We get requests from time to time for information about the site and what system we use. So, to answer these queries I thought I'd take you through the basics.
The site is based on WordPress. It was designed by LA Marketing (1) and is hosted by emailitis.com (2).
We went for WordPress as it gave us the greatest flexibility, can be hosted separately and is easily optimised for search engines as well as customisable. It is also free!
WordPress also has a massive and constantly growing library of very useful 'plug-ins'. These are being developed and improved daily. This allows WordPress to do virtually anything you want it to.
The one thing we did pay for is a specially designed theme. We wanted to be unique. Not only that but some of the back-end procedures are automated in some way. Such as the image posting, which has some default options for the placing and sizing of thumbnails.
Many WordPress users are very interested in which plug-ins different sites use. So I'll give you a breakdown of which we use and why. The following list of the 23 that we use is given in alphabetical order and not in order of preference.
Ad Wrap (by David Gibbs), this is a small plug-in that wraps the relevant article text with contextual ad service tags. Useful if you are using Google Adsense.
Akismet anti spam (by Automattic), which analyses posted comments to see if they are likely to be spam. It then puts them in a review queue. Many spammers try to use auto spamming software to leave comments hoping for links backs to increase their own sites rankings. This is not good for the rankings of the legitimate sites they target.
All in One SEO Pack (by Michael Torbert), an out-of-the-box SEO system. I admit to not using it properly as I keep forgetting to fill in the relevant boxes before posting articles!
All in One Video Pack (By Kaltura), a fully functional video embed tool, which we haven't used yet. But we do have plans to start the use of video in the near future.
Broken Link Checker (by Janis Elsts), a useful little plug-in that regularly reviews any links going out of your site to make sure they still work and alert you if they don't.
Global Translator (by Davide Pozza), which automatically translates your work into up to 48 other languages. We have generated interest from new countries as a result.
Google News Sitemap (by Chris Jinks), this is especially designed to provide a 2 day sitemap compatible for Google News Sources.
Google XML Sitemap (by Arne Brachhold), a sitemap generator for the major search engines. You can also track both these sitemaps in Google Webmaster Tools.
Nofollow Reciprocity (by Lazar Kovacevic). When hyperlinking to other sites this plug-in will tag the link 'no follow' if the subject site uses 'no follow' to link back. This helps limit the bleed of ranking one way out of your site.
No Self Pings (by Michael D Adams). When linking within your own site WordPress sends self pings. This eliminates them if you don't want them.
Post Avatar (by Vicky Arulsingam). Allows you to easily add a picture to a post from a library of images.
Random Quote (by Dave Dunn). Dave works for LA Marketing and developed this one for us. It provides the content within the red quotation marks shouted by the bowler-hatted gent on the home page.
SEO Smart Links (by Vladimir Prelovac). This allows you to automatically link keywords in your site and is customisable.
Simple Trackback Validation (by Michael Woehrer). This checks the IP address of the comment sender and the webserver and also checks for a link back to your site. If these do not match then it is spammed.
Sociable (by Blogplay). Adds links for social bookmarking sites.
Subscribe To "Double-Opt-In" Comments (by Tobias Koelligan). Readers can be notified of replies to their comments.
Widget Logic (by Alan Trewartha). You can control which pages individual widgets are displayed on.
WordPress Database Back Up (by Austin Matzko). An on-demand back-up system that can e-mail you a copy of itself.
WordPress Related Posts (by Denis). This uses the tag system to generate a list of posts related to the article you are reading together with thumbnails if you wish it.
WP-Print (by Lester 'GaMerz' Chan). This displays a more printer friendly version of the article.
WP Post Thumbnail (By Stanley Yeoh). Easily crop and save thumbnails.
WP Super Cache (by Dinncha O Caoimh). Makes your busy site load faster.
WP Touch iPhone Theme (by Dale Mugford & Duane Storey (BraveNewCode)). This provides a formatted solution for users of touch-based smart phones that visit your site.
I hope this answers the questions of those that are interested.
(1) Initial design was by LA Marketing and design, we now self generate our look based on the Elegant Themes Divi engine.
(2) We have moved from emailitis.com support.