Updated Articles

New addition to the Topics menu. This is a facsimile of what you will see if you click on the Topics button on the menu at the top of the screen.

Hardly a day goes by here at AAC without us updated an article, either in the light of new information or because our thinking on something has changed.

However, we have long struggled to come up with a good way to keep you members informed about these updates.

First attempt

Our first approach was to add the updated field to the header of each article. But the problem with that is that the field is automatically updated by the site software we use (WordPress) even if we change just one word, and we certainly don’t want to be bugging you about trivial things like fixing a typo or reclassifying an article to a different topic.

Updated Topic

After thinking about this quite a bit, we have come up with the following:

  • When we make a significant update we add the article to a “Recently Updated” topic on the Topics menu at the top of every page. (Scroll up a bit if it’s not showing.)
  • We have highlighted that topic to make it clear that it has a different function to the others.
  • The Recently Updated topic is ordered by date updated, with the most recent at the top.
  • All updates have an heading including the word “Update” and the month and year, making it easy to find using your browser’s search function.
  • We regularly purge older updates from the Recently Updated topic.

More To Do

We are also considering some further enhancements to this system:

  • Adding eye catching formatting for updates within an article.
  • An RSS feed specifically for updates that will trigger each time we add an article to the Recently Updated topic.
  • An option for members get an email notification when we update an article.

However, all of these will take some coding, and so will need to wait until our winter site development season.

Check It Out

In the mean time check out the Recently Updates topic. There’s some important stuff there including:

  • An alternative method to Colin’s excellent how to article on setting the jib on the pole downwind without stress.
  • Two member provided photographs showing anchor self fouling.
  • My updated thinking on the Vulcan anchor.
  • Some changes to our SARCA Excel review.
  • Some changes to our Spade anchor review.
  • An addition to our our analysis of Lithium batteries.

As you can see, a lot of these updates have been about anchoring just because I have been writing about the subject lately.

Talking of which, we also have two reports on the Spade, one on rusting and one on a broken bolt event. However I think those are too important to just cover in an update, so I will probably do a new article.


What do you think of this idea, and do you have suggestions for improvement? Please leave a comment.

Please make any comments to the actual updates on the relavant article, not here.

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Alex Borodin

Hi John,

I find the feature useful, so thanks for that.

It’s probably just me, but I was surprised not to find Recently Updated right at the top of the Topics list, even though you posted a screenshot, where it is _not_ at the top.

And here’s my vote for the option of fetting the updates per email.


Ernest E Vogelsinger

I too support the updates by email motion!

Ernest E Vogelsinger

Plus: for me this new topic is really important as it allows me – finally!! – to follow recent developments on articles I long have read and sometimes even don’t remember anymore. And being so important I’d vote for having a fifth button besides the About/New/Books/Topics/Search, something like in this screenshot mimick.

Ernest E Vogelsinger

Now with screenshot 😉

Ernest E Vogelsinger

John, thats beautiful. Much appreciated!!!

Ernest E Vogelsinger

maybe I missed this before, there is a CSS error with the “Topic Tips” button, see screenshot. The culprit is the class “has-background” on the button rendering the text invisible (same color as background). I tested it on Chrome only, but removing the incriminating class gives you the white text.
The screenshot shows the original on top, and the version with the class removed at the bottom.

Ernest E Vogelsinger

Yup, that did it – unless in hover mode on the PC he text color is still quite close to the background color.
Not a huge issue though as you probably have already read it when hovering over for the final click 😉

Alex Borodin

I don’t pretend to be a UX specialist, but this looks and works great for me. Thanks!

Marc Dacey

I appreciate the enthusiasm of yourself and Phyllis to continually improve both the delivery and the content of the information you generate and share.

Ernest E Vogelsinger

And, BTW, I absolutely need to leave a big “hats off to you” for this site, this is one, if not the, best and most thought through WordPress sites I know. Being an IT guy by profession I need to know WP, and boy do I hate it, and if you had asked me I would never have thought such a concise and perfectly navigable site would be possible in WP, without 29 hours of content tweaking per day. From my point of view, this site is a masterpiece, seen from a structural point, and, of course, content-wise. What you have started and keep growing here is unprecedented.

John Leslie

Thumbs up for an RSS feed to track updates. Thanks.

Glenn Pullen

What do you use for a WordPress site editor please? I recently put up a local .home.arpa WordPress instance here on the boat to try to keep track of all the projects I have in flight. As a beginner though, it seems that the tools that come with WordPress by default (and with my chosen (free) theme), are a little kludgy. Note I am in no way a CSS expert, and barely hold my own in HTML and PHP. Thus I was looking for a maintained tool for my very simple site that would encourage best practices. A series of static Web pages and a running blog, only for my use right now. I did manage to update the blog posts though to show both Published on and Modified on date and time. A handy feature for me.