Saturday, November 17, 2012

Relocation: behind the curtains

I'm in the middle of some non-quilting, but necessary, activity.

When I first started making web pages as a virtual scrapbook/journal/diary for the stuff I quilted/sewed/embroidered, I got an account at  It worked very nicely for a number of years.

Then I reached the point where I needed to get a paid account to obtain more webspace and it just irked me to do so.  I know businesses need to charge to make their profit but it just bugged me to need to pay to have the space to show off my pages.  I sure wasn't making any money with my stuff, so it was a net monetary drain for me.

About that time, I remembered/rediscovered that the ISP where my email is, offered free webspace with the email account!  Oh hallelujah!   So, I started filling up THAT space with the newer web pages.

It was starting to get tricky with the web page construction ... knowing where a specific page was and how to reference it properly.  I was trying to keep with relative referencing, instead of absolute, but sometimes that just wasn't possible.

Mr. Pirate became more involved with his (extended) family's business and needed webspace for that.  All of a sudden, the webspace at the ISP was running short.  Ooops.

So, this year, we bit the bullet; we registered for a domain and got a hosted webspace at Dreamhost.  I began the process ... the TEDIOUS process ... of reviewing  Every Single Webpage of mine to update it, not only with verbage corrections and additions but also some technical stuff.  My oh-so-clever geeky daughter wrote some server-side includes (SSI) for me so that common elements of HTML code could be put into a library and referenced that way.  Much, *much* easier for me, maintenance-wise.   All I can say is that it's a Very Good Thing that I used to be a programmer and am used to TEDIOUS, BORING coding and verifying because going through 125+ pages really *is* boring and tedious.  Mostly tedious.  Programming is one of those activities that you just can't multi-task; you gotta keep focused on the flow of the code otherwise Things Don't Work Right.

Once that was done, I started FTP-ing all the files over to the Dreamhost site.  Fortunately, that process was a snap.

I'm now down to the last bit of checking things out:  I need to make sure that the "final" version of the web page is what I want it to be AND to ensure that all the links work properly.

OY VEY .. the LINKS!  They may be the death of me.

Links to outside sites aren't a problem .. they either still exist or they don't.  It is a sad thing, indeed, when web sites go away.  Most of them were for sites where I got a particular pattern or embroidery design.  I would always try to link to my source so my reader could get the design too.  But ... sometimes those site have folded up their tents and have gone away.  Other links were for products that I used.  The page where I originally linked to was no longer the page where the product was ... the manufacturer had reorganized *their* website and moved things around.   And all without telling me!  Can you imagine that??  Harumph.  :-)

But the KILLER problems were my own internal links.  Oh. My. Gosh.  On my quilting web pages, I have 'back' and 'next' links at the bottom of the page.  Just shoot me now ... as I was *INCONSISTENT* with how I named the directories and how I referenced them.  Geez, Louise!  Where did all the good programmer training go to????

And then ... just to mess with me further ... my old sites were case insensitive, so I was rather sloppy about what words I capitalized and which ones I didn't.  Now that I'm at Dreamhost ... guess what?  Oh yeah .. they are case sensitive.  Just shoot me now (again).   So a file/picture named "Quilt front.jpg" is different from "Quilt Front.jpg" from "quilt Front.jpg" from "quilt front.jpg" from "Quilt front.JPG", etc, etc, ad naseum.   AAAAARRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!

So, that's how I'm spending my time right now .. going through All Those Links for accuracy.  If I had realized the case "problem" when I was originally going through the pages, I would have corrected them at that point ... which would have meant that I would have needed to go correct/update each page only *once*.  But no .. I didn't think of the case problem.  Now, I'm reaping the results of my sloppiness by needing to correct most of the pages AGAIN.

The lesson I learned?  From now on, ALL file names will ALWAYS be in lower case.

Eventually, eventually, most of my pages (adventures, quilting, sewing, embroidery, whatever) will be on the Dreamhost site and the Freeserver and ISP pages will go away.  Hopefully, this will be "transparent to the user"  (fingers crossed) so that the readers won't even realize the pages are on a new site.  I'll be putting a redirect on the various home pages at Freeservers so people who directly link to those pages will know where the pages have gone.

The only pages that I'll leave on the Freeservers site are my original tutorials.  There are direct links to them *all over the internet* and rather than ask everyone to please change their links, I'll just leave them where they are.  That's just simpler for everyone.

During the review process, I have (re)discovered that I have several quilts for which I never quite got around to making a web page for.  So, the final step in this relocation process will be to FINALLY make pages for those lonely quilts who deserve their 15 minutes of fame.  :-)

Now that I've had this little break from the tedium, it's back to the salt mines ... I have more internal links to verify and correct.  aaarrrggghhh.


  1. I can relate to everything you're saying. I run a genealogy website as a volunteer and I just don't do it justice anymore. I was originally going to do it for 5 years, but here I am 15 years later. I think I created the site in HTML 2.

    How did you decide on Dreamhost? I haven't heard of that one.

  2. Robin, I took the lazy way out ... oldest DD has a hosted site at Dreamhost and she's pretty doggone good at doing research. :-)

    I figured if she was there ...and I was there ... if I had a problem with it, I had instant tech support. :-)

  3. Im doing my websites with dreamweaver and found out, by accident, that it runs a brilliant link checker, internally and externally. i,ve always done the lowecase simple filenames and reading your post shook me to realise how much trouble i could have caused. lovely to find yor blog. will be around soon again.