Serious Help With HTML and Web Site Longevity

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by MrAl, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. MrAl

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    Jun 17, 2014
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    Hello there,

    Interesting story here to start.

    Long time ago i was fortunate enough to meet some very famous singers, a band of 5 sisters who performed with big names like Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis and on the Ed Sullivan show and many other shows. I met them through one of their sons as we had a rock band going. I ended up meeting the whole family and they treated me like family. One of their daughters i knew grew up to be a famous Hollywood actress/singer and recently we started to touch base with each other again. It was an extraordinary experience for us, especially for me! There's a slight problem though, and that is that she misses her mother (one of the famous singers) as she passed away. It was some time ago but she still misses her a LOT and she appears to be very troubled over this.

    So what she did was start making an album of old songs that her mom and the other sisters used to do with her performing all the songs, and also she wants to start a web site to keep her family legacy alive, and she asked me for help with this.
    Not only was i honored that she asked, i'd like to be part of this project as i always wanted to do something for them but didnt know what.
    There is just one problem and that is that i didnt program in HTML very much in the past. In fact, the last time i used HTML was probably 10 years ago. I've been programming in other areas like microcontrollers, Windows, ASM, etc. since the 1970's but very little HTML.
    Also, i am not sure how long you can get a site to run for. Years? Decades? Centuries?

    A side question is, if you had to compare HTML to another type of programming, what would be the closest match?

    So the main questions are:
    1. How hard would it be to set up a website like say Facebook at the most extreme end of the complexity?
    2. How hard is it to learn the HTML required to do a GOOD site, even if not as advanced as Facebook?
    3. How do we get a web site that could somehow run for a very very long time, like perhaps lets say 100 years to start?

    This last one really has me stumped. I think you call it a 'legacy' web site, but searches dont seem to help with this question too much. As far as i know, web sites have to be paid for every month or something. If the web dues are paid in advance, how do we even know if the site will still exist once we ourselves pass away.

    Thanks a LOT for any ideas/suggestions, and if the website gets up and running i would be happy to mention anyone that has given ideas about how to get it going and/or make it better right on the site.
     
  2. Alec_t

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    Sep 17, 2013
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    Have you looked into using web-site creation/editing software (such as NetObjects Fusion) to do a lot of the donkey-work?
     
  3. bertus

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  4. eetech00

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    Hi MrAl

    I think you’ll find that there isn’t any one language alone that can be used to create web sites of the style used today. It’s going to be a number of different languages depending on many things like graphics and functionality. There are web app development programs you can use but there’s always something you need to customize, and that requires knowing something about the nuts and bolts of the application language. For me, web development it’s not something you can Casually do and produce a professional looking web site...but that’s just me.

    As far at longevity...that depends on the availability of software tools and developers that know how to use them.so...I don’t think any last 100 years...neither do I think anyone wants them to...

    Just my opinion..

    eT
     
  5. MrAl

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    Hi,

    Not really, the last i used was so long ago and that was easy software because you just upload graphics and stuff like that with no visitor user interaction. I think the site i am talking about will have to have interaction with visitors.
     
  6. MrAl

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    Hi,

    Thanks much, i'll take a look right away after my next reply.

    [Oh yeah that site looks good, i'll have to go through it]
     
  7. MrAl

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    Hi,

    So you think the web evolves too fast to make a 100 year site?
     
  8. MrAl

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    Hi,

    Also, what good is Wordpress? Any good?
     
  9. shteii01

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  10. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Not so bad, really. I'm not a Facebook user so I'm guessing a little on what you want. If you really wanted to recreate Facebook, I think that would be daunting (and silly, because that wheel doesn't need reinventing). What I'm saying is not so bad is a modern-feeling site that serves up the content in an attractive way.
    To create a good site, you probably won't want to mess around much with HTML. Maybe none at all. Modern websites use XML, CSS and a host of other technologies such as php and java scripting to accomplish the slick sites you're familiar with. Website creation software can handle the majority of this in the background so that you can focus on look and feel, and the content. Unless you really want to become a CSS expert, it's far better to let the expert software handle it. You'll occasionally have to get under the hood to tweak something, like a homeowner moving the position of a light switch, but let the experts build the house.
    I don't think anyone would expect a website to run untouched for a decade, let alone a century. For instance I created a couple websites a few years ago back when URLs all started with http. Today a standard website supports https and your browser will scream bloody murder if you try to visit an http site, because it's a security risk. I couldn't possible have predicted that five years ago. So I had to buy some SSL certificates and update my sites. No big deal, just maintenance. The important thing with your project, it seems to me, is that the content remains available. I don't think that will be terribly difficult to achieve but somebody will have to pay the server bill and look after the site from time to time to make sure nothing broke.
     
  11. MrAl

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  12. MrAl

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    Hi,

    Well when i said Facebook, i just really was referring to the complexity not to repeat the functionality of that site. I havent even used Facebook yet :)

    Yeah i have been reading about that CSS a little too now. So apparently even HTML is out now?

    I had a feeling it would be hard to get a site to run for 100+ years but thought there could be some way i didnt know about. It's starting to becomes apparent that it always needs work in the form of maintenance. So that might mean that the site owner would have to hand it down to future generations. I guess that's the only way then.
     
  13. MrChips

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    Oct 2, 2009
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    To repeat what others have said:

    1) Web site programming is a moving target. Many features are out-of-date after 3 years.
    2) Someone has to keep track of how the site is viewed on multiple platforms, pc, smartphone, tablet, browsers.
    3) Links break continuously.
    4) Someone has to pay domain name annual fees.
    5) Someone has to pay site hosting fees.
    6) Someone needs access to web accounts and passwords.

    Bottom line: make sure you have in place a succession plan - someone to take over when you move on.
     
  14. MrAl

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    Hi,

    Thanks for the info. This is starting to sound like quite a challenge. Not sure i am up to that at this time, but i'll have to give it some more thought i guess. I am thinking of suggesting just a pro web site developer until i can get up to speed. Maybe start a simple site and go with simple software, then build on that and see where it takes me.
    Last time i had my own site all i did was use the software that came with the site, that was pretty simple although a little tricky. That was on AOL, but since then AOL discontinued the service so the site was gone. All i had on there was some circuits and stuff though :)
     
  15. bdn1790

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    Dec 31, 2018
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    Just a friendly tip: there are a lot of beginner-friendly website creating tools online that literally manage all the backend stuff and leave the creative control of the website over to you. Assuming that you don't want to spend a lot of money on hiring a professional website designer/developer, these managed website creating services can handle everything for you at $x/per month, year or years. Eg., Wix.com, Weebly.com, etc.

    If you want to not let the website die after you are unable to take care of it, then the most sensible choice would be to pass over the mantle to someone else (like what the above users suggested).
     
  16. wayneh

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    Sep 9, 2010
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    Yes and no. The first time through the process of starting with nothing and ending up with an acceptable site, is indeed a bit of a challenge. Lots of vendors to look at and lots of choices to make. But it's certainly doable at the DIY level if you have the patience and are wiling to learn a few things as you go along. Modern tools make it easy enough that the focus of effort comes back to the content. Setting up and running a site is easier than creating and updating attractive content.

    I use Godaddy to host my sites, and they're a (if not THE) market leader in website hosting. They provide more tools than you'll need for running a site and offer decent service. I'm sure they have competent competitors that offer similar tools as well. One thing they offer is "website in a box" and to get going ASAP, I doubt there's a faster option.

    Personally I don't care for the canned approach and have always preferred to have more control over the template, the colors, the fonts and all of that stuff. I still rely 90% on the commercially provided templates developed by others but always seem to want a tweak here and there. The website creation software I use is called Rapidweaver and is Mac only. There are many other options - a daunting array in fact. Adobe Dreamweaver is the old standard but it looks like Wix and Wordpress are popular. I haven't used either. One thing you want is software that will automate synching what you have created on your computer with the files that are on the website server. That's done over ftp. It can be done manually easily enough, but having it automated is just that much less hassle you have to deal with.

    One more thing: Instead of a website you might consider a simple web-accessible directory, like a photo album or a Dropbox folder. That would put all the content out there with very little effort. You could include a "Readme" file to describe the content in however much detail you want. It's not a fancy way to present material but get's the job done.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
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  17. djsfantasi

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    Just as a side comment. I also used GoDaddy services to build my web site. It was fairly easy to get started.
     
  18. MrChips

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    I am not up to snuff with the latest in web page design and programming. I know how to create a simple web page and have always been using and still use Dreamweaver.

    AFAIK, HTML is alive and well. They have left me behind when I was still programming with frames.
    You will have to brush up on W3 containers, classes, CSS, PHP and SQL.

    My advice would be to learn from the experts. Go to many web design sites and see what they say, for example,

    https://websitesetup.org/
     
    djsfantasi likes this.
  19. MrAl

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    Hi,

    Ok thanks, and welcome to the board :)
     
  20. MrAl

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    Hi,

    Yeah i see what you mean. I forgot about GoDaddy too. Thanks.
     
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