As I mentioned in my earlier post this week (Version 3.3 of my websites: the technical side of things), I have tried various applications to “run” the website. Early on, I used Microsoft FrontPage. Then I tried some out of the box HTML and ASP applications with names like GPEASY or EZ107. I eventually went bigger and tried various content management system (CMS) applications like Drupal, Joomla and even MediaWiki. None of them were quite right for me.
Some people have opted for commercial platforms like Blogger or WordPress.com and those were all viable options. But I always came back to running my own site with my own set of installs. I started small, I went bigger and bigger, I went up to a WordPress install, I dropped back, and then finally, I went all in on WordPress.
I would be the first to confess that it is WAY more power than I need. » Read the rest
Often it is because one feature of the site works REALLY well, and draws me in a certain direction, only to later have that feature either be less important relative to other features, or just stop working well. Sometimes it is an issue with the hosting company.
I didn’t do separate blog entries for version 3.0 where I basically had WordPress all up and running, or version 3.1 where it was a combination of two WordPress sites, one Piwigo subsite for photos and videos, or even version 3.2 where I merged it into 1 WP site and one photo subsite. » Read the rest
Have you ever read Dilbert? Scott Adams created a couple of characters like Mordac, the denier of information services, as well as a god of heck (not as evil as hell). We did a kitchen reno this summer, and while I could describe it as the kitchen reno from hell, all in all, that would be a gross exaggeration in comparison with those that have had renos from hell. Our contractor did do the work. They never abandoned the project. There was no flooding of the basement because someone nicked a water line. There were no lawsuits, lawyers, or ombudsman offices involved.
What we did have was frustration out the wazoo, the reno from heck, and mostly avoidable by the contractor. Let’s get this tale started.
In the beginning
When we moved into our house 4 years ago, we were pretty happy with most of it. The upstairs was great, the first floor had a good living room and family room, and there were no major problems that had to be fixed quickly. » Read the rest
So, I disappeared for most of a year with the arrival of my son. And after I got a whole host of movie reviews up on the old site, DRUPAL started giving me glitches. It never looked quite right, so I opted to just ditch worrying about it.
But in the last few weeks, I’ve thought long and hard about what I really want the site to do and how I want to approach it, and finally came to some basic realizations.
My hoster is fine if I don’t muck around with databases.
If I avoid heavy databases like MYSQL or MSSQL, that takes a whole whack of content management systems out of the equation. Including MediaWiki which I actually managed to get working closer to what I wanted, even though it was using a database. But in the end, it was still too complicated for what I wanted to do, and not worth the overhead.
If anyone hears of a CMS developer or hoster being shot in the not-too-distant future, tell the cops to check my alibi. I’ve been working for just over two months now on my website, and only now feel like I’m even getting close to what I want. DRUPAL proved unable to handle my needs with regard to the photo gallery, so I went with Gallery 2. It’s fantastic, and works like a charm. I wouldn’t say setup was “simple”, but it was relatively straightforward for an open-source solution, and the wife likes the result, so what more could I ask for?
Well, for starters, a blog. And some static content options for my knowledge portal — something that would allow me to post text in an almost wiki-like layout. I had some success with WordPress and after a couple weeks of good solid design testing, I had a blog up and running. » Read the rest