Changelog 2016

This page archives all changelog entries that occurred during 2016. To view the current log of changes to Almost Epic, visit the Changelog page.

12/30/2016:

  • Now that the New Year is upon us, the Holiday Theme has been deactivated.
  • Several plugins we weren’t happy with and/or did not utilize have been removed including BuddyPress emoji stickers (we’re looking for an alternative for this!) and a couple other minor features.
  • Functionality to subscribe to the email newsletter has been added to the website footer beside the social media icons.
  • We’re also looking at new themes and designs that we may go with going into 2017. Stay tuned!

12/17/2016:

  • Created an FAQ doc for the site. It can be located either under @joe’s docs view or by clicking the “FAQ” button under the “About” drop-down menu in the main navigation.
  • The Almost Epic Newsletter is launching! You can subscribe to the newsletter via the pop-up when you first visit the site, from the widget located on the sidebar throughout the site, by clicking “Newsletter Signup” under the “Community” tab of the main menu, or by clicking here!

12/11/2016:

  • “Write Blog Post” has been added to the drop-down menu under “Community” to better help users navigate to the text editor that may not be familiar with the WordPress dashboard. This option is only available to users who are logged into an Almost Epic account.
  • Several items have also been rearranged on the back-end WordPress dashboard to make it a little easier to find tools and other items for users who are familiar with using WordPress.

12/10/2016:

  • “Guest Posts” have been added to the drop-down menu under “Blog” to help users navigate to any posts written by anyone other than @joe. These posts are filed under the new “Guests” blog category.
  • The Almost Epic logo has been set as the default “featured image” for all new blog posts. This will be what image appears on the main blog views unless a different image is specified by the author.
  • Administrator account badges are now purple instead of gray!

12/6/2016:

  • The user login portal now also features red and green holiday colors.
  • Almost Epic is now running on WordPress 4.7, the latest and greatest version of our favorite content management system!

12/4/2016:

  • Almost Epic’s advertising affiliation with Amazon.com has been dissolved and we have slowly started removing Amazon advertisement from the site. Please let us know if you see any that we may have missed in the next couple of weeks!
  • Filament.io’s Passport plugin has been added to the front page. Clicking on @joe’s photo on the hero image will pop open a menu to his social media profiles.
    • With Passport, the “Social” menu in the main navigation is now redundant and has been removed.

11/28/2016:

  • A section briefly outlining Almost Epic’s affiliate programs has been added to the “About” page.
  • A “Social” menu linking directly to @joe’s most important social network profiles has been added to the “About” drop-down menu in the navigation bar.

11/27/2016:

  • The joseph.almostepic.net subdomain that previously sent visitors to @joe’s personal blog is now redirecting visitors to AlmostEpic.net!

11/20/2016:

  • Changed some drop-down menu components of the site’s main navigation bar.
    • Added the new “Shop” drop-down menu that will connect users and visitors to Almost Epic’s affiliate pages with Amazon and pawTree.
    • Added the Site-Wide Activity feed to the “Community” drop-down.
    • Removed the pawTree link in the “About” drop-down and deleted its standalone page — information about that business can be directed straight to the pawTree website.

11/18/2016:

  • Activated the Almost Epic Holiday Theme! This includes:
    • New red-colored themes for site title, section headers, web links, etc.
    • New holiday-themed images that will change periodically for the “Hero” section on the homepage.
    • New red “Sign Up” button to register for an account on the homepage.
    • Animated holiday snow will fall on Almost Epic from December 1st until January 4th!
  • The site was briefly down this evening due to a database connectivity issue. If you encountered this message at any point tonight, the problem has been resolved and you should be okay to continue per usual!

11/12/2016:

  • “Invite Anyone” plugins have been deactivated throughout the site to free up a little room on user profile tool bars. Still encouraging members to ask friends and family to join our community however!
  • New user registration now only requires applicants to provide a username, email address, password, and display name for easier and quicker sign-up. Date of birth, gender, website URL, etc. are now completely optional and can be added later if the user chooses to do so.
  • “Rules & Guidelines” have been updated and overhauled and condensed to fit better with the merging of the two sites. Please be sure to review them at your earliest opportunity!
  • Since the Site Admin and Help Desk accounts have been removed after the merge, we have now also deactivated the help@almostepic.net email address. All technical and support questions can now simply be sent to joe@almostepic.net or inbox@almostepic.net, which will still exist as a general inbox for site inquiries.

11/6/2016:

  • Almost Epic has officially merged with @joe’s personal blog, previously hosted as a separate WordPress installation on a sub-domain of Almost Epic. This changes the site’s overall community-first mission and much of the site and the core blog has been restructured. Read more about the merge here.

10/29/2016:

  • Flare bars have been activated throughout the site to help enable and encourage social media sharing. These can be easily closed by any user clicking the arrows at the bottom of the bar.

10/26/2016:

  • Single Sign On has been deactivated from Jetpack, making it easier for users with multiple Almost Epic accounts to sign into the site.
  • The front page has been tinkered with, including a new hero image to replace the much more boring one we were utilizing previously!

10/8/2016:

  • “Rules & Guidelines” have had several sets of revisions over the last couple of days. Please review them at your earliest convenience!

10/5/2016:

  • Slack invitations are now restricted to current Almost Epic users only. In order to join our Slack, you must now also join Almost Epic! This is in direct response to spambots trying to join our Slack community now as well.

10/3/2016:

  • Invitations to our Slack community are now fully automated! No need to sign up and wait for an administrator to send you an invitation — users can request and retrieve one themselves with the click of a button! Check it out!
  • Categories for blog posts have been cleaned up. Many redundant categories or those that served little purpose have been deleted and all existing categories have proper capitalization and look better!

10/1/2016:

  • The “About Us” page has been completely rewritten. It should now be more succinct and contain fewer confusing sentences.
  • The “Keep In Touch” buttons at the bottom of the page were slightly tweaked. The Google+ button now features a Google+ icon rather than a simple Google logo and the RSS feed selection has been changed to an email button.

9/30/2016:

  • The Almost Epic Changelog has been moved from its document file to its own dedicated page (you’re viewing it!).
    • The Main Menu selection (located under the “About” tab) for the Changelog has been updated with the new location.
    • The Changelog itself has also undergone some small revisions and format changes to make it easier to follow.
  • Verify badges for administrator accounts have been changed from gray to purple to add a splash of color to discussion forums.

9/29/2016: 

  • More minor improvements have been made to the discussion forums:
    • The “Subscribe” breadcrumb is now located on the top right corner of a forum rather than against the other breadcrumb links.
    • User roles now appear underneath the user’s display name and avatar along with their “verified” badge and role color if applicable.
    • “Create New Topic” labels have been replaced with “Start a New Conversation.”
    • The font in text input areas when replying to a topic has been increased in size for easier reading.
    • The option to receive email notifications when a reply has been posted is now turned on by default (but it can be turned off if the user does not wish to receive them).

9/25/2016: 

  • The plain Jetpack Mobile Theme has been disabled as the new version of Almost Epic is naturally responsive across all devices, including tablets and smartphones!
  • Several other new features have been implemented including:
    • The ability to upvote and downvote topics and replies in our forums (similar to functions found on Reddit or Stack Exchange!).
    • Advanced status updates on user activity streams.
    • Emoji stickers on activity streams!

9/24/2016: 

  • We have launched a BRAND NEW version of Almost Epic!
  • The homepage now features parallax effects and smooth scrolling, animated text features, and much more!
  • The new theme also features much simpler design elements making it a little easier to read and follow!
  • We’re also utilizing a new text editor which provides more tools for those who frequently publish on the site!

9/18/2016: 

  • We’re launching our official Almost Epic Slack community today! An information page about our Slack community has been added to the Main Menu and all readers (whether they have an Almost Epic account or not) are encouraged to join.

9/17/2016:

  • We have decided to take a more community-first approach to Almost Epic and the main blog is transitioning to a more secondary role, providing only meaningful, original content. In light of this decision, several changes have been made to the site:
    • All content shared from third party websites with the WordPress “Press This” feature have been removed from the blog leaving only posts written exclusively for Almost Epic.
    • The “AlmostEpic.net EXCLUSIVE!” tag has been removed from post titles as there’s no longer a need to differentiate.
    • Categories have been slimmed down and will start being cleaned up (users should no longer use more than two or three categories per post).
    • Social and community features are now placed more prominently throughout the site.
    • The Main Menu has been redesigned (“Features” has been removed and “Feedback” is now located in the “About” dropdown).
    • Homepage description, title, and featured widgets have been rewritten.
    • The “Rules & Guidelines” and “About” pages have been revised including new information and removing what is now irrelevant.
    • Media library will be purged of all photos, graphics, files, and other items that are no longer necessary or that correspond to a deleted post, article, or page.

9/11/2016:

  • Our help and support team now has an account here on the site as @helpdesk. This is so that they can be reached in private messages or on the forums as well as via email at help@almostepic.net.
  • The “Rules & Guidelines” page has also been revised in the section regarding content ownership as Almost Epic does not retain complete ownership in the event that the author’s account is deactivated; we simply retain the right to continue displaying it rather than deleting it outright.

9/10/2016:

  • In an effort to boost user engagement, the discussion forums have made a triumphant return.
  • The forums are also new-and-improved! In the new forums…
    • Users will see a red “New” notification when a topic or reply is new/unread.
    • Users can set their own signatures from their profile.
    • Users can include attachments in their posts.
    • Users can utilize BBCode (codes in [brackets]).
    • Forums are easier to read with a larger standard font size.
  • “About” and “Rules & Guidelines” pages have also been updated accordingly.

9/2/2016: 

  • The “About” page and “Rules & Guidelines” have been revised to remove references to the user forums, achievement badge system, member download center, and archived subscription requirements, all of which no longer exist.

8/28/2016: 

  • All accounts who have verified their email address and logged into their Almost Epic account at least once will receive a “verification” badge on their profile page and will be displayed next to their avatar or name in some areas of the site. Regular users will receive a blue “Verified User” badge, editor and moderator accounts will receive an orange “Editor Account” badge, and administrator accounts will receive an orange “Administrator Account” badge.
  • This new verification system replaces the achievement system effective immediately due to its persistent interference with blog comments. Comments should now be functioning normally.

8/16/2016: 

  • Almost Epic has updated to the new WordPress version 4.6! You may not notice too many differences on the site’s frontend, but for users who interact with WordPress elements while logged into the dashboard may notice streamlined updates, native fonts, editor improvements, and more under the hood. You can check out more about the WordPress update here!

8/14/2016: 

  • Effective today, the forums have been deactivated and removed from Almost Epic.
  • Due to lack of interest in some components of the site, we also have made other significant changes and removals. These include:
    • The exclusive members only download area has been removed.
    • The subscription requirement to view archived original material has been removed.
    • The homepage now includes a “site features” module.
    • The sub-heading description on the homepage has been slightly edited and trimmed down.
    • The main blog has been located to its own page (though any post with a featured element such as a photo or other media will still appear on the homepage per usual).
    • The blog authors page has been removed.
    • And we have made some minor updates to the information on the “About” page to remove any references to the forums or download page.

8/7/2016: 

  • The acknowledgement of the community rules and guidelines has been retooled into a simple plugin during new user registration and is no longer part of the user profile so it should no longer appear on user profiles.
  • If you registered your account during the period in which you were asked to acknowledge our rules and guidelines in your profile page, you should be able to delete it from there now.

7/23/2016:

  • Due to some technical issues with the new version of the site (particularly with buttons not displaying correctly within profile pages and private messaging elements), we have reverted back to the previous theme design but with new photography from Unsplash as well as maintained most of the new implementations released in version 2.0 (Font Awesome, rtMedia, subscription efforts, etc.).

7/17/2016: 

  • Almost Epic is now a proud Amazon.com affiliate! This means that we will slowly be adding links and small advertisements to products and services provided by Amazon. We then earn a small commission based on any sales from these referrals! This will hopefully help us fund and keep Almost Epic alive and operating for many years to come!

7/8/2016: 

  • After an almost epic length of time testing different site elements, Almost Epic version 2.0 is NOW LIVE!!! Hope you enjoy the new specs and the new and improved look and feel! What’s new in version 2.0:
    • New theme and layout design featuring hero image photography courtesy of Unsplash.
    • New responsive Main Menu which is also better organized.
    • New Google font faces.
    • Font Awesome integration.
    • Updated “Rules & Guidelines” page (be sure to review them!).
    • Addition of photos and videos in user profiles via rtMedia.
    • Heavier emphasis on attracting readers to sign up for an account.
    • And several other smaller touches!

7/2/2016:

  • The site was down for a good portion of today as we have begun building a new version of the site that we hope to launch soon. We may experience intermittent downtime while we test out new themes and elements.

6/26/2016: 

  • Archived stories and blog posts that are exclusive to Almost Epic now require readers to be logged into an Almost Epic account in order to read or interact with the content in its entirety!
  • New and “featured” posts showcased on the front page are not currently included and can be read in their entirety without an account as a sample of what kind of content we offer.
  • Posts that are shared or reblogged from other websites also do not require an account to access.
  • All users now have the ability to edit and delete their own activity stream posts and status updates!
  • Some elements of the site should also be running slightly smoother now as WordPress as well as the BuddyPress and Yoast SEO plugins have all applied recent updates!

6/17/2016: 

  • You can now sort blog entries by the author. Simply navigate to the “Authors” list under “Members” in the drop-down menu above!

6/16/2016: 

  • In an effort to eliminate the large influx of spambot account registrations, all new Almost Epic accounts must now be approved by an administrator account prior to being fully activated and able to interact with the social elements of the site.

6/9/2016: 

  • The “Rules & Guidelines” have been slightly revised. Please review them at your earliest convenience!

6/7/2016: 

  • The new Members Only Downloads center has been relocated to this URL rather than the previously designated page.

6/5/2016: 

  • We have launched the exclusive members only Downloads center to provide free and exclusive downloads and other goodies only for users with registered accounts!
  • reCAPTCHA has been disabled due to an issue in which it is placing every comment made to a post in the spam filter. We have instead activated the popular Akismet plugin to provide more efficient spam protection.

6/3/2016:

  • Comments on blog posts should now be fixed from an error disabling comments and should again be allowing anyone with an Almost Epic account or a Facebook, Twitter, or WordPress account to comment.

6/1/2016: 

  • We are now using the popular Yoast SEO plugin! Please strongly consider its recommendations at the bottom of the page whenever you’re posting practically anything to the site as it can greatly increase our search engine visibility and help bring in new users and readers.
  • AE Drive is also now live! This system coexists with Almost Epic Docs to provide a space to create, upload, and share documents and other files right here on the site.
  • We have enabled “Invite Anyone,” an option in your profile page which allows you to personally send an email invitation to join Almost Epic!
  • New profile fields (age, gender, acknowledgment of rules, etc.) are now available during account registration! Existing users can also utilize these new fields whenever they edit their main and extended profile pages.

5/27/2016:

  • The “About” page has been updated with a little more detailed information.
  • The “Rules & Guidelines” have also been removed from the bottom of the “About” page since they are now more accessible from the Main Menu.

5/26/2016: 

  • We’ve expanded our social networks to include Google+! The Google+ icon has been added to our social menu in the top right corner of the site alongside the Facebook and Twitter selections.
  • Forums have been added back to the Main Menu rather than just the selection located under “Profile” for signed-in users that take them only to their forum posts.
  • The user feedback page has also been added to the Main Menu.
  • We have started utilizing Sitewide Notices to members! These important announcements from the Admin Team will appear on the sidebar of every blog post and page (with the exception of the homepage) whenever one is activated.
  • A widget which allows a user to log in and out of their Almost Epic account is also now located at the top of the sidebar.
  • A widget that displays users that are currently signed into the site can also now be located on the blog sidebar.
  • Identicons have been activated for users who do not currently have their own avatar uploaded. They are all randomly generated to add a touch of fun and individuality to different users even when they don’t have a photo of their own. These replace the generic placeholder avatar for new users effective immediately.

5/23/2016: 

  • The Main Menu at the top of the page has been overhauled again, this time incorporating drop-down sub-menus so that we can fit everything in that we need to be there without worrying about space.
  • Users can now access Rules & Guidelines and this Changelog document from hovering over the “About” tab while all exclusive members only content such as profile pages, activity streams, friends lists, private messages, notifications, discussion forums, account settings and more can be found by hovering over the “Profile” tab after logging in!
  • Over 25 brand new achievement badges (including two meta achievements!) have also been added to the achievement system.

5/21/2016: 

  • The Main Menu at the top of the page now features “Exclusives,” a direct link to original material published exclusively for Almost Epic.
  • The link to this changelog has been removed from the Main Menu to make room for the Exclusives tab.
  • You can now navigate to the changelog whenever you need to from the link on the “About” page or from the Docs file on the Admin Team account’s profile page.
  • “Chat” has also been removed as our Discord channel was discontinued.
  • We have commissioned a professional brand new, official logo that is currently in development. It will be featured across all of our platforms and will be unveiled soon.

5/20/2016: 

  • Users can now leave comments on posts by logging into a Facebook or Twitter account as well as WordPress accounts rather than simply needing an Almost Epic account to comment.
  • Mobile Theme is now enabled for better smartphone and tablet optimization for viewing Almost Epic on the go!
  • We’ve activated Markdown language for less complicated coding.
  • We’re also keeping better tabs on site downtime. Hooray for Jetpack!

5/18/2016: 

  • We are now also utilizing Google Fonts! You may now notice that the fonts Quantico, Ubuntu, and more are featured in several sections of the site.

5/16/2016: 

5/14/2016: 

  • We have made the switch to the preferred bbPress from the previously implemented Asgaros system for our message board forums and they are now live!
  • Forum topics and replies that existed on the Asgaros system have unfortunately been lost during the transition. We apologize for any inconvenience!
  • We have discontinued our Discord channel for the time being. We love Discord but we’re looking for a more suitable live-chat solution.

5/12/2016: 

  • The Rules & Guidelines page has been updated! Be sure to browse them at your earliest convenience either on the “About Us” page or in our new doc file created specifically to house the rules!

5/11/2016: 

  • The main header graphic has undergone a revamp and now features more lush and vivid colors!

5/9/2016: 

  • Users are now redirected to the homepage upon logging in and out rather than the WordPress dashboard to help alleviate confusion among users who do not publish posts or change global settings. The dashboard can still be accessed after having logged in however via the WordPress toolbar at the top of the page.

5/6/2016: 

  • Almost Epic is now listed on several blog-related websites such as Blogarama!
  • WordPress: 4.5.2 has been applied to Almost Epic. This fixes several key security vulnerability issues.
  • Several other plugins, including Almost Epic Docs, have also been updated to their latest versions.

5/1/2016: 

  • reCAPTCHA fields have been added during new user registration to help cut back on spambot account registration.
  • The second email address field in the new user registration form has been removed. It was frequently seen as redundant and confusing.
  • The user acknowledgement of rules during account registration is being reworked.

4/30/2016:

  • The achievement system and its badges are now active on the site! Become a noteworthy member of our community and you’ll start earning them for your user profile!
  • Check out how you can earn the different achievements by clicking here!
  • The site is now back up and running after it became inaccessible for a short period this evening due to a bad piece of coding that locked us out of the site. Everything should now be operating normally!

4/29/2016:

  • Almost Epic Docs are now live, allowing users the ability to create, share and comment on documents and files from within their own user profile.
  • This changelog has been relocated to Almost Epic Docs on the Admin Team’s profile from Google Docs!
  • WordPress version 4.5.1 has been applied to Almost Epic. This is primarily a maintenance fix. It should now be correcting 12 bugs that might have impacted Almost Epic for some users.

4/28/2016: 

  • Almost Epic’s official rules are now published to the “About Us” page.
  • All new users will be required to acknowledge they have read the rules during account registration going forward.

4/27/2016:

[the beginning of time]

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All content featured on Almost Epic, unless attributed to another user or credited to a third party business or creator, is © 2016 - 2017 Joseph Black. All rights reserved.

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