Software Release Notes

6.13.0 to 6.13.98 Release Notes

These are the improvements we've made to the Spartan Spark platform in Q1. The focus this quarter was on reducing sophisticated spam attacks and moving the platform to the new http2 required by the search engines to improve SEO.

We streamlined the lead forms to have a standard enforcement practice for stopping the spam. We still have one more major upgrade coming for the mail system, now that the subsystems use it.

The focus on monitoring has provided visibility across websites, improving our "self-healing" process, reducing the number of errors on the platform to about 25% of what we had in Q4-2018. Read the entire update to see all the geeky details.

Initially, the search engines in late 2018 started alerting end users of insecure websites, which forced us to fast track our planned upgrade to http2. In March 2019, the browsers started to hide the www, and as part of our upgrade, we took that into account. And we've upgraded our clients to the industry's most current recommended best practices.


Google now requires that all website have https for security, and we went a step further and configured http2, which brings a next-generation speed bonus.

All clients upgraded from HTTP to H2, with HTTPS fallback. The SEMRush score went from 66%-92%. SEMRush is one of the tools that we're using to track our SEO scores. We're no longer using Moz because we've maxed out their score, and it was no longer providing meaningful direction. We've switched to using a number of more specialized tools that evaluate SEO scores more critically.

  • 5785 Operation: SEMRush score went from 66%-92% from January to June; moz score remains above 90%
  • added configurable titles to staff and blogArchive
  • 6087 Bug: sem fixes for staff page title length by default; changed h1 to h2 and only show when set in blog posts
  • 6994 Feature: A number of landing pages and other funnel pages no longer show the sidebar to keep user on track


Continued improvements in blog and social post scheduling have greatly improved real-time logging and monitoring. We can see all the errors from all the servers in real time. Because of that process, it's allowed us to see which errors are happening most often across all the website and allowed us to better target the most frequently occurring bugs. Because of the visibility, we are fixing the problems that are impacting our users the most. The other part is the last step before we're going to be able to generate reports from the logs for the customer: for how many leads, for how many visitors, etc. We added wiki page title to improve SEO, and added the type so that we can track which kind of content piece is being published (to help bring visibility to the type of content formula being used)

  • 5965 Operation: Email Templates - Adjust Email Subjects to indicate source
  • MAINT 2018 numbers updated to 2019
  • Improved error/warning messages dramatically
  • Real-time monitoring for all clients
  • Added blog-page-title, blog-post-type, various social images, and blog-post-graphics-ticket-id, blog-pos-jumbotro-image-url, wiki-page-title


Across the board, there has been a renewed focus on allowing greater customization to the layout of the websites. Much of this has focused around allowing Fluid or Standard jumbotron images site-wide to create responsive websites that provide a better user experience.

  • glyphicon-send was used too much; now a number of different icons are used
  • 1848 Feature: Improved member login home
  • 4354 Feature: Welcome message for members
  • 4713 Feature: Directory look improved
  • 5553 Feature: Footer changed per client feedback
  • 5684 Feature: Fluid Single Jumbotron Home Page
  • 6681 Feature: Removed grey lines around the fluidjumbo
  • 6852 Feature: Fix Headers: H1 Font should be Press Start 2P
  • 5918 Feature: Request On-Site Tab Needs Hyphen
  • 6288 Bug: Space Needed - 1st blog image touching fluid jumbotron
  • Social contract fixed to be fast and look nice
  • Phone before email on contact page
  • Minor tweaks to improve the store
  • Updated footer with better spacing

Speed Boost

Key technology upgrades for Angular JS (the client side technology we use) and Node (the server technology we use), and streamlining of all API calls taking longer than 1.5 seconds.

  • bump to node 10.16 from v8
  • upgrade to angular 1.7!
  • speed up tickets useCaseNames
  • speed boost for projectHours autoFetch: false
  • updated Dockerfile to use npm-cache!
  • 7526 simpleUser on newsletter preview, simpleUser on blogpost.user, delete blogpost.blog_comments to reduce
  • removed font-awesome-assets (which included everything under the sun)


Major update to using AWS ELB/ALB for all customers; upgrading all customers to H2 with HTTPS fallback, reverse proxying for speedy delivery, and the ability to turn on/off global edge caching. We have also worked to tighten up our mail delivery system to greatly reduce spam, currently iteration 8.

This year, there was a significant amount of sophisticated spam from western Europe. We are on our 8th iteration of attempts to block the spam without blocking real user access. We've added logging for security, also to react faster to spam and hacking, using the information between all websites on the Spartan Spark platform.

  • Upgraded to HTTPS and H2 (with included certs to add ssl support)
  • 0619 Feature: add recaptcha to public forms (request quote)
  • 3377 Feature: email one-click registration/login
  • 5475 Feature: Google+ login deprecated, google Auth for suites by March
  • 5727 Feature: Spam Issue on client websites
  • 7129 Feature: spam v8 :: email: http in name field
  • use _.get almost everywhere
  • deleted user-user-group from inactive users
  • hardening some code while working on lock package, status page, base config
  • added acceptor that converts priority to int; fixed related changes in tickets.js
  • added req.ip to some errors, and removed list of all values set on view errors
  • deprecated bower usage
  • MAINT updated insecure version of event-stream
  • 5942 Bug: future dated blogs are in sitemap.xml - fix for missing /blog/ in sections


A large number of new snipplets have been added to allow greater configuration and fully support Fluid and Standard jumbotrons, along with a long list of bugs being cleaned up. This allows for more customization of the layout of websites, which can be configured by the client/end user.

  • snipplet system simplified; last of older format snipplets updated
  • 0602 Feature: wiki pages need locks
  • 4675 Feature: sitemap urls are not canonical urls (blogs/wiki missing sections)
  • 5977 Feature: FAQ Question Page
  • 6237 changes from email, phone, etc. to match up with user_ versions
  • 1830 Bug: Delete from images and photogallery fails - fix for https links
  • 5470 Bug: Change Email Filters - updated rbn-cms
  • 5551 Bug: Blog Archive - Months in Wrong Order
  • 5817 Bug: Load Parallax Homepage Images and 3 boxes to site - fix for apple ios devices and background images
  • 5948 Bug: Site Map Not Loading Properly
  • 5977 Bug: FAQ Question Page
  • BUG fix for manifest.json and /blog.rss needing _page
  • 6512 Bug: Phone number - removed bootstrap sizing information for templates; added .vertical-space between them
  • 6524 Bug: My profile pic is broken at the bottom of my blogs
  • 6414 Feature: ability to customize sidebars
  • post login behaviour customization
  • routeConfig behaviour customization
  • 5323 Bug: Build photo uploading, adding parallax0 and jumbotron0
  • 5536 Bug: Image Loading Issues
  • BUG fix content calendar


Major work has been done on the mailing system, with the 6.14 version focused on improving and automating customer interaction on email sign-ups, landing pages, and newsletters. Q1 we also had a successful integration with Hubspot to deliver leads generated from multiple Spartan Spark websites and social media campaigns.

  • 4622 Feature: newsletter signup send BCC to crm contact
  • 6361 Feature: Build form - social contract
  • 6960 Feature: Include publish date in preview of future dated blogs
  • switch to passing address{} instead of to/toname, from/fromname; made to/from/cc more consistent
  • MAINT updated affiliate and newsletter form to use warning instead of error, and reshow form
  • 6544 Bug: CRM: Instructor profile are not wikis (but now they are)


Onboarding new customers is easier with the ability to copy projects. Key everyday features have also been added as well as default time estimates. A number of new workflows have been added to support using sprints. This provides more visibility on what can be accomplished by the team during our 1-week sprints and for future planning of projects. We're also enforcing that a Use Case (from our learning library) be attached to each ticket, which has improved process documentation and reduced bottlenecks from information being stored in team members' minds instead of in easily accessible documentation.

  • 0805 Feature: Make a copy of a launch project
  • 5122 Feature: Add default time estimate to Use Cases
  • 6394 Feature: Sprint - Frozen should take tickets off sprint page
  • 5530 Bug: Project is frozen but tickets are still showing up in Scrum
  • 5769 Bug: Tickets - Flashing Screen When Entering Title
  • 5780 Bug: Tickets Blue Icon Botton Right Now Working
  • BUG fix for estimates showing in dashboard
  • BUG fix for myTickets not showing created tickets
  • BUG fix for ticket-sprint when setting ticket-priority
  • 6181 Bug: Tickets - Time Estimate Not Set - Buttons Do Not Show

Testing Improvements

Testing has been moved to its own package to allow it to iterate independently. Ensures that with all the improvements and changes to the code, the previous code continues to work.

  • moved backstop to badger
  • TEST increased selenium screen size to help some tests
  • enabled and fixed a number of tests
  • huge eslint cleanup of tests

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  Posted: Tue Jul 9th 2019 12:00pm  2 years ago

End to End Marketing Process

I wish I was on Page 2 of Google

The Spartan Spark Process

After being frustrated with other service providers. Spartan Spark got our website up and linked to a payment system over just a weekend. -Patricia Marin - Calgary Family Services