I have provided technical support and helped with various maintenance tasks for the Positive News website.
Positive News is “the world’s first positive newspaper” which reports on positive developments from across the world and in doing so aims to help create a more balanced and constructive media. The print edition of Positive News has a national circulation of 40,000 across the UK and is currently published four times a year. The website is the online version of the paper although it operates as a news website and is regularly updated with new stories and articles. It runs on WordPress.
While the work involved a bit of general maintenance and dealing with some support queries the main focus was on a programme of work designed to improve the performance of the site. The aim was to improve page load times and reduce the load on the server. This mostly involved changes to the website’s theme and the configuration of the plugins used to customise the website.
In particular I fixed a performance issue with the website’s use of shortcodes. The website was using a number of shortcodes to format some stories and to provide additional functionality on the site. These shortcodes were being provided by a poorly performing generic shortcodes plugin which was slowing the site down. I removed this plugin and switched the site to using a much slimmer custom plugin that I wrote to include only the shortcodes needed by the Positive News site.