Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Deep into Webbishness

I'm taking a break for a minute to write this entry and to let my brain cells relax for a minute or two. Adding direct sales functionality to my web site has escallated to a complete re-do of the whole HenryMelton.com site. So, I have a diagram of the new site map on my desk, with checkmarks on each page I've completed. It will be a few more days, likely, before I'm done.

I set up a new domain that I'm using as a test-bed. henry-melton.com, so I can leave the production site alone until I've got the new one up and running. You can actually visit the under-construction version, but it's running on a mac mini at my house behind an ISDN line, so bandwidth is horrible. Once I've got it all ready, I'll just clone it over to the one running on my ISP.

For years, I've been a Dreamweaver user, but with iWeb being so close to usable, I've been doing the bulk of the redesign using it as my main design tool. There are a few pieces that won't work, but with some scripts in the background, I'll be able to make cosmetic changes with iWeb and then pop up the terminal and type make to patch in the additional functions. iWeb would be a lot nicer if I had my own custom templates, but I don't want to take the time to make that happen. Not yet. Instead, I pick the plainest template available and the delete everything off it until I'm left with a blank page. Then I copy and paste design elements from previously completed pages.

If everything works as planned, I'll have a totally static website, one that I can clone to three different locations, just in case an ISP goes down. Strange. Just a couple of years ago I designed a totally dynamic web site system for my wife and sister that they're using. MaryAnnMelton.com and MarySolomon.com are just a couple of perl cgi scripts and a database. You can never accuse me of consistency.

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