Spencer Heckathorn here, I have been administrating The Mannford Reporter’s website for a pretty long while now. It has been a wonderful and challenging experience so far. Over the last few days (and maybe a little longer ago by the time I publish this) I have been once again upgrading the server of The Mannford Reporter, each step thus far has brought new challenges and insight. The most recent configuration is really cool for all the non-technical people out there you can skip to the next paragraph. We are running on Apache 2 with a Nginx based cache delivery system, all served via SSL encryption.
Now if you didn’t understand that or the coolness of it that’s ok, here is the an analogy that will help:
Before & After
Really Apache 2 is a ubiquitous web server program that takes the incoming data and PHP code to output HTML code that your browser can show you. Nginx actually does the same thing but this setup lets Apache 2 do the heavy lifting of converting the PHP code before you the visitor gets to the site saving the rendered copy in a cache for Nginx, which is known for speed, so it can send the HTML to you quickly. Ideally, this means we can handle a lot of traffic, so next time we have a breaking story about a Naked fight in a hotel parking lot complete we police biting perps you will be able to read that story without interruption. Well, that is the idea anyway. The SSL (secure socket layer) is all about security.
Other Changes Coming
Beyond the server changes, it is long overdue that we update the look of The Mannford Reporter. C.L. and I have taken a look at some options and I will get to work over the next month or so and setup a cleaner, easier to read, and modern look.
We will also bring back the ability to post obituaries, ads, classifieds, and other announcements directly online. The nice thing is you will have the option to send whatever it is to the printed version as well.
If you have not seen or used it yet we have a new email subscription we are starting to build. We will start out with free news, breaking news alerts, and other general updates you can’t get anywhere else, then we will move to a support the paper option that will allow for early access to stories as they are being written!
As a free local paper, we have to find unique ways to stay in business and grow, we think we have a pretty good plan to do that online.
If I haven’t posted it yet we also have a podcast! It will be coming soon as soon as I can get the editing software to stay open long enough for me to finish editing the episode.