The time has come for a major overhaul of my first and up until now, only attempt, at building a website. It is long overdue.
The original “Song For Our Ancestors” was created over Christmas 2011 and uploaded in early 2012. I had started to research the local WW1 war memorials in Catford and Lewisham a couple of years earlier and passed my research on to the Lewisham Local History and Archives Centre, where it was published on their Wiki site. For whatever reason, the site lost impetus and updates stopped. At this point I decided to publish some of my work on my own website.
I had absolutely no experience of building web sites, but settled on a free version of the now discontinued Serif WebPlus. With a lot of trial and error, I managed to put together a few simple pages, complete with boxes, buttons, a few images and a couple of passable databases. The links between the pages worked and eventually, I managed to work out how to upload the package to my new, hosted domain.
What I discovered in that initial process was that it was not going to be easy to update the content on a continuous basis without my becoming far more adept at using the software. Unfortunately, the continuing research was far more important and interesting, in my mind, than the technology. Despite subsequent research meaning that corrections and additions needed to be made, I failed to make a single update to the site in the following six years. Change is now on the way.
Somewhat belatedly, I have discovered WordPress. Having the resources to build more than one site, I spent the first couple of weeks aimlessly drifting between themes etc. I have now settled on two themes and associated page editors and have decided to build two parallel sites. My theme choices have very much been determined by the quality of the accompanying Youtube videos. There is something soporific about all of them, but I have now found a couple that have the presentation style and structure that suits my way of learning.
I am no more competent than I was six years ago, but at least WordPress feels more intuitive and is certainly more forgiving. The ability to edit on the fly is just what I was looking for. However, some of my premature, overbold attempts to mess about with code have not always gone well. I am now happy though, that the initial four page version of this site is acceptable and I can start to flesh it all out.