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Shifting Into Higher Gear

Recent & upcoming improvements to PeakProsperity.com
Thursday, December 29, 2016, 12:16 PM

As we prepare to enter 2017 and all the surprises it surely has in store for us, we want to take a moment to shine light on several un-sung efforts that have been going on behind-the-scenes in 2016.

These are investments of time, manpower and money that improve the overall user experience for the hundreds of thousands of visitors like you who use PeakProsperity.com each month.

Most of these solutions aren't 'sexy', nor necessarily immediately obvious when they launch (which, in many cases, is the goal). But they're fundamental to the well-being of this site and we think it important that you have an understanding of the good work being done to make PeakProsperity.com deliver even more value to you in the future.

So, what kind of improvements?

Glad you asked. Let's start with several that have already launched:

A Faster, More Secure Site

Over the summer, we migrated Peak Prosperity to Pantheon, a "cloud-based" server solution. Why should you care?

Well, doing so has made the website substantially faster to load. On average, our page loading times have been cut in half.

And on this new platform, the site is also now much more stable and less prone to outages -- especially when we receive spikes in traffic, which we're (happily) experiencing with greater regularity now. In past years, it was not uncommon for a traffic surge to knock our servers offline for a few hours (or on one horrible occasion, a few days).

Moving to Pantheon allowed us to make the site more secure, too. You probably didn't notice it, but a few months back, all of our pages shifted over to the HTTP Secure protocol -- meaning the url for every page starts with "https" instead of just "http" -- which adds additional layers of defense to our site operations. We're also working on more potent forms of spam protection which we plan to deploy within the next month.

And it's not only our users who benefit from these improvements. Search engines like Google give higher priority to sites that load quickly, have a high % uptime, and use https. So by improving things for our current users, we're also helping new ones discover our content more easily.

New Email Platform

Again, another change that may not have been obvious when it occurred: we've recently moved the management and sending of all of our emails to MailChimp/Mandrill.

The upside for our users is greater dependability, more timeliness of delivery, a better fitting of content formatting to your email reader, and much more business intelligence that allows us to better optimize our offerings going forward.

Mobile Version Of PeakProsperity.com

This one is *almost* live. As in, it should hopefully launch within a few days. 

In 2016, 25% of our audience accessed PeakProsperity.com on a mobile device. Right now, those folks see the exact same site layout as those who visit us on their desktop/laptop computer or tablet. Since our site is text-heavy, it can be pretty hard to read on the small screen of a smartphone.

We've wanted to create a mobile-optimized version of PeakProsperity.com for some time now, but were limited for several reasons. Fortunately, the move to Pantheon removed a lot of those constraints; so we've been hard at work getting a mobile version developed and deployed.

Once live, mobile users will get access to all of the same PP.com content and features, but things will be laid out in a much more easily readable and navigable way.

We're very excited to take better care of our mobile users, especially as that percentage of our audience grows substantially each year. We'll be sure to announce the launch of the new mobile site as soon as it's live -- we'll be eager to hear your feedback.

And There's More To Look Forward To...

The projects above haven't been our only irons in the fire. We have quite a long list of additional improvements that we want to bring you, too, in the upcoming year.

The big challenge has been finding enough bandwidth and capital to pursue them given everything else this (mostly) 2-man operation is juggling. And since our primary mission is bringing you the highest quality content possible, we need to make sure we don't compromise that when diverting attention to these other projects.

One of the focuses of Chris' and my recent trip to the Opal Wealth Conference in Southern California earlier this month was to devote time to determining our priorities for 2017. Based on the outcome of that planning, here's just some of what to expect from us over the next 6-9 months:

  • more webinars (in the vein of this pilot we did earlier this year)
  • more video content
  • updating the Crash Course video series for 2017
  • surfacing more solutions & how-to content for living with more resilience
  • better site search functionality
  • collapsing Forums & Groups into a single, more intuitive offering
  • making it easier/more intuitive to upload images within Comments
  • lots and lots of back-end optimizations that you might not notice but will make things a lot more efficient for us in serving your needs better

Thanks for taking a moment to learn about the kind of work that goes on behind-the-scenes here. We're looking forward to continuing to improve things on this website for you in 2017 (and beyond), and your feedback is crucial in helping us best do that -- so please share it as you have it!

cheers,

Adam

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13 Comments

jtwalsh's picture
jtwalsh
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 260
You make it look easy.

Adam:  Thanks for the update.  For myself, and probably many other participants, things usually work so well here at PP, we forget the amount of work and planning it takes for that to happen.

Thanks for all your efforts.  Happy New Year.

JT

ckessel's picture
ckessel
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 12 2008
Posts: 460
Updates

Happy New year to you, Chris, Becca and the PP clan! Glad to hear about your plans for the new year! I can't believe it has been eight years since I first did the Crash Course and was able to connect some major dots about our economy and it's dependence on surplus energy.

I recall a discussion I had at the Lowesville Conference about how it would probably take until 2015 or so before the peak oil discussion would become mainstream! Wow.

I think it may be time to connect up again in person so I will be checking out the Rowe schedule for this year. Cheers to all.

Coop

SingleSpeak's picture
SingleSpeak
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 30 2008
Posts: 495
It is appreciated

Having launched a couple sites myself (without much technical expertise), I know the pain of getting a site to run the way you want and the "joys" of making the constantly needed improvements. It never ends if you care about your product and your clients.
Like Coop, I've been around for 8 years and have seen the massive work and improvements accomplished by PP. 
It is much appreciated..

Thank you,

SS

ezlxq1949's picture
ezlxq1949
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 29 2009
Posts: 166
Sincere thanks

for all the thought, planning, hard work, time and money you have invested in the website. It is very professional and lends gravitas to the whole PP venture.

And all of that on top of the research, writing and publishing that you do. It's not easy and it is all the more impressive when I learn that this site is a (mostly) 2-man operation!

I am the web designer and manager for a small organisation with a correspondingly small & simple website, and the amount of work I need to devote to that is not small. Do you guys eat and sleep?  :-)

 

 

CleanEnergyFan's picture
CleanEnergyFan
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 29 2012
Posts: 99
Looking Forward to the New Year

Keep up the great work Chris and Adam.  I love your website...its easily the site I visit the most often of any on the web.  Glad you moved to a more stable and secure platform...I have experienced occasionally an inability to access the site and sometimes wondered if your site was being blocked.  I too am amazed at what this (mostly) 2 man site has been able to achieve.  Looking forward to your commentary in what promises to be a very interesting new year.  Coop I hope to meet up with you again and will try to make Rowe as well (if not a Calif venue).

aggrivated's picture
aggrivated
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2010
Posts: 523
! Happy New Year !

I'm especially looking forward to the mobile friendly fix. My best times to read the site are when I'm in the country with no hard wire internet. Thanks for keeping us in mind as we go along together. Best to you and your families for 2017!

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
Status: Peak Prosperity Co-founder (Offline)
Joined: May 26 2009
Posts: 2799
The new mobile site is live!

There's still some polishing left to do, but check it out on your phones and let us know what you think.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5441
Yay for the new Mobile site!!

I am already in love with it!

:)

Sebastian8's picture
Sebastian8
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: May 21 2009
Posts: 6
The mobile site is

The mobile site is awesome!

Thanks for all you do to keep improving a great site!

KugsCheese's picture
KugsCheese
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 2 2010
Posts: 1411
Adam Taggart wrote: There's
Adam Taggart wrote:

There's still some polishing left to do, but check it out on your phones and let us know what you think.

Mobile site works well.  Desktop site is much faster and now secure.  Kudos!

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: May 24 2011
Posts: 1216
Much more manageable

The mobile site is much more easily navigable and manageable! A belated Christmas present.

dreinmund's picture
dreinmund
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2011
Posts: 22
Thank you, Chris and Adam,

Thank you, Chris and Adam, for your relentless, high quality work.

The world desperately needs "fake news" free websites like PP.

 

edmundjohnson's picture
edmundjohnson
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 21 2011
Posts: 5
Site access when using an Indian SIM

Hello, thank you for all the improvements and the incredible content - this is the website I most value.

So, some security feedback.  I'm travelling in India for a few months and bought an Indian SIM to lower the costs.  I am unable to access the site via mobile data (IP address not allowed).  I can access the site via wifi when that's available, though I always have to go through one or two captchas per visit, often more than once per visit if I'm looking at more than one page.  Inconvenient, but usable.
Just wanted to make you aware of this in case this is not your desired behaviour.

Thanks again, Edmund

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