Never ones to rest on our laurels, here’s our new website. In my previous post (originally for our customers’ eyes only, but now public) I promised that, by way of thanks for their helpful feedback, we’d have a new documentation site up and running in the first half of this year. Well, it’s two weeks later, and here it is. And it’s not just a new documentation site. You’ll find our blog (with many archive posts rescued from the Wayback machine after the Digital Book World blog shut down) and useful information about Consonance all in one place. This speedy development is thanks in no small part to the sort of tools that are available to programmers nowadays.
Our new website is a Middleman app, a static site generator. Hosting and a ton of amazing deployment features are provided by Netlify, the single best web app of any type I have ever used. Effortless DNS management comes from DNSimple, and a really great new search is provided by Algolia Docsearch. We’ve got a direct integration with our CRM tool, Pipedrive, on the Request a demo page, which helps us to get back to prospective customers quickly. Testing is done with Rspec, and git version control is done by Bitbucket, which has a Continuous Integration, erm, integration with Netlify which builds and deploys the static HTML and CSS files each time we push the code to the master branch. (And, as a minor point of personal pride, we wrote it without any CSS framework, or jQuery.)
All these bulletproof tools mean we have been able to write this website from scratch in our spare time in two weeks. It’s a work in progress, but the structure is in place to build what we hope will be the best bibliographic software website, bar none.
For example, we’ll post news about our new style guide in due course, once we’ve applied all the rules to our existing content. This style guide builds on and complements our component library and brings the sort of consistency of language, tone, colour, typography and more that makes our documentation and application straightforward to use, search, read and understand. Here’s to consistency and harmony!
We’ll also be refining the documentation search, in particular. It’s fresh out of the box at the moment: we’ll be refining it to make sure the top results remain the most relevant, over time. We’re delighted with its speed, relevance and coverage already.
We’ve started to post regular product updates on the blog, too, so do subscribe to our feed or bookmark our blog to keep up to date with product news, as well as our musings. The whole team pitch in with thoughts and contributions, so you can look forward to hearing news from a combination of Sara, Dave, Andy, Rob and me.
I hope you enjoy having a look, and seeing how it unfolds. We’re looking forward to it, too!