Mags Direct gets a new look


I’ve been slowly shutting down a lot of my hobby sites, as my spare time is taken with organising DIY Punk gigs these days (and going to more gigs).

BUT one site that has been getting my attention is the fully commercial Mags Direct, a magazine shop which is part of the Frontline Group of companies I work for.

I’ve recently been working on a range of upgrades, including a total re-design – using a different theme (Flatsome) with work from me to customise.  I did the work on a staging/test site first, which is how it should be of course but is often ignored by users of WordPress, mainly because it’s not as easy as it should be!  The new design looks sharper, plus it wastes less space in ‘furniture’ at the top of page, which means it’s much easier to see your cart and checkout on a phone.

Take a nose here;

The site runs quite a lot of plugins – so as part of the upgrade I went to PHP v7 – after running a compatibility plugin to check the plugin code.  PHP 7 certainly runs WordPress sites quicker than 5.6, so while a bit scary to do, pays back the effort.  Also if you’re running a big WordPress site, make sure you run a caching plugin, which takes a lot of processing out – which means that when you get a lot of visitors at the same time, your hosting can cope.  WordPress runs a LOT of queries against the database, and a lot of PHP code to display any single page.  If you can use a cache, it serves flat html removing a lot of the CPU load it would generate otherwise.   The site also goes through Cloudflare – which not only adds more security, it also acts as a CDN (content delivery network), serving cached copies of images and css and javascript from their servers.

mags direct screenshot upgrade

Mags Direct showing off it’s new look

Author: Krispy

Webmaster of this and many websites over the years. I've been a Senior developer (Java JEE and Oracle DB, specialising in SEAM/JSF/Hibernate web development). Ex Lead Developer at New Scientist magazine, where I worked on creating a new WordPress based website, using almost 100% custom created widgets, plugins and theme. My own projects include websites created in WordPress and custom written with PHP and MySQL, and have my own dedicated linux server to run them from. Currently proud of; Mags Direct - a site I created for my work at the Frontline Group. An online magazine shop, which I created with almost zero budget within a week (since had a full theme upgrade). Found at Married, one cat. Beer fanatic (wife probably says bore) - real ales and craft beers. I have spent for too much on home brew gear, I create full mash craft beers. I spend a lot of time either going to gigs or organising them - I'm part of a small bunch of friends putting on DIY Punk shows called "The Scary Clown Presents..." our website can be found here; Also a fan of the local footy team - UP THE POSH!

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