New Infopackets Website Relaunch

Dennis Faas's picture

Update 2014/02/08: we have resolved most of the major technical issues that have plagued our web site / new server since re-launch and expect to resume operations next week. Please note that all email newsletter subscriber data has been ported and it is not necessary to re-subscribe. All email newsletter subscribers will receive the newsletter on schedule when it becomes available. Thank you for your patience.


Dear Infopackets Readers,

We have a major announcement to make concerning our website, Infopackets. This article is a bit long, but it's really important -- so please read it carefully.

New Infopackets Website Relaunch

Starting next week, our website and web server will be rebooted and will run on an entirely new content management system (Drupal). The new site utilizes a responsive web interface, which means that pages on the site will work on phones, tablets, or PCs, and still look great. Content will automatically resize to fit your screen, depending on the size of the screen being used. Now you can take Infopackets with you on the go!

User Accounts, Social Logins, Public Commenting, and Voting

Also implemented are user accounts (profiles), social logins, and public commenting of articles. We've kicked the Facebook commenting system to the curb, which means that you can finally comment on our articles using your very own Infopackets user account. The only reason why we are currently using the Facebook commenting system is because it was easy to implement on the existing platform, and it allowed users to comment on our articles. I understand many of you refuse to use Facebook for privacy reasons, so this will be very welcomed addition to the site.

On the new site, you'll be able to create a user account with Infopackets manually, or, you can synchronize and create a new account using social profiles. This means if you have a user account with another major website (such as Google+, Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, Facebook, etc), you can create an account with us with as few as 3 clicks without having to fill out lengthy forms, or verify your account through email. This is a major convenience.

You'll also be able to vote on our articles with a 5-star rating system. In the future, we'll use "up" and "down" votes on articles and comments, but this needs to be funded in order to be implemented. I'll discuss more about funding new features further down.

New Website Layout: Background, Fonts, and Images

The layout and colors of the site have also changed. We've made the site easier to read -- including a white background and black text. I understand many of you found the existing site difficult to read because of the dark background. In the near future, we'll be adjusting the font on the new site to a larger type face, but this will also require funding.

We've also introduced images for articles, which will make it easy to identify content.

New Website Keyword Filtering and Search Engine

There is also on-the-fly keyword filtering of content, so that articles can be highlighted (and filtered) on the main page and other pages to help identify content that does or does not interest you. The search engine has also been updated, and you can search our content by keyword or by using keyword tags.

There are many internal changes to the system for editors and writers which you will not be able to see, including a brand new system for delivering our email newsletter. In short, the entire system has been rebuilt from the ground up.

New HTML Email Newsletter in the Works

The new system has also paved the way for us to implement an HTML email newsletter; this is a long overdue request from users. This feature is currently not implemented in the new system, but it is possible with some programming changes (funding is required to implement this change).

Why Are These Changes Being Made?

This isn't an easy question to answer, because there's a bit of history behind it. But it's important to know, so please allow me to explain.

The major reason for these changes are due to adjustments in Google policies beginning April 2011, which resulted in our web traffic and revenue being cut by upwards of 80%. For the last 12 years, we have relied on Google's traffic (and revenue generated from ads) to support the operating costs of the site. But, with the loss of traffic, this is no longer sustainable.

The reason(s) why Google dropped our traffic is a highly complex and a long winded issue, and I won't go into great detail. What I can you is that Google is penalizing our website (through a series of algorithm changes to their search engine) and has severely disrupted our operations.

The only way to resolve all of this is through a major overhaul of the website. When the new site is launched, Google's search engine robots will crawl the site and see the changes, and hopefully we can get some of the traffic back. This is all in theory, but from what I've read (through many, many hours of research), it is the only way to rectify the problem(s).

The other reason for the change is because technology is constantly evolving, and we needed to evolve as well. Not doing anything to the site would have eventually lead to the demise of Infopackets, and I can't let that happen.

Two Years In the Making

In late 2011, I began major development on the current system on my own (shortly after Google cut our web traffic and in hopes of rectifying the situation), but ran into too many problems along the way. Eventually I came to the conclusion that continuing development on the existing proprietary system was too exhausting, and it would be easier to drop 12 years of development and move onto another platform (Drupal) that uses newer and better technology, and open source modules. I chose to use Drupal over other content management systems (such as WordPress, Moveable Type, etc) because it is highly customizable, which is something I need.

The new platform allowed me to hire third-party developers, which took much of the implementation burden (programming) off my shoulders -- but it came at a high price -- Drupal development is very expensive. Some developers charge $200 an hour.

With that said, this project has been ongoing for the last 2 years, with costs currently in the $15,000 range paid to developers (programmers).

This cost does not include my time and effort, including: project research, planning and development, communication to developers, beta testing, programming, migration of all content, and much more over the last 2 years. I had to borrow money to get the job done, because most of our revenue has been lost. Recent donations from our readers have helped, and I am extremely grateful for that - but we need considerably more.

Paving the Way for The Future

The most important aspect of all of this change is that we'll be able to update the site much easier and much more quickly because it can be done with more hands, and using open source technology. After the new site goes live, we'll have votes on new features to implement on the site, and use crowd-source funding to have professional developers do the work.

Some Bugs Exist on the New System

I'm going to try and put the new site online by early next week. There are still many things that need to be done, and, there are a few bugs on the new system that still need to be ironed out. That is to be expected.

Please Help Fund Our Efforts

On a final note, I would like to remind everyone that we are still accepting donations to the site. We urgently need your financial support in order to get things back on track, and to continue development of the new site. Every dollar counts, so please donate what you can afford. Click below to visit our donation page today to make a donation now:

You can also support our website by purchasing Acronis True Image 2014, which is currently on sale until December 31st, 2013. We'll use the proceeds to help pay for these exciting and important changes to the site, plus pay our staff of writers. You can save up to 41%, and it comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. If you haven't taken advantage of this deal yet, you can purchase it online using the link below:


Dennis Faas
CEO | Owner and Chief Editor

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