Mega Upgrade Alert!

AIl of the Geobop websites are getting their biggest makeover ever, an upgrade I’ve been working on for nine months.

Update: Due to unforeseen technical problems, all the Geobop sites are currently down. I expect to have at least the most important sites restored some time on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Sorry for the incovenience.

10 Big Surprises

So what changes can you expect to see in the new geobop sites?

1. Uprgraded to HTML5
2. Uprgraded CSS
3. Uprgraded database queries (pdo)

These first three changes are technical. They will simply make Geobop more secure and should improve page appearance somewhat. They will also make it easier to make further improvements. That means Geobop will actually continue to improve at a faster rate.

You can’t miss the other changes...

4. Mobile Device Support

Baby harp seal

you will now be able to explore the geobop family of websites on cell phones and other mobile devices!

Wanna quick test drive? Just resize your browser; make it as small as you can.

5. New URL Structure

Among the biggest changes is Geobop’s URL format. this is what a geobop url used to look like:

mysite/world/new_york

and this is what the urls look like now:

mysite/world/new-york

In other words, everything is lower case, and underscores have been replaced by dashes. But don’t worry about it; in most cases, you’ll be automatically forwarded to the new URLs so fast you won’t even notice it.

Some URL’s have changed more significantly. In most cases, you will again be forwarded to the new address. In most other cases, you should be able to find the new page pretty easily.

6. Improved Organization & Navigation

You should find it a little easier to navigate between Geobop sites, sections and pages, due largely to improved organization and new features. In particular, note the site maps at the bottom of most Geobop pages.

7. New Features

You’ll see a variety of new features here and there.

8. New Content

Unfortunately, the technical side of this upgrade left precious little time for working on new content. Nevertheless, I managed to get some research and writing done.

9. Appearance

I think you’ll find the new Geobop sites at least a little more attractive. At the very least, you ought to appreciate my new, minimalist footers. the main geobop sites use the following design:

Footer

(From left to right, the icons represent Geobop, GeoWorld, GeoZoo, GeoSymbols, Politix and sealatin.)

10. Fixes

Naturally, I fixed everything that needed fixing. ;)

Bonus: The best is still ahead!

The new Geobop sites are better organized, which will make it easier to continue developing them. After I get this upgrade published, I’ll be going back into content mode, putting more articles and pictures online. Yet another major upgrade may occur as early as summer if I decide to upgrade to WordPress, Drupal or another content management system.

Working on the current upgrade gave me a better sense of Geobop’s Grand Vision, which includes two especially exciting new features that will be added to all the major Geobop sites. In addition, all the Geobop sites may be merged into a central encyclopedia, somewhat similar to Wikipedia but much nicer, even if it will always be smaller.

Summary of Current Upgrade Changes

Geobop – Home base for the Geobop family of websites is now www.geobop.com (not www.geobop.org), and it’s more than a home page. Geobop now features a cool new 50 states reference, and it will soon have its very own encyclopedia!

GeoWorld – Unfortunately, I didn’t get a lot of work done on this site, but you’ll still see a lot of improvements.

GeoZoo – The series of introductory series (nearly 200 articles) beginning here has been both expanded and generally improved, though there’s still lots of work to be done. The Life section has been modified, making it much easier to add content. Look for much more information in the near future...

GeoSymbols – Most of the changes on this site are cosmetic, but a number of problems have also been fixed, and the Reference section has been improved.

Politix – This is probably the most improved Geobop site. In particular, note the new People section and a series of articles offering advice on studying and understanding poltics.

SeaLatin – The soap operas continue!

Adult Political Sites – Let’s just say the revolution has just begun...

I’m dying to hear comments on the new upgrade, along with suggestions for future improvements. Feel free to contact me.

Viva la revolucion! -- David Blomstrom, WebRanger