Minor updates

This is such a new site there is an endless stream of items to work on.

Unlike many blogs, this one is not running WordPress. It is built on top of Bolt CMS, and is relatively light on third-party extensions. Most of the functionality has been specifically created for this site.

That means progress is at times slower than it would be if I had selected a ready-made theme and a handful of plugins to lead the charge out the gate, but I believe it will wind up being a wise choice. The site will be more nimble, flexible, secure, and generally fit-for-purpose in short order because of these decisions (one hopes).

This particular update feels like a drop in the bucket, but it is an important drop that adds some important user-facing enhancements and some equally important tweaks to the site's structure and markup.

Behind-the-Scenes Fixes

The site now has a robots.txt file, a much-needed addition even though nothing is blocked off. The file also contains a link to the XML version of the blog's sitemap.

Every article and page now has a description <meta> tag, which will hopefully make search results more enticing.

Even more foundational was the move to webpack and NPM scripts to manage the site's resources. This removed Gulp from the build chain and coincides with a more modular approach to dependencies and resources. Instead of including the entirety of lodash, for example, now only the modules necessary for the site to function are included. That has greatly reduced the file size of the site's JavaScript, and is part of the foundation for the future.

Template Enhancements

Articles now have social media sharing buttons at the bottom. The icons are from the awesome Font Awesome library, and Icomoon was used to limit the font to only the desired characters. Right now only Facebook and Twitter are used. I don't know what other social networks might be worth implementing, but I'm sure that at some point I'll add an "email" button to help people share interesting articles to their friends.

I also darkened and increased the font size of the image credits after an automated accessibility test indicated it might not have high enough contrast for all visitors. It's important to me that the site be friendly and accessible to everyone, and that the artists who have released their work under permissive licenses are given their due.

Perhaps the most visible and important change is on the homepage, where there is now a posting schedule listed. That will hopefully help people interested in the site not lose interest during the four-day stretch without new content. Also important is the link to a human-friendly sitemap now included on each page's footer.

This section for site updates is new as well, and I hope it will prove to be interesting reading for anyone watching the site come together or interested in its story.