Issue November-26
New issues waited for new software

Although there was plenty to write about, the last week was devoted to designing, writing and implementing our new "publish" software package.

Up until now we have used Rage Software' s Everweb. The package, with its relatively easy to use wysiwyg GUI has served us well and we have designed and developed more than a dozen web sites using it.

However most web sites consist of only anywhere between five and twenty pages although sometimes with several hundred images. These are manageable quantities even though, based on the way Everweb generates shapes and files a more complex website might well end up with almost two thousand files which need to be uploaded to the server whenever any changes are made.

It is unfortunate that when a change is made to a particular page that this change may cause not only the main page's file to change but also files containing images, shapes and associated styling information.

WessexTimes was therefore just becoming unwieldy due to new pages and images being constantly added.

Old articles can be read anytime in the future

Being a newspaper media it is normal that articles are retained for readers to always be able to go back to them even when they are no longer current.

You may not even have noticed the fact that although you can usually go back to articles by saving the page's link (URL) this does not apply to main pages or sections which have an overview of the articles and contain what are known as teasers.

So if for example you save the address of today's Daily Telegraph or Times, when you use this link tomorrow, you will get the latest issue and not what you saw when you were reading today. This applies not only to the paper's front page but also to the pages which contain an overview of a particular section, such as "Sport" or "Travel" or "News".

Some papers do give readers the opportunity of reading for example yesterday's issue but this is not a general rule.

Our problem was that Everweb stores all the data pertaining to a particular site in one huge file which needs generating whenever changes are made. This was rapidly becoming unmanageable even for a small media outlet such as the WessexTimes.

To alleviate the situation we had split the Times into what effectively were two websites, the first containing the overview pages with teasers to the articles and the second site containing all the articles.

For those who are interested in such things, if you look at the link from a main page to an article you will notice that instead of just it shows something like wessexArticles23-1 is actually a separate website just to contain the growing number of pages and images.

One can imagine how quickly this expands and becomes almost unmanageable.

At first we set out to look for a package that could handle newspaper-like formats. Many use Wordpress for example but it seemed only smaller blogs and not the mainstream media who it would appear use proprietary software packages.

So we decided to also go down that route and we now splitting off all the article pages onto our new "Publish" software package. This means that an article is a single self-contained file plus its images and it is an easy task to upload these separately to our servers.

No more not secure warnings

There are no more "not secure" warnings on our pages as well as we now employ security certificates.

Still no cookies

As previously we still avoid using cookies, but this may need to change if we decide to include adverts. We will certainly not be using google-analytics to trace what our readers are doing.


London 12. October 2023 -pw-

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