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Behind the scenes of the new IA website

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As most of you have noticed the Independent Australia website has undergone significant changes in the past few days, courtesy of our team at Subtle Difference.


The ultimate aim of these changes is to future proof IA for both the changing technology in use by all visitors (specifically Smartphones and Tablets) and of course the growth spurts of visitor traffic to IA. As David has written previously about the site traffic on IA, it is considerable, and growing. This article will explain some of the changes and why they have been made.

Hardware Changes

The most significant change to the hosting of the IA website is a move to a dedicated cloud solution, based in Sydney. Tech speak aside, it enables IA to expand and contract services to run the website with ease and minimal fuss in reaction to the changing traffic needs. The raw storage data requirements are now fully covered, and housed with SolidFire SSD storage for faster display to all visitors.

Over the coming weeks, as dual integration of cloud networks will start to further enhance the speed of delivery for all visitors.

Unfortunately, due to a most unusual issue – that of an IP address incorrectly automatically assigned to the server – we did experience some unexpected outages during the changeover.

Please note: further work will be done on the cloud setup in early hours of 1 November, which will result in a temporary outage (3o minutes).

Software Changes

One of the most fundamental changes is that of the software that runs IA.

We have migrated from the WordPress platform to a proprietary platform called RealOnline. Changing platforms is almost like the rail networks across Australia with their different gauges. Both tracks are there for the same purpose, but slight modification is required for everything to run smoothly.

The new platform will allow for growth and changes specific to the needs of IA to be catered for and custom built on an as needed basis. The methodology behind the RealOnline platform is to be responsive and adaptable to requirements, and is one of “continuous deployment”.

In short whilst the IA site is on the new platform, up and running, additional customisation is still to be added.

Overall Design

As mentioned under software, the “continuous deployment” rules will also apply to the design and look of the new IA site.

Some subtle changes will be made, and some larger ones to address some of the key concerns that have been highlighted by us during the build and by site visitors. Clearly, the focus initially was on transferring all data, and ensuring that it can be displayed and read online (and via mobile/tablet) not so much the pretty boxes it is sitting in.

Having said that, suggestions (especially constructive ones) greatly appreciated. Please use the site feedback form located here: FEED BACK FORM

Comment System Changes

Utilising an external platform for comments greatly assists the IA admin team in their moderation management. The additional sharing tools attached with this system also make sharing individual comments via social media simple and efficient. This system is also inherently Mobile Friendly, which is great for the 30 per cent of visitors who are not in front of desk top PCs.

To make a comment, you can either use your existing social media account, create an account with Disqus, or leave a comment as a guest (without sign in).

Wrap Up

In summary, the Subtle Difference team will be supporting the ongoing IA website development/design, to specifically allow David and other contributors to concentrate on bringing all visitors the best quality news stories possible.

To assist David further, please direct all site feedback directly to us (don’t worry he does get a copy, we are into sharing ideas not hiding them) via the new Site Feedback form: FEED BACK FORM.

EDITORS NOTE:  All the development work done by Subtle Difference has been done pro bono. IA is immensely grateful and would like to sincerely thank Stephen, Noely and the team at Subtle Difference for all their excellent work.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

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