A New Era of FlipQuiz.

— Written August 26, 2018 —

Read time: about 7.66 minutes

Yea, that’s a really dramatic title. This is a very big event.

FlipQuiz.me started over 4 years ago in February/March of 2014. In four years, the site has hummed along and served thousands of teachers. That’s awesome!

But in the last year to year-and-a-half, the site had grown a bit stagnant. Several reasons can be attributed to why this was the case – and I’ll get to those in a few moments.

A Quick Note

Just a quick note for those of you following along this post so far. I just want to warn you ahead of time that this is going to be a fairly long post. Go grab a coffee/soda/water and a snack and settle in.

The State of FlipQuiz Classic (FlipQuiz.me)

FlipQuiz.me was built in 2014 on a content management system called Drupal. At the time, the creative agency that I work for was building all of our sites on Drupal. It served us well at the time and I was excited to build a personal project with it. From that excitement came FlipQuiz.me.

In the years since, I’ve done my best to keep up with the site – updating security patches, fixing bugs, and answering support requests. Unfortunately, the site became so bogged down with technical debt, that it was all I could do to just answer support requests! (And if I’m being honest, I’ve struggled with those a bit, too.)

At the same time, Drupal made some announcements on the future direction of the product that I – and the agency I work for – didn’t agree with. For that reason, we switched our development process over to a new system: WordPress.

We adopted WordPress in the last quarter of 2017 and haven’t looked back. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with. So much so, in fact, that I’ve been pining to move FlipQuiz to WordPress. That was several months ago.

So.. What’s the Plan?

Well, you’re looking at it… to some degree. Rather than try to shoehorn the Drupal version of the site into WordPress, I decided on a rewrite of the whole thing. This would remove the technical debt, allowing me to write the new code in a much more flexible way – partially based on all the support requests I’ve gathered over the years.

The Process

As a designer-first web developer, I started with something simple and visual. The logo itself needed an update. Something similar to what has been the logo for almost four years, but something more modern. (By now, you can see what I came up with in the top left corner of this page!)

From there, it was a matter of recreating the basic functionality that the Drupal site has – but on WordPress. I installed the software and went to work re-creating the structure of the site. (I used an online project manager called Freedcamp to document what needed to be done. Not a sponsor.) When the functionality was starting to fall into place, I could focus on what it should look like.

Starting from scratch allowed me to rethink every piece of what FlipQuiz had to offer. Was this functionality still necessary? Does anyone use this? Can this be done better/faster/more efficiently? Each line of code was added for a specific purpose and with the intent to whittle it down from what it was before.

What This Is and What It Isn’t

So what is this? This is FlipQuiz.com (as opposed to FlipQuiz.me).

FlipQuiz.com – which we’ll just call FlipQuiz – is a new evolution of a four-year-old product. It is a complete rewrite of the old site. Not a single line was copy-pasted. It is clean, performant, and efficient.

FlipQuiz is a new site.

FlipQuiz is NOT a new pretty theme on an old codebase. While extensive work has been done to give the FlipQuiz image an overall facelift, it has been done on a completely new site. For now, at least, you won’t find all the same people and boards you found on FlipQuiz.me. (More on that in a minute.)

FlipQuiz.com will become the new FlipQuiz and FlipQuiz.me will be rebranded as FlipQuiz Classic.

What Will Happen to FlipQuiz.me (and Its Content)?

FlipQuiz.me will remain operational until it just doesn’t make sense to anymore based on usage numbers. This could be anywhere from a few weeks (highly doubtful) to a few years. I’m committed to keeping the site running – albeit with little support – until it’s been abandoned by the general public.

That said, the site will no longer accept any new accounts. Additionally, users there will not be able to create any new boards. (Existing accounts and boards will still be able to be edited.)

If you log in there, you’ll likely see some banners encouraging you to move away from FlipQuiz.me to the new site. Hopefully, by the time you read this, some tools will be in place for you to copy your old boards to the new site.

What If I’m a PRO Member?

Ah yes, the one thing that made me hesitant to do this whole thing in the first place. This is the sticky part.

Because third-parties with better security hang on to your credit card/PayPal information, I won’t be able to port those over from the old site. (That’s a good thing – at least for security sake.)

By the time this site is officially live (so, like, now I guess?), I hope to have provided all current PRO members of FlipQuiz.me a promo code for making it worthwhile to re-upgrade at FlipQuiz.com. If you are a PRO member and can’t find your code, contact me.

The Good Stuff (aka What’s New?)

Okay. This is what the blood, sweat, and tears (I didn’t really cry, but I am very tired) has produced. This might be a little long, so maybe we’ll go with a bit of a bulleted list:

  • The overall design is brand new (based on the old style, though, for consistency)
  • The inner workings of the site are now built on the WordPress CMS which provides for immensely greater flexibility in what I can offer in the future (how about some referral credits for PRO, am I right?)
  • Adding the ability to include videos (from YouTube/Vimeo) to boards is a huge step forward. Video is the future of the web and we’ll be looking for even more ways to incorporate it!
  • Better social login (not sure if the FlipQuiz Classic one even still works anymore…)
  • Faster, more flexible, more intuitive editing with all of the questions and answers on one page instead of hidden behind several tabs.
  • Better IE/Edge support. Or really, just a better experience all around for different browsers. (Though I’ll admit that it’s still going to work best in Google Chrome…)
  • Ability to justify content (left, right, center) – coming soon.
  • Better mobile support. Each page and section or the site has been designed with mobile devices in mind. (The actual board page needs a bit of work still though since it’s natural for it to be on a desktop screen. Any ideas welcome.)
  • Boards have also been designed for better printing outcomes. Go ahead, print one from an overview page. They look great now!

New For PRO Members

  • Flashcards have also been redesigned to work much better than before – and with media now!
  • Better order management / printable invoices – coming soon.
  • The ability to save class lists has been added for the Random Student Chooser and Student Grouper. This was a long-time support request that now exists!
  • More places to upload images like the user profile picture, board cover photo, board background, and each question/answer.
  • Dropped support for FlipQuiz Teams. Besides being confused with the team scorekeeping option, it was rarely taken advantage of. (If this becomes a future request, I have some ideas for a new implementation…)

Give It a Whirl!

This article is long enough, I think. Go take the new site for a spin and see for yourself!

Sign Up

Then, feel free to Go PRO so I can feed my family and keep the updates coming! 😉

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