Old School Web Development
Travel back in time and discover our original website. For the time, I’m very proud of what we achieved. Every page was lovingly hand-crafted in HTML. When we began our website, hand-coding everything was fine as we were technically-minded and had plenty of free time to devote to the website. Over a period of about three years, our website grew to include all kinds of information – large army galleries, battle reports, event reports, campaign rules and so on. It was a genuinely useful resource, not just for our members but also for casual browsers of the website.
The problem was that it took a lot of effort to maintain and there were only two people at our club with the ability to update it. As we grew older, our priorities in life changed and the website quickly became out of date.
Non-technical user friendliness: 1/10
Ease of maintaining: 1/10
Strengths: Great for static articles, perfect layouts.
Weaknesses: Everything else. A nightmare to maintain, deep technical knowledge required.
This is the current format for our club’s front page and I think blogs are perfect for this task. I love that new material is shown at the top, as it helps visitors feel like our club is active.
Blogging services have really matured over the past few years. Free services like Google’s Blogger and WordPress.com allow anyone to run a blog for free and with minimal technical knowledge. And for the website nerds, WordPress can be run on your own server and allows for infinite customisation. WordPress’s software is a joy to use and I vary rarely have to touch anything complicated.
Most blogging software allows for both news-style pages and static pages. We use the news-style pages (often referred to as “posts”) for posting the latest information about our club. We use static pages for useful general information like when and where our club meets.
Our blog is mostly comprised of photos. I like photos. They only take a second to take and make our website look far more visually appealing. Ideally, our website would be full of beautifully arranged shots using a professional DSLR camera – but it’s not. Most of the photos were taken with a mid-range point-and-shoot camera, with the rest being taken on various mobile phones. Not all mobile phones are capable of taking decent photos yet but smartphones like the Nokia N8 are capable of taking remarkably decent images. Could you tell that this photo was taken by a smartphone? Hopefully in a couple of years, all high-end phones will be capable of similar results.
One feature that I really like is the tag cloud. Our club used to have a static page stating which games we played regularly. However, this page often became out of date quickly and which games we perceived we played a lot didn’t always match with reality. Instead, I now tag each post with the games it’s associated with. Over time, the tag cloud have grown and now shows an accurate depiction of the games we play regularly.
I had envisioned that all of our members would post to our blog but in reality only me and two others do. That’s fine. Even if it was only me posting, it would still be a big improvement over our old website for your slot needs