This page explores the history of this website. It’s mainly written so that I won’t forget my learning path with HTML and CSS and others may find it interesting too.
In 2010 my first family website was created using the web space that I got with the Optus internet service. The website is still online, but without FTP access it can no longer be updated.
There is no database available and the whole site is done with HTML files and CSS. The site has some structure with each page having it’s own copy of the menu and other parts. Each page was done with Macromedia’s (now Adobe) Dreamweaver which has a library feature. Parts of the page that are repeated, such as the menu and footer for example, are put into a library and inserted into the page where required.
In April 2013 to develop my skills in setting up Drupal I built a new website. I had already done one using the CMS (Content Management System) Joomla! in building the Eltham Model Railway Club’s website and I was interested to compare the two.
I used Drupal 6 and with integration of the Gallery 2 CMS things were going great… until one day…
Drupal 6 End of Life
In April 2016 I checked the update report on the Drupal site and there was a page of red panels showing every plug-in I had was no longer supported.
Even worse Drupal 6 itself had reached its “end of life” and it was no longer being supported.
Like Joomla upgrading to a major Drupal version would need to be done manually, copying and pasting each article, page and goodness knows what else. Drupal 8 didn’t even want to install; the message said a file was missing! Not happy as errors like this should not be in a near production release.
At this point I made the decision to move to WordPress; with its ease of upgrading, adding content and adding images; plus the huge number of themes and plug-ins available.
Rebuilding using WordPress
After having using Joomla! and WordPress to build sites, of the two, WordPress is much easier to customise and upload images. Even with Joomla 3 there is no built in way to easily add images to your pages. And with each release WordPress gets easier to use.
Both my professional portfolio and family websites now use WordPress.
Website and Gallery Part Ways
With the demise of Drupal 6 a new CMS (Content Manage System) was needed.
For the new rebuild in 2016 the website was split in two. Drupal’s part was migrated to a WordPress installation using My Theme Shop’s Splash theme and the Gallery, no longer being restricted by Drupal, was upgraded to Gallery 3, with its own sub-domain at gallery.eatonfamily.au.
Upgrading to Gallery 3 was easy thanks to a module and it’s mostly an intact copy of the old gallery I had installed.
Support for Gallery 2 finished years ago and the Gallery Project team is took a break for five years. But now is has been updated with a new project called Gallery Revival. It now runs with the latest PHP releases but I’m guessing the templates haven’t been updated and still aren’t mobile compatible.
After months of moving photos from my Gallery 3 install and onto WordPress with NextGen the gallery has now gone offline.
I started building a gallery using NextGen gallery but the photo presentation isn’t the best. For albums with a lot of photos the user can’t use the slide show function for all without clicking to the next page that comes before the slide show. The images can be slow to load, which isn’t the fault of NextGen, but it shows nothing the user that anything is happening.
To date NextGen has proven to be easy to add more photos to it and to manage. It doesn’t hierarchical albums like the old Gallery 2 did but it seems to have strong support behind it.
I was looking at Koken but its demise shows how important ongoing support is. Without updates your system eventually won’t work due to internet technology moving on. Graham Fisk had a large problem moving his photo collection to X3 Photo Gallery Website. Read about the process.
A New Look with Twenty Fourteen
The Splash version of the website worked well but it had custom options which weren’t well supported and after a while it didn’t work very well.
In 2020 Covid-19 lockdowns provided the opportunity to change to a better supported theme. This time I chose one of WordPress’s own Twenty Fourteen theme, which is ideal for magazines. A child theme was created to prevent loss of changes when updating the parent theme.
Full Site Editing with WordPress 5.9x
WordPress version 5.9 introduced full site editing where you can change the header and the footer for your website, but it only works with themes that support it. The next redo will try out this new method. Stay tuned!