By the 10th Anniversary of the Aeroflight website in 2006, it was becoming apparent that the existing fixed HTML page design was becoming dated. I started looking for a new approach.
At that time the main options appeared to be bespoke software coding in a scripting language or buying a commercial package. Neither of these was very attractive.
It was then suggested to me that WordPress might be a useful package to look at. WordPress is a free open source database-based programme for blogging websites. It also allows static webpages and has many plugins available to add extra functions. It is now the most widely used blogging software on the web.
Since WordPress can be regarded as a ready-written shell for database interrogation, it seemed to me that a tailored version would be ideal for the database-driven interactive web experience I was looking for.
Having experimented with a ‘test’ version, looking at the applicability of the programme to my particular application, and testing various plugins, I concluded that WordPress was the way forward.
The move from the old static pages website to ‘Aeroflight 2.0’ should be as follows:
upload WP to the webspace and active
apply settings for date, time, fixed front page etc
set up permalinks for .htm endings for both posts and pages (latter uses a plugin)
select a theme (‘Magicblue’) and setup sidebar widgets
upload header images and modified template pages to get the page design required. The main page is split into a main section and a sidebar. The main section will be wide enought to show the pages from the old design unaltered. The sidebar will show search, login and latest additions to the site.
add the categories to be used on the site for pages and posts.
add the proposed page structure
add the fixed front page text
add the drop-down menu
migrate selected existing articles as posts
add templates for each of the different types of page to be used
migrate existing pages as pages in the new templates
– spiral 1a complete – time for bug fixing and link checking
in spiral 1b the HTML tables are replaced by database functions
in spiral 2 additional functions are added, such as the photo galley which mainly database dependent.