January 01, 2019

Four Million Words

Four Million Words

We have had a website since 1993. It began as an ecommerce site, to sell all our books and maps. (For the record, Amazon did not get started until 1994. Just sayin'.)

When we took over Russian Life magazine in 1995, the site added information about issue contents, online-only articles, and of course we also sold subscriptions online.

There have been several redesigns, reboots, and enhancements over the years, and databases have always been an important part of the Russian Life website (to make it more dynamic and useful) – from a catalog of all our magazine's articles, to historical dates, to companies, to schools where Russian is being taught.

Views of Websites Past


Last July we decided to kick things up several notches. Our New Russian Life crowdfunding campaign raised funds to (1) rationalize and unify all of our databases and digital content, and (2) put all of the back issue content of Russian Life online – saving it for posterity, while making it accessible to readers and researchers anywhere in the world.

We have been thinking for many years about how we would do all this, what tools we would use, and how it would all look. Executing on those ideas over the past six months has been a huge undertaking (and we're not done yet). Nothing we have done with our website over the previous 25 years can even begin to compare. A huge shout out goes to our web engineer and full stack developer Scott Widmer. He has helped make this process smooth and rational.

The website is built on the very powerful, open-source CMS system called Mura. We have been using Mura for over a decade to manage the website, but never have we used it to its full potential until now. Mura will allow us to scale the site up immeasurably, to manage and edit articles from contributors from all over the world, and to have it all perform at high speed and efficiency. Together with a Slatwall ecommerce solution, it will also allow us to sell online subscriptions, manage print subscriptions, and unify our content-focused website with our commerce-focused website for the first time into one seamless whole.

When complete, the online archive of 24 years of Russian Life will include over 8,000 articles, and over 4,000,000 words, all indexed and searchable.

And it will only grow from there!

Thank you to all our readers, supporters, backers and partners in this upgrade. We encourage you to bookmark and return to the site weekly. Our audacious goal is to make russianlife.com the most useful, influential online resource for Russophiles the world over. And we can only do that with your help.

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About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567