New name, new site!

posted in: Updates | 7

If you are reading this, you have probably already noticed that something is different. That’s because last night we gave our site a new look! And so much more. The product of planning and work over a period of a couple months culminated in a few hours of upgrading and installing last night, and I’m quite pleased with the result. Let me take you on a tour of what is new, and why we have made these changes. It all starts with the new name for our organization.

If you recall, we solicited donations from our readers to move us forward to being able to incorporate and obtain tax exemption from the IRS. Earlier this summer, the incorporation process was completed, and what was once merely “Biofortified” is now “Biology Fortified, Inc.” We changed our name for several reasons. The first is that we wish to broaden the range of topics that we focus on to more than just plants, genetics, and agriculture – although these will still be a mainstay. Second, while the name “Biofortified” for an organization lends itself for a great double-meaning since it means “stronger life”, we felt there may be some confusion when it comes to discussing things such as biofortified crops. The name of an organization is a brand, and we wouldn’t want anyone to get confused about whether or not they are our crops! The new name has a great meaning as well – literally meaning “stronger science of life”. Finally, we had to add “Inc.” to the name according to Wisconsin law, even though we are a non-profit organization.

(As for the tax-exemption process, we are almost ready to submit. Just some t’s to cross and i’s to dot in a pile of policy documents and budget items. We’ll keep you posted.)

With this new name, and a broader mission, naturally the structure of the site would need to change. Before, if you visited our homepage you were greeted by the blog feed. Now, you are greeted by a snazzy magazine-like front page, with some blog columns and our photostream rolling out beneath it. Our characteristic rotating header images are even bigger – one might say they are as big as a YouTube video and could be replaced with one when the need arises. Social media buttons galore will make it easier to find us elsewhere on the web, and some cute header images break up the space. Our logo has tilted slightly, and will likely undergo a round of revision in the near future.

While the name of our organization has changed, one important detail is that the name of our blog has not. It is, and shall continue to be The Biofortified Blog. Now it has its own page to distinguish it from the rest of our site. The forum has also gotten an upgrade to a new plugin that now gives each of you the ability to upload pictures, making it so much easier to share gardening achievements, or detailed graphs, whatever you want to do! Recent posts in the Forum also now show up in your profile pages (e.g. mine), which have also gotten a facelift. Indeed, if you check your profile settings, you will find that you can have those pretty social media buttons show up on your profile page just like mine, if you want to of course. Unfortunately, images that may have been uploaded with our previous profile plugin will not show up as your avatar, but you can now upload your profile photo from within your profile settings – or – use Gravatar with the same email you used to register for our site.

One of the less visible changes to our site has to do with the plugins we have installed. WordPress-based sites such as ours are incredibly customizable with plugins that you can download, install, update, and modify to make your site do all kinds of things. We have a fair number of these plugins installed, but one thing we noticed is that some of them were bogging things down. One was the “community” plugin that generated our profile pages, another was the contact form. In any case, after extensive testing we’ve trimmed down the list and picked faster versions for some of these functions. I seem to notice a small difference in how fast the site loads, and anything that helps with those memory problems is a good thing.

Please let us know if you find any bugs in our new theme.

In due time, there will be more details and resources going up. But in the meantime, let’s get back to blogging!

Follow Karl Haro von Mogel:

Karl earned his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at UW-Madison, with a minor in Life Science Communication. His dissertation was on both the genetics of sweet corn and plant genetics outreach. He recently moved back to his home state of California. His favorite produce might just be squash.