Notice anything different on Grist.org today? I hope that the answer is “no”!
Even though you may not see any overt changes, today was relaunch day at Grist. We turned off our old site, and turned on a new, WordPress-based version.
What we’ve done is known as a “port” — that is, we’ve taken the Grist UX and content, jacked it up, and replaced the old foundations with new, better WordPress ones. This required many many weeks of effort, some valuable expert advice and lots and lots of coffee. It also meant that @natebot and I have had to learn the WordPress API rather quickly … luckily, this has been fun.
Grist is adopting WordPress for two main reasons: WordPress has become the world’s foremost CMS, and is the locus for a whole lot of journalism innovation and experimentation. We want to be part of that community, and more able to take advantage of the latest online news technologies. Our other goal has more to do with who we are. We are small — really small — and as such want to focus our technical energies on news, design and innovation, rather than hosting, uptime and infrastructure. Our new hosting arrangement with WordPress.com VIP allows us to do that, and lets us join the ranks of other large media sites like Time, Chicago Tribune, and these guys from down the street.
So while today’s change might be almost invisible to most, we can tell you that there will be more exciting, and more rapid changes on the way, so stay tuned!