After the last Christmas Eve service, in church rectories and manses across the world, many clergy will sit down and pour themselves a glass of single malt whisky, take a photo and post it to social media with the hashtag #clergymaltclub.
This week I launched a mobile-first redesign of my SEC digital calendar website which is a resource for the Scottish Episcopal Church to enable anyone to integrate this year’s church calendar and lectionary with their digital calendar (e.g. Google Calendar).
Over the last few months in the evenings and at weekends, I’ve been working on redesigning the Pittenweem Properties website for friends here in Anstruther. The site launched a couple of weeks ago.
Pittenweem Properties offers high-quality self-catered holiday accommodation and property management services in and around Pittenweem. They currently manage properties in Carnbee just outside Anstruther and Pittenweem. But their portfolio is growing and for good reason — the properties they own and manage are to a very high standard and in a beautiful part of Scotland: the East Neuk of Fife.
Something I want to do is standardise the URLs used on the site. Once upon a time I had an idea of using subdomains for all my mini-sites, so
I got as far as setting up my blog on a subdomain and I changed my mind. (Or got lazy, I can’t remember now.) 11 years later I have now decided to bite the bullet and move from www.garethjmsaunders.co.uk to garethjmsaunders.co.uk/blog. It’s potentially going to involve a lot of work (and a little .htaccess wrangling) but it will be worth it in the long run.
WordPress doesn’t like blog sites
My plan was to create a new sub-site called “blog” but when I set up a WordPress multisite installation on my local machine to test how this would all work I encountered an unexpected problem. When you try to create a new site called “blog” WordPress multisite returns this error message:
The following words are reserved for use by WordPress functions and cannot be used as blog names: page, comments, blog, files, feed
The workaround I worked out, however, is pretty simple:
On the WordPress multisite default site, create a new page called “Blog”, with the URL of ‘/blog’. (On my localhost test site this has a URL of http://garethjmsaunders.shed/blog/.)
In Settings > Reading set the posts page to be your new “Blog” page.
Now import your blog into this site. (I imported it category by category, one at a time as I have a lot of posts.)
Of course, if you want your blog to use a different theme than the rest of the default site pages you will need to use a multiple theme plugin.
Something that has been on my task list for the last few years has been to redesign and re-architect my websitegarethjmsaunders.co.uk. It has been a perfect case of the cobbler’s shoes: I’ve spent so much time making and fixing websites for other people that I’ve not had time (or energy) to do anything with my own.
Enough is enough. My last site design was in 2003, I think. That was over 10 years ago. In 2003 Internet Explorer 6 was the dominant web browser, the war in Iraq began, Concorde made its last commercial flight, Apple released Mac OS X Panther. A lot has happened in the years since then: web standards have been embraced, the mobile web is on the move, and table-based layouts are so retro!
The last time I built my site I hand-coded everything using 1st Page 2000 (how I loved that application) before eventually moving to Dreamweaver 4.0 as it automated asset-handling and rewrote paths more quickly than hand-coding everything. I had only just learned CSS 2 and was eager to put it into practice. My site still suffers from a very bad case of both ‘divitis’ and ‘classitis’.
And there’s not much room for expansion. When I created a mini-site to support my Blueprint CSS extras I couldn’t integrate it into my site. The same happened with my original SEC Calendar site.
After a few months of procrastination and mulling things over, I now realise that I have a number of projects that I want to work on, but as each requires that my website be up to date it is now time to bite the bullet and re-architect.
My current plans:
Move to a new host.
Standardise URLs, which will also mean that after 11 years on a sub-domain this blog will move to www.garethjmsaunders.co.uk/blog.
Use a content management system or two.
Delete a lot of content.
Having delayed this for a couple of years it will be good to finally get these ‘shoes’ fixed!