Storm
by Doc on Nov.28, 2009, under Sci-Fi Storm
If you are seeing this, you’re in the right place now. This is the new Sci-Fi Storm…all new look, some new features. I may still make adjustments so things may fluctuate. Read the rest of this article for things you should know – but the first thing you should do is register your logins again!!!
As I mentioned before, the new site is based on WordPress and the Pixel theme (although I have been customizing a number of things with it – I just like the background 🙂 ). When I get more familiar with themes I may custom-design my own at some point.
I don’t seem to be able to stuff quite as much into the design as I was able to with Slashcode, so I’m having to come to terms with that. I’d like to add some new features as well, which will require some time while I get used to programming around WordPress (and seeing how updates break things).
One feature I’d like to add is some form of Event Calendar that would allow entering things like premiere dates, etc. The one I tried doesn’t work with the latest code though, so I’m still working on that.
One I’ve grown comfortable with this, I may look for more regular contributions from people, as I will be able to delegate Author rights. I’m hoping the site becomes more active that way.
Frankly, its been just over 9 years, and we’ve gotten nowhere. Mostly because of the old code, but also because of lack of time on my part. Over that period of time, the site should have either become a lot more than it is, or just gone away. I really don’t want it to go away, but it needs to be something more than just news reposts and occasional reviews. I’d like to add a LOT more, like some social aspects, perhaps even games – like a SF-themed Facebook even, although I don’t know if it will ever get there.
And not that income from the site was EVER that much, but it has been dwindling away. If you are an Amazon shopper, bookmark this [aml] link. You’ll pay the same prices, but we get a commission. Also, be sure to check out the ads on our site.
If you’ve got ideas (or wordpress plugins I should check out), let me know!
November 28th, 2009 on 11:29 pm
I like the new design, good job. I have similar issues with my own website, ( http://monkeysvsrobots.com/ ). It goes through long periods without substantial updates though I have a ton of stuff to post. I even have several friends who contribute to the site but for whatever reason I have a hard time being motivated to post stuff like I did in its earlier days. Here’s hoping you keep up the good work though!
November 29th, 2009 on 12:35 am
I think you’ll find WordPress to be much better than slash. As far as the theme goes, I also like the background at the top of the page, but dislike the white on black that it becomes as you scroll down.
There is a color error in the theme. The “RSS feeds for this post (comments)” link text is black on black until you hover over it with the mouse. But since you can’t see it, you don’t know to hover over it.
Are you using widgets for the sidebar, or the theme code?
How does the Amazon link help? Do I just click on it and then do my shopping as usual? Do you get a cut of the purchase of used items (which is typically what I use Amazon for).
Will the old RSS link continue to work? If not, then I suggest announcing the new one (for people like me who don’t visit the site except through the RSS feed).
Here are a few plugins I’ve found to be useful (they all work with the latest version of WP):
Challenge (very useful, even if you’ve got Akismet enabled).
Google XML Sitemaps (works for more than just Google)
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
And if you’re using Widgets, I recommend this one:
Enhanced Meta Widget
November 29th, 2009 on 9:20 am
I think WordPress will make it a lot easier for me to write the articles alone. Before, everything had to be handcrafted HTML. Now I can use BBcode for my own shortcuts (customizable BBcode plugin).
The old scifistorm.rdf feed should be redirecting to the new one, but of course it would be better to use http://scifistorm.org/feed/. If you are using software that expected the REALLY old format, you may need to resubscribe anyways. The one thing I DON’T like about the feed is that you can read the articles without ever visiting the site. Doesn’t help with the ad revenue 🙁
I’ll look into the color issue. I hadn’t noticed the links because of the color.
I’m using widgets, with some custom code (I need a widget that allows custom PHP 🙂 )
The amazon links will credit any eligible sales to us so long as they are made within a certain amount of time after following the link – 60 minutes I think. Whether used items count may depend on the type of sale. The old “Z Shops” didn’t count.
Thanks for the plugin ideas…I’ve already added the sitemap and meta widget, and will look at the others as well. I’ve got a captcha on the registration form already, and I’m hoping that is sufficient with the other settings but will adjust accordingly.
November 29th, 2009 on 9:12 pm
If you find a widget that allows custom PHP, please let me know about it too.
As far as the RSS feed goes, you can configure WP so that it only displays an excerpt in the feed (thus forcing people to got to the site for the full article). There’s a section in the “Add New Post” screen that lets you write the excerpt. See this link for details.
November 29th, 2009 on 9:14 pm
What’s the official name of that customizable BBcode plugin?
November 29th, 2009 on 9:39 pm
It is just called “BBcode” by Templarian.
December 3rd, 2009 on 7:13 pm
Does the new text color work better than the near-white?
December 4th, 2009 on 7:11 am
Wow, that’s an interesting color. It’s better than the white, but not sure if I like it. Maybe instead of pink, tinge it with green or blue so that it matches the rest of the theme.
December 4th, 2009 on 8:11 am
OK, here’s a blue…
December 4th, 2009 on 10:49 am
Better. But it’s more like a light purple. Maybe if you reduce the red. I tried this color, and it looked pretty good: #AFCFDF
December 4th, 2009 on 10:51 am
Note that I also reduced the blue by a bit in the #AFCFDF color.
December 4th, 2009 on 10:52 am
Yeah, that looks a bit better. Not sure why it seemed so purple…i’ll probably tone down the highlighted links as well once I settle on it.
December 14th, 2009 on 11:44 pm
Well, I think its harder to read. Human eyes function better with black text on white background.