I didn’t start out to completely redo my website. I was dividing JIBS from one monster application into four smaller application. Suddenly using JIBS.US as the web site name didn’t make as much sense since only one of the four applications is named JIBS and JIBS might not continue to be the start product.
So I started out to get my old domain name (gerhardb.org) back. I did some research and found namecheap.com to be a very reasonably priced site to buy may domain name from. Luckily it was still available and off I went.
The last time I updated JIBS.US was in April of 2012. I patterned the update on the Apache Ant website of the time. In 2012, the big innovations I had to master were CSS and Server Side Includes. Like my even older site, it was still frame based (how ancient!). Here is what it looked like:
Pretty old fashioned, don’t you think?
While purchasing my domain name, namecheap.com also offered to provide me with web hosting using EasyWP as a fast way to get a website running with WordPress. Of course, namecheap.com also offered me all the other stuff I hadn’t thought about like email redirects, SSL, etc. So off I went on a big explore.
First thing I learned was how you build a web site these days is learn the importance of a Content Management Systems (CMS). Apparently, there are over a billion and a half websites today largely because anyone can use a CMS to create one. I was still doing it the old fashioned way with hand-crafted HTML. How ancient!
Turns out that WordPress has nearly 60% of the CMS market and that nearly 30% of all websites run on WordPress. The runners up in the CMS market are Joomla and Drupal with single digits each. More details at Popular CMS by Market Share https://websitesetup.org/popular-cms/. So going with WordPress and using EasyWP seemed like a good investment of my time to see how everyone else was building their websites.
First thing you learn about WordPress is that it’s not just WordPress, it’s the WordPress ecosystem which includes over ten thousand Themes and over fifty thousand Plugins. Wow!! That’s a lot of choice! Lots of them are free and lots of them are available for a reasonable price. And there are a lot that are free with a paid for upgrade.
Next big thing I learned (yet another duh moment) was that the themes and WordPress pretty much automatically handle resizing everything to work well on a SmartPhone, Laptop, or Desktop. Perfect!! After some experimentation, I landed on Minamaze as the Theme and worked my way through all the rest. Way easier than hand-crafted HTML.
So now I have this really nice looking website when all I set out to do was to get a domain name!