Added a new Subscription module replacing the previous JetPack subscription system with Mailchimp to allow for a far more professional experience signing up to this site – subscription will send you an email summary of each new article when it’s posted to this site. This is only for new articles, not page edits or additional images on the Resources pages. The Subscription system uses the Divi mail interface module, the Google reCAPTURE system together with customised emails to confirm humanity (!) and a new richly formatted email excerpt of new articles posted to the site via the inbuilt WordPress RSS feed system enhanced with added featured images.
Major and significant updates to the backend of the site, mostly transparent to end users and specifically around image and page optimisation to allow for much faster page loads and easier future maintenance.
Removed duplicated images referencing different posts and pages, removed unlinked images and converted remaining images from PNG and GIF to the JPG format – awaiting hosting provider changes (library/binary installations) to allow for transparent implementation of the WEBP image format. This will make a significant positive impact for low bandwidth connectivity from mobile devices. To put this into perspective: on this site there are currently just shy of eight thousand image files consuming half a gigabyte of storage (531,848,042 bytes) – storage and bandwidth optimisation makes for a far better end user experience through faster page load times. Comparison testing at this end shows a saving of up to 60% using WEBP with 80 quality, a filter strength of 60 and a compression level of 6 over progressive JPG at 80 quality with a slow DCT method – that’s a massive saving using the same lossy image compression quality settings – the images to all intents and purposes look exactly the same but are up to one third smaller! See https://developers.google.com/speed/webp/docs/cwebp for detailed encoder options.
Updated and overhauled several CSS sections and fine tuned Google, Bing, Facebook and Yandex analytics, tags and search engine optimisations.
Removed several hard code CSS and PHP child theme options and replaced with <head> and <body> scripts, functions and CSS.
Rearranged the main header menu and moved the Contact and About pages to the footer menu.
Small typographical and syntax changes across several site pages and posts.
Added featured image to several posts.