I’ve progressed on OzVoIPStatus’s new system, the changes however, are such a pain to implement that I’ve decided to take a different road and instead setup my own local version of the full website, and migrate changes there, once all is displaying and working well, I’ll move it over!
We do have it working, and there’s just a few more bugs found to be ironed out, but we have it running at a much better level, and in a great setup which will essentially allow easily extended aspects to be added.
The website needs to be transformed to allow for a more dynamic approach to adding content. Not interested in a CMS, but the goal will be similar, with the intention of making the site a bit more active, and updating it regularly, and providing assistance and advice directly on that website, which might see it evolve into more than what it is at the moment.
I’ve got a lot of ideas, so the only way to do what I want with those will be to dedicate time to it. Not just a weekend every weekend either, something a little more constant. I’ve got a few items to tidy up on with a recent web release, but after I do those, I plan on getting these changes active throughout the week (placing more of my time into the site).
Today I made my decision on Whirlpool, I shall simply limit my activity on Whirlpool so that I can be a better participant in the forums, and also allow me more time to focus on the items that interest me “more” than whirlpool does (not that its not interesting, just I think I can have a little more interest in developing a website than I could whirlpool).
Further, now that I’ve settled into the car, and it drives great, I’ll obviously not be driving every day like I have been since I got my licence and instead will start to get that time and the time spent on Unreal Tournament (still will play it though :)), place that time into OzVoIPStatus and the web hosting activity I’ve started on.
Essentially my goals will be readjusted to focus less on whirlpool (but still remaining a contributing member), and of course for the next week or so, placing that time into OzVoIPStatus and the other items that I want to put my time into!
What will essentially need to be done for OzVoIPStatus is to bring up a duplicate company, make changes in the testing environment and progress those to the live environment, to avoid breaking the website for extended periods of time, but also, more controls placed in the testing environment to stop heavy bandwidth consumption for monitoring servers on the home connection.
I’ll also be able to setup a few mirrors and somehow get the data integrated into one database using multiple monitoring points to prevent the issues of a single network outage affecting some providers (and just between me and this blog, the TSN network that hosts the server does at times get flaky and annoy me, and my phone calls), but over all it is solid and reliable.
Hopefully after Monday I’ll be able to get stuck right into the system and finish it and get it live. And that should hopefully see the site progress afterwards. I do have a mock design done, but I look at it, and immediately dislike the new design.
The problem with Australian web designers (not coders) is they charge an arm and a leg for their 20 minutes in Photoshop, which they then simply export to a html file and try and charge big dollars for it (I was quoted something along the lines of $300+ recently).
Sure, they get a good look and feel happening, but the expense for just the look of the website is a complete insult to the content and technology that goes into a website. A design is simply the look of a website. Sure, it’s great to have an attractive design, but for me, it’s technology that says yes or no to a website.
Dynamic websites, using ajax technology, and having useful content nearly always get the thumbs up, so long as the content is easily located (nothing like trawling a foreign website for information on a page titled something completely irrelevent).
I might decide to muster up the funds eventually to get a better design done for the website to use more of the screen real estate that is wasted with the current system.
The next template will almost certainly use CSS wisely to create many of the effects being forced upon it with tables at the moment (I’m not a real CSS junkie, but lately have been using div’s and css to get some great effects).
Tables still have their place in the web, because some browsers just be a royal pain in the ass to get CSS correct for, and others are easy, then you open it in IE6 and you wonder how on earth you ever viewed the web with such a heap of junk! Really. I did that recently with a recent launch, and it was amazing just what is different between the same page in two browsers.
On that note however, I’m definitely going to put a week or more into getting a lot of this done and done and live. It’s annoying having to put so much time into a big improvement on monitoring and reporting and simply not being able to deploy it due to database differences, web page issues and integration.