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announcement &website building Martin Lee on 15 Jun 2007

Blog Migration to WordPress Complete

I have finished the migration of this blog over to the WordPress platform. There might be one or two things that I forgot to do so if you come across any bug, do let me know.

Overall, I am impressed with the simplicity and ease of use of WordPress. Continue reading » Blog Migration to WordPress Complete

website building Martin Lee on 23 Jun 2005

Some Site Building Tips

I mentioned in an earlier post that the updating of static html pages didn’t appeal to me. That was an understatement. It was really tedious and I hated it. Since the site was pretty new, changes were aplenty. A single change to a word on the main menu meant that I had to make the changes to all the other pages. While it’s still doable if the site has 10 pages, I didn’t think I would want to do it for 100+ pages. I had to do something about it now.

Luckily, my friend Peter Dobler mentioned to me that he was using something called an “include directive”. Well, I had came across this term before but could not really remember the details. Half an hour of research on google revealed to me how I could use it to solve some of my problems. Essentially, a separate html file will be kept for different portions of my web site that are static. These are the parts of the site that appear on all pages. They include the header, footer and side bar. Each content page will simply reference the separate html files. Thus, if I need to make any change to the top portion of my site, I only need to update the header file and it will be shown across all pages. Neat. I was wondering why I never implemented this from the onset. Another half an hour of changes to the existing pages and my site was converted to the new format. Better late than never.

In case you are wondering why I never had this problem with my other site, it was because I used a content management software (CMS) to develop that site. A CMS is a software that allows anyone to build a web site without any knowledge of html or even ftp. Once the software is installed on your site (this might be tricky), there is a user based navigation that you can use to login to your site. From this navigation, you can make changes and everything will be done automatically. Adding in a new page is as simple as clicking on the “add page” button, copying your text into the box that appears, and then clicking “ok”. Depending on the type of CMS you use (there’s many in the market), the learning curve and added functionality will differ. However, once you learn the software, everything else becomes a breeze.

One thing I didn’t like about using CMS was that the pages might take some time to load. This is because the pages are generated dynamically whenever they are called. What this means is that the data required is actually retreived from a database in real time and then shown on the screen. This differs from static pages whereby the entire page is simply retrieved from the html file. I had learnt that the likelihood of new visitors staying on to see your site varies inversely with the time your site takes to load completely. Thus, I decided to build this site completely using static html. After all, I expect the main bulk of the site to remain constant once they are firmed up.

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