It is with much anticipation and excitement that I'm ready to announce our new blog. We've made blogs before and it's always been a very lacklustre affair either on top of an open source platform like Ghost or WordPress or we've written our own very quick thing on an existing website Rails application.

This time, it's different. Historically all our blogs have been completely segregated despite all falling under the aTech Media umbrella. This separation makes it hard to cross link between products and hard to keep up momentum writing new posts. We've decided to amalgamate all our content onto a single site - this one.

The old blogsThe array of old Ghost blogs we used to run

One thing is for sure, we have no lack of things to post about and we just need a way to get our content in front of our customers and users. This is it. We're delighted to introduce you to our new blog - will be the home of all blog content for every aTech Media product, service & company. You'll find everything you need in this one place. We anticipate there will be new content at least twice a week and input from the whole team here in Poole.

The new blogSome shots of our lovely new blog

Why is this different?

While doing an audit of content, we have discovered a whole wealth of information that we want to share with our customers. Things we had never really even considered posting about before. This will include:

  • Tutorials and information about the open source software that our team uses, develops & contributes to. We have over 100 open source projects that simply don't get any love from us and sit idle. We'd love to get these in use and will be using our blog to post tutorials and screencasts about how to use them.

  • Information about new features across our whole portfolio. New features are deployed every week, we're going to up our game and ensuring that our customers are always able to discover the wealth of features available to them when they use our services.

  • Behind the scenes news. Our team works diligently every day solving problems and we want to share some of this with you. Whether these are overcoming technical obstacles or foiling a particularly ferocious edge case bug.

  • More. You'll just have to wait and see. Our categories page should give you a bit of an idea of the sort of things we'll be posting though. If there's anything you'd like to know, do let us know.

How do I subscribe?

Each time we post something new on our blog, it will be tweeted from one of our Twitter accounts so we recommend that you follow the ones that interest you. We've published a full list of them so you can easily hit follow.

We've also added a monthly digest. You can signup to receive a e-mail each week with all the latest posts that you might have missed in the previous month. We hope this will be helpful for some of our customers who might otherwise miss out on new features, special offers or important announcements.

You can also just use the old fashioned RSS feed. There are feeds available for every product or just the whole blog.

What platform are you using?

I'm very glad you've asked. We've just speed written a complete platform to run the whole thing. I started this time last week and 7 days later, we're done. The new platform is based on Rails (obviously) and uses a MySQL/ElasticSearch stack for database & indexing. We'll likely write up a more detailed post about the technologies in play and how we built it so fast. In the mean time, here are a few screenshots of our backend to take a look at.

ScreenshotA few screens from our writing interface

There are a few nice features on our platform, that we call Abe:

  • All posts are written in Markdown although it's got a few nice twists to add things like image captioning, video embedding, syntax highlighting, image positioning etc.

  • Each post can be assigned a style by uploading a photo, choosing a colour and providing an SVG icon. With this information we can make it look nice in the lists of posts and when it is featured on the homepage.

  • Certain posts can be "features" and chosen to appear on the main homepage, a blog homepage or an author homepage.

  • Each blog has its own homepage which has its own category list and date-based archives.

  • Every author also has a page which shows all the posts they've written along with their own chosen featured posts.

  • Plus lots more: RSS feeds, social data, image uploading & resizing, Twitter & Slack integration and more.

What's next?

Well, nothing. Stay tuned. Subscribe. Follow. We've got a huge amount of content coming your way in the next 12 months so stand by your beds.

Tell us how you feel about this post?