By Ramona Eid | December 20, 2016
When your Website has been on the Web for 23 years, isn't that a mid-life crisis? The cure for that ailment is a Website facelift!. We took our medicine and got the results the doctor ordered.
Yes, but what did it look like before, you ask? Excellent
question! The screen-shot below is of the Home Page for the domain, complete with
bouncing soccer balls as animated .gif graphics. As you can see, there was a desperate need
to bring the site into the twenty-first century. At the same time, we needed to insure that
it was Responsive, Maintainable, and Scalable, the
tenants we live by
in design and programming.
Another Old Page
Doesn't the screen-shot below just scream last century? The Website was using last century technology as well. Active Server Pages (ASP) is more like
"spaghetti code"than maintainable content. It didn't look bad on mobile, but I certainly didn't want to push forward this tired, old codebase. Even though I had been on the Web longer than Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, and many others, I had not actively been updating this Website. Time to change!
Website Facelift More Than Just Cosmetic
Okay, it is time to get down in the weeds about what the Facelift really entailed. It was a lot more than just a cosmetic UI change. For various reasons, I chose not to implement WordPress or any of the .NET options like MVC. That gave me an opportunity to be innovative. I never want to waste those types of opportunities because they are also valuable learning opportunities.
I found a fascinating HTML5 Bootstrap 3 template, complete with “46 HTML Pages Full of Features”. The issue is that all the pages were written completely in HTML, no Server-Side code at all. That creates a barrier to maintainability, and therefore is not acceptable.
I refactored all 46 pages into PHP pages, and created templates by using include files for repeated HTML. The include files can include code (pardon the pun!). That way, when an update or change is required, I only need to make that change in one place. It satisfies the DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) software principle. That fits my paradigm of “One Point of Failure … One Point of Success”. That’s what I strive for in writing code. I don't want to get too deep into the weeds for fear of boring and losing some of you. If you want to hear more, please contact me.