I wrote last month about some issues with my website as a result of an issue with my hosting provider. It’s been a very long and arduous process, but I think I’ve finally finished the last of the cleanup. It’s certainly not something I would like to repeat again. Having said that, there are lots of positives about the process.
- When I started the website, over 11 years ago, my knowledge of HTML was very limited. In going back through all the pages to clean up the logical corruption it gave me an opportunity to clean up the HTML as well. I don’t think anyone on the outside looking in would notice the difference, but it makes me happier to know things are a little more in order.
- I used my web stats to decide which pages to sort out first, figuring it would make sense to focus on the stuff that people are actually reading first. That in itself was a bit of a revelation. There are a lot of very old articles on the site and I kinda figured people don’t look at them much these days. It appears that’s not exactly true. This presented a couple of problems. First, some articles were really bad! I managed to turn a blind eye to this when I thought people weren’t reading them, but once I saw people were still hitting them I decided to rewrite them. That took a lot more time than I expected. In other cases, all that was required were more obvious links to the updated content. Many articles now have “Related articles” links at the top.
- I use a home-grown CMS to manage the site. This process has forced me improve it and fix some of the things that were bugging me.
Even with all the positives, I still feel a little frustrated by all this. The time this has eaten up has impacted badly on my to-do list. I started this process the evening after I attended Cary Millsap‘s Mastering Oracle Trace Data course. As a result, I’ve not reviewed the material from the course, or even downloaded the free tools yet. That’s pretty high up my list.