Well after 7 years of running the same wordpress theme, even with all the small changes I made over the years it was time to update the site to a new more modern look.
I used this opportunity to make some other major changes some hidden and some very visual.
First I finally felt comfortable and technically proficient enough to switch from a shared managed host to a unmanaged VPS – this will I hope improve site load times and allow me to manage the server to better meet my requirements.
My VPS is hosted by Digital Ocean, and using their services for the last 15 months I have been extremely happy with the performance & price, if you are in the market for a VPS please use my referral link, help me earn credits against my webhosting and get yourself a $10 credit (good for 2 months free use of their basic VPS package).
Next, due to the age of my site I had a situation where my wordpress database needed fixing, for the technically curious my database was originally created using latin1 encoding and few years back wordpress (and most of the world) switched to UTF8 encoding – so I needed to create a new database and re-import my original data while correcting any encoding mismatch.
While I could have done this fix with a shared host, I felt it would be easier when I switched to a VPS and had direct shell access to the machine running MySQL.
Sadly because I was working from a snapshot copy of my database combined with the time it took me to implement the change, it has meant I lost a few recent comments made on some posts!
Finally, the major visual changes to the site – new theme which is a heavily modified version of the Interface theme.
I also used this change to introduce an update to the store page, and some new product information pages to better show the items I sell.
Hope you like the new site, please leave me a note if you think something is broken, or just to let me if the site is faster or slower than before……..