I've been slow to publish a second update in this series, as many of the very basic additions and alterations which come next on the to-do list come with a lot of baggage; my decisions around which tracking and analysis packages to use, how best to integrate social functionality, spam prevention and general security improvements represent just a few areas where the actions I'd usually take on auto-pilot as part of a build are the result of years of experimentation, plugin vetting, experience and requirements matching to find the best approaches - as such, blogging about them necessitates delving quite deep into those areas and becomes something of a daunting task.
Thankfully, an easy escape has cropped up! I noticed that a few comments have been submitted to the blog, but that I hadn't received any email notification. This is because my hosting provider (eUKhost, for reference) disabled some of the core PHP mail functions (which WordPress relies on to send emails) some months ago in order to reduce the scope and quantities of spam activities originating from their shared hosting packages. There's a nifty plugin called WP-Mail-SMTP, which leaps to the rescue in this scenario by providing a highly configurable approach to using SMTP mail in place of PHP's mail() function.
WordPress is now capable of sending emails, so I'll receive a notification when new comments are posted; hopefully this will allow me to respond in a more timely manner!