Man typing on keyboard

Hey Internet folks, long time no see. Let me first apologize for our lack of blog posts. It’s like we fell off the Internet, and I guess in a way we did. That has to change, and that starts today!

The night before last, we quietly released a new website and a new blog layout. What do you think of the new designs? We’d love to hear your feedback! You can contact us or just leave a comment below.

Comparing the Old with the New

In case you miss it, below (figure 1) is a snapshot of the old blog. Plain and pretty boring. It’s a design from 2014. We planned on changing it soon after, but alas, four years zipped by and we didn’t do anything with it. It was functional, but the home page was jumbled with post content, and just didn’t feel right.

The old blog design
Figure 1: Not bad, but not great. The old blog design.

Now the blogs home page is designed to be a bit friendlier. It doesn’t just show one endless stream of posts, but little intros about each post. Much more inviting.

Blog navigation used to just be on the sidebar and posed a problem when it was relegated to the bottom on Mobile, well no more. Now you’ll find navigation near the header and in the footer (figure 2).

The new blog footer navigation
Figure 2: Easy to get to footer navigation

We also modified the blog search; it now uses Algolia, the good news is that Algolia search is pretty rich. The bad news is that it doesn’t watch the blog for changes and thus we need to tell it to reindex every time we add a new post. Not the end of the world with the automated process that we have now for updating the static site. Give the search a try and let us know what you think.

An Overview of Our Blogging Process

Finally, I’d like to share our blogging process. We’re still using Jekyll to build our site, just like we announced in 2014. The difference is now we’ve automated the building of the blog. Before we’d do everything locally and then upload the finished site to our host, that got old pretty fast.

The first change is that the blog is now stored in source control. Every post, all the styles, stored in Git. This change has made it easy to keep track of edits and such.

With Git in place, we can use hooks to now signal to Jekyll to build the site for us. This is all automated now.

Once the site is built, it’s then moved to the main site, and it’s that easy.

Next Up

Well with our new processes and sites in place, hopefully, we’ll be more active publishers. We’re curious though, what would you like to see on the Visoft Blogs? Topics are sometimes hard to come by, so we’d appreciate knowing what question you would ask that we could answer. Again, just contact us or just leave a comment below.