I’m still re-building my website at the moment. There is a lot to get back to bring it all up to date. It had grown like topsy over the years. Having been hacked meant that I had to get rid of a load of old scripts that had become easy prey for hackers.
I’m now creating a sensible structure to my site, nesting folders and giving folders names that mean something within the whole site. I’m also naming folders with an eye to the future, incase I want to differentiate files easily for reasons of gaining useful statistical information.
I’ve outsourced my blog hosting to WordPress.com bringing it into my site as an iframe. I’ve organised the Blog CSS so that is looks seemless with my site (www.shoorayner.com). I wasn’t earning anything off Google AdWords, so I’d rather have WordPress handle the business of keeping me safe and up to date. (I’m pretty sure that the hackers got in through my self-hosted WordPress folders). After couple of weeks I realise there are other benefits. Being on the wordpress.com site brings me viewers that I’d not get otherwise. My tags reach further that my posts. They trigger other pages to include your posting. I get different readers and different statistics about them. Before I had to wade through my site stats to make sense of the blog stats.
My site stats have changed radically. I could see the moment the robots and spiders found I’d changed everything. They went zipping through the new folders to bring their databases up to date. Of course it’s a risk changing one’s site. The search engines have you all mapped out. Now they are providing links that don’t exist anymore, so I’m getting a lot of 404 documents not found at the moment. These are coming from dead links on search engines and, sadly. dead links on user’s favourites. Those will have to build up again.
In the meantime, I have a much more manageable site that I’m now happy to grow. The site statistics make much more sense too. What is surprising is that most people want the boring pages. The fun ones, that take so much more time and effort, don’t seem to be appreciated as much. I wonder if that will change as time goes on and users begin to bookmark pages and the search engines take them directly to the pages they want. This time I’ll try to keep on top of the backup!
I’ve had couple of suspicious goings on on my website this year then, on Monday, Damian Harvey emailed me to let me know my site had been hacked. The homepage showed some juvenile nonsense obviously put togehter by some spotty youth with nothing better to do with his life.
I sorted it out, but soon he was back even though I had changed passwords, which meant that he had to have a backdoor into my site. I feel I can’t trust anything on my site, so I’ve wiped it clean and I’m rebuilding it with new clean files.
If he gets in easly again, then I suspecvt my ISP has a back door to my site and I’ll be very cheesed off.
It’s such a waste of time and makes me realise how vulnerable the net really is. We are putting the whole of western civilisation into a monoculture that will eventually be so prone to a virus thaat will spread through the net wiping out site after site – a sort of swine flu of the net. If it happens, we are stuffed! I give it two years.
About this time last year, I moved my website to another ISP. My old one was driving me mad and the new one offered lots more for much less. This involved a whole load of cleaning up not only of my site site but also the database that runs various parts of it.
There had to be a drawback. Sometimes the new ISP was very slow. You could wait ten seconds or more for my website to appear sometimes. That probably sounds okay, but kids going to my website would get bored and move on to something else in that time.
In the last year, my old ISP seems to have pulled its socks up and is now offering what the new ISP was offering. They cost more, but not as much as they did a year ago, but the speed is much improved. It will be really interesting to see if my stats go up now that people will get to see what they have requested.
Writing this blog is certainly better. I think I’d got a bit bored of waiting for pages while trying to write new things on my blog. Lets see if I write some new stuff on here now…
I was watching a friend of mine drawing recently, and I realised that there’s a lot to be learned by seeing how other people draw.
So, I’ve decided to ad a new section to my website – Drawing School. I’m hoping it will grow in the direction that my visitors want. I’m hoping that people will email me with suggestions for things to draw and talk about.
My video set up is very cranky at the moment, but it works so far – barring an accident with the lights at the end of lesson two! I can hardly see what I’m drawing as I have to peer over the top of the tripod while squeezing my hands underneath it. Can’t find much help online for recording this sort of video.
I’ve learned a lot about white balance and manual focus already. If it becomes popular, I may see about upgrading the camera.
It’s good fun doing it and I hope it proves to be useful. Enjoy! Click here to go to the page.