June 2018 Newsletter - WIWX v7.0
With slow weather lately we've been able to roll out new website features. We learned recently that our email service was blocking emails from sending after a certain limit was reached! Thankfully we have found a better solution and integrated into this update! Here are some of the new things weâ€™ve added recently. ðŸ˜€
- Preferred Locations - Members can now save and receive alerts for up to 3 locations via the account page! You can choose to receive alerts for all or none of these locations. Setting a location to "Primary" will make it the default landing spot for various pages on the website, appear first in the weather bar, and be the only location to appear on the mobile header. This replaces the previous home location preference on the account page. The first iteration is just the foundation. I plan to personalize this feature based on the idea that members have multiple locations they want to monitor. Do you spend weekends in a different location? Now you can track both! The only limitation is that you must use an existing location from our website (no custom locations). More locations will be added in the future.
- Current Wx Bar - It's back! on the website header and connected to your saved locations! It only shows when you have preferred locations.This addition may lead to slow page load times. If it's too slow I will revert to older, faster code. Our website is pretty fast so I think we have some wiggly room.
- Navigation Bar - Moved the profile button down to the main page navigation bar. We REALLY like the way this works now. This button now points to your profile page. You can always click your username in the far upper right corner to get to your account, or as previously mentioned there is an access point on your profile page.
- New Member Signups - We recognized that the new member sign up experience was not the best and made improvements.
- Account Changes - Improvements. Removed the "Status" profile option because it doesn't matter in the current state of the website, was intended for the forum which we've put on hold. We made some changes to the profile page adding a "my account" button and reducing the banner image size
- Interactive Map - Added "Severe Only" checkbox so you can exclude non-severe reports! Added current temps switch. Added state outline and made warning polygons easier to see too. Planning to use this more and future changes will be driven by how it's used.
- Timeline - Added state outline, made warning polygons easier to see, and made the map bigger. Considering changing this page further so stay tuned.
- Weatherwall - Added a pause at the end and increased the loop duration. Better experience.
- Reviews - Added member confessionals to the home page! Long time coming!
- Story Style - We improved story posts layout for a better reading experience! Added author bio and share section since we are no longer waging war on Facebook/Twitter.
- Email Provider- Transitioned to a new email provider that will allow all emails we send to reach inbox.
- Sitewide reduction in "Heavy Rain" reports. Anything less than 1" is generally ignored. Those 0.01" heavy rain reports are really annoying!
- Many small changes across the website.
The weather has been slow, unless you live in western Wisconsin where several rounds of storms have occurred since late May. Our pattern has tended towards high pressure and ridging in the east. We still expect the pattern to become stormier statewide during late June and July closer to climate norms. The current situation is reminiscent of the winter when northwest areas received the bulk of snow. The majority of Wisconsin has been quiet. It's turned into the classic battle between attention and complacency. We're keeping content light and will increase activity as the weather increases.
Good news! We've always had database limitations so we had to be creative in how we built things. I've reached a point with what we are willing to dump to meet the limit. Also with expected growth we don't think the current strategy can last long. So we are switching the database! With some luck hopefully we can get the database switched without any issues. Will be watching site performance closely. No time table on when this will occur especially in the heart of severe season. Once the switch is complete we can do more analysis projects finally having the space for historical data. This will remove limitations on other things coming down the pipe. Will be a huge milestone if all goes smoothly and we're already off to a great start!
Lastly, our member list is growing! We are getting closer to rolling this thing out full go. We can feel it coming together now! We want to grow passion for weather across the world and we are one step closer with you on board! We have built a community that is changing things and in the process sharing Wisconsin's weather with the world! That's awesome!
If you have any questions, concerns or come across any critical errors, please contact us! You will need to clear your cache to see the new changes. As always, thank you for supporting our website! ðŸ˜
Wisconsin Weather Team
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