Website Update: second week

We’ve made it this far! It was a very bumpy landing on our new site, but we’re making great progress through the many glitches we initially experienced. Here are a few of the big things we’ve ironed out in the last week:

  1. members are able to log in!! Normally this is something we expect, rather than celebrate. We all got an (unwelcome) lesson in not taking things for granted last week…
  2. no more 503 errors!!
  3. the site is loading faster and more consistently
  4. improved chat room configuration
  5. fixed a number of Search Engine Optimization issues (listed for the techies among us :wink:

That said, we still have a long list of other things to fix/improve/change. The very top priorities right now are:

New member registration: we expect to enable new member registration within 48 hours of this post.

Profile editing: We all really want to edit our profiles!! The developer who is working on this estimates that we will be able to by Monday or Tuesday of next week. Once enabled, you will be able to change your username, edit your “about me” section, add a link to your personal blog site, edit your “type of treatment/devices used”, and more.

Avatars in chat: Right now we all look the same in chat, and we’re not all the same!! Getting our avatars ported into chat will significantly improve the chat feature on the main page. It’s a high priority.

After these things are fixed our next level of priority includes further improvements to the chat feature (speed, PMing, configuration, 3-hour time limit…) and better optimization for people who use screen readers on the WordPress (non-forum) pages.

Please continue to post any bugs you encounter and suggestions/requests you have for the site here! They are all being added to our list, and will be addressed ASAP :hatched_chick:

Thanks for being here, and for your patience as we get settled in!
DHF Team


Fantastic update! Thank you for keeping us informed and involved!!

LOL! Thanks for your enthusiasm, @Lorraine! Much appreciated :slight_smile:

And with that… another update:

Remember that time I said we expect to enable new member registration within 48 hours? Well, I fear it won’t be that soon. We spent a bunch of time testing the new member registration process during the last 24 hours, and it still contains a serious glitch that is caused by the integration of the WordPress and Discourse sides of the site. I know this is meaningless to a lot of you (it would have been meaningless to me, a month ago!), but the take-home message is that our developers need more time to figure things out before we can begin to allow new folks to join the community. Bummer!!! :confused: We’ll keep at it over the weekend and hopefully have a solution early next week.

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thanks Emily & team for doing your best

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Emily, do you have a geek in your group, if not you, who could explain a bit this WP + Discourse thing? I do not understand why you are integrating what sounds like two different software systems. Has it been done before with other sites?

I don’t need programming details. Just if someone could say in plain language why you need both WP & Discourse rather than just one of them. And, especially if this is a unique, first time effort to do this.
Thanks, if possible to do. If not, no problem.

Hi Nellje,

Thanks for asking! It’s a really great question. You are exactly right that we are integrating two completely different platforms. We’re not the first to do this particular integration, but it seems that our case has more requirements and moving parts than previous instances of WordPress-Discourse integration, which is why we are encountering unforeseen issues with it.

In a nutshell, the Discourse platform only handles forums, and the WordPress platform handles everything but forums. And that’s why we’re integrating the two. Lots of online communities consist of discussions only, and they are beautifully covered by Discourse, but since we also have events, videos, a chat room, a home page… Discourse alone was not a good option for us, and that’s where WordPress comes in, as a very customizable platform that we could use to create all the non-forum area of the site.

Make sense?