ColophonWebsite Technical Information
Content Management System
In years past, we’ve rolled our own, and we’ve used other systems, but come 2016, we came back to a tried-and-true stalwart (but one that’s new to us), WordPress. No other content management system comes close to the community support, extensibility, and installed base of WordPress. Yes, that means there’s lots of potential vulnerabilities, too. Which is where a good, solid hosting provider comes in.
Web and Email Hosting
The CapitolMac website is hosted by WP Engine, based in Austin, Texas. WP Engine is one of the world’s leading WordPress hosts. It’s far from the cheapest, but it never claimed to be (nor are we), and we place performance and reliability over price. WP Engine leads the way on that front, providing rock-solid support, vigilant security, and uptime that’s the envy of the rest of the industry.
Email hosting is provided by Runbox, which provides secure, encrypted email hosting in Norway, with all of the attendant privacy legislation, security, and protection against surveillance that implies. Runbox also runs its servers on renewable hydroelectricity and operates in an environmentally and ethically responsible manner.
Design and Copywriting
We’re proud to say that all of the graphic design and copywriting for our CapitolMac website are done internally by CapitolMac staff, with the exception of some portions of our blog (relating to Apple- and iOS/Mac-related content), which are contributed by writers for TidBITS. Copy for the Apple product pages are provided by Apple, with formatting and some rewriting provided by the Apple Specialist Marketing Corporation (ASMC), of which CapitolMac is a member. (At the risk of sounding arrogant, it’s pretty obvious which product pages we aren’t responsible for.) Other vendors have provided some of the copy and assets for their respective product pages.
CapitolMac’s numerous domains are registered with NameCheap, which has thus far remained free of the ethical shenanigans that seem to plague so many other domain name registrars we could name (one in particular that is the current market leader in the United States). NameCheap continues to be one of the top choices of ethical geeks everywhere, providing quality service without the meaningless upsells, tomfoolery, and vapid TV commercials. We’re proud to host nearly 100 domain names with them, along with a few DNS, name-cloaking, and various other services.
We use the Divi theme from Elegant Themes, though with a light touch and with additional customizations, so as to not look like every other Divi website out there. (A number of other Apple Specialists out there use it, too, and we pride ourselves on the fact that our website looks nothing like theirs.) Divi contains a lot of modules, but we chose not to give in to the temptation to use every last one of them. Less is more.
In addition, we judiciously picked and chose elements from Gravity Forms (forms), the WPMU Dev Plug-Ins (various optimizations and features), Divi Booster (miscellaneous tweaks to Divi), Divi Switch (more tweaks to Divi), Real Favicon Generator (favicon creation for multiple desktop and mobile platforms), Yoast SEO (search engine optimization), Google Analytics by MonsterInsights (more SEO and analytics), WP Retina 2x (Retina Display optimization), WP Rocket (website load time optimization) and Imagify (image compression).
Checking off the Boxes
When re-launched in 2016, the new CapitolMac website was made available with every single modern convention by default (and by first preference). It is now served by the nginx web server and available over IPv6, served by HTTP/2, in HTML 5.0, with a fully responsive design, defaulting to SSL. As of early 2017, the website was running the latest versions of everything (including WordPress, Divi, and all associated plug-ins), and it should continue to be proactively updated for the foreseeable future.
CapitolMac is transitioning its network infrastructure to CAT6, IPv6, 10GB Ethernet, and fiber-optic Internet (anywhere from 300Mb up to 2Gb, symmetrical, depending on location) to the extent possible at each of our store locations and/or offsite datacenters. Further, with the rapid spread of ubiquitous surveillance and hacking, we are using encrypted transit whenever possible (email, web, wi-fi, etc.). While not all of these technologies may be immediately employed at all of our locations, we are working hard to deploy as many of these technologies as possible, as soon as possible, and in as many of our locations as possible.