PhotoGuide Japan Reborn!!


If you haven’t noticed yet, I finally unveiled the Web site’s biggest update ever.

Much of the site is now run and maintained by content management systems residing on the Web server. I’m using at least four server-side programs, each serving a specific purpose.

For example, PhotoBBS (message boards) is run by a message board program, and DirectoryZONE is run by an address book program.

The beauty of it all is that I can maintain most of the site with just a Web interface. I don’t have to start up Dreamweaver to change something each time. And most Web pages are dynamic instead of static. On dynamic pages, you can post comments and it will appear on the page on the fly. I still have some static pages on the site. PhotoReviews is still all static as well other pages that do not need to be changed often.

Although none of the content management programs I’m using is perfect, they will continue to be improved by a very active, open-source, development community.

I’m quite happy with how the revamped site has turned out. It took me almost 6 months to complete the changeover to a database-driven site. It was a lot of work and I spent much of my spare time working on it.

It was both fun and frustrating. So many unexpected problems cropped up, but resolving them were the ultimate joy. If you’re not a computer programmer or software engineer, doing this kind of thing can really test your patience, analytical abilities, and problem-solving acumen. But I really learned a lot, and it feels great to have met the challenge.

Note that this is only the beginning. I’ve only laid a new foundation for the site, and there’s a lot I plan to build on it. It’s a great feeling to know that there’s a strong foundation under the house I will build. I think I’ll take a break for a while though. Meanwhile, hope you all enjoy the new site!