11 October 2014

A New Look for EdwardRingwald.com is here!

It's been almost ten years ago since EdwardRingwald.com got a new look!  The last time I gave EdwardRingwald.com a good new look was almost ten years ago when I recoded the site from the simplicity of Netscape Composer (which, sadly, went along the wayside when Netscape disbanded) to the complexity of Microsoft's FrontPage 2003.  Back then, FrontPage 2003 was what you used if you wanted more robust web design beyond a basic text site.

Fast forward almost ten years.

A lot of things changed over the span of ten years.  Topics get added, roadtrips get added and deleted (deleted in order to save disk space among other things), and a host of other items have to be changed if you want to keep a web site current.  After all, if you maintain a web site you have to keep it updated with the latest content as you can.

Unfortunately, Microsoft no longer supports FrontPage 2003, its existence being replaced by another web design product of Microsoft called Expression Web.  I checked out Expression Web and, unfortunately, the features of Expression Web did not fit my website model.  With the demise of FrontPage more and more web hosting providers have been discontinuing support for the FrontPage server extensions, which are the code that enables enhanced functionality for websites created in FrontPage.

With more and more web hosting providers discontinuing support for FrontPage 2003, I decided to think outside the box and take web design to a new level.  In fact, put my knowledge of HTML to the true test.  That being said, I decided to migrate to a more robust web design product that would give me better control of what I put out there on the web that you read daily.

And that web design product is CoffeeCup HTML Editor.  I extensively evaluated CoffeeCup HTML Editor and recoded my home page to see how it would look.  After some HTML code tweaking I was very impressed!

In fact, one of my websites, DrawbridgeAhead.com, was written entirely in CoffeeCup!  I was considering using FrontPage 2003 when I spun off my drawbridges of the Pinellas Beaches pages from a feature on EdwardRingwald.com to a website of its very own, just like when I spun off my Interstate 275 St. Petersburg pictures into a website of its own back in 2003, Interstate275Florida.com, and expanded its content to cover all 59.5 miles of Interstate 275 in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area.

Right after I wrote and published DrawbridgeAhead.com using CoffeeCup HTML Editor I decided to start working on recoding my other websites using CoffeeCup.  After all, I was very impressed with how DrawbridgeAhead.com came out.

First I started recoding my website portal, EdwardRingwaldWebsites.com, to make it more of a central starting point for you to explore my websites.  Think of it as Tampa's Union Station as a central starting point for all trains going out of Tampa as an example.  After all, a union station consisted of several railroad companies providing passenger rail service under one roof, especially back in the days before Amtrak.

By the way, with the recoding and relaunch of my website portal, my websites form a part of the Edward Ringwald Websites Network.  You'll see it on all of my websites!

Right as I was recoding my website portal, I begun work for a little over a year on recoding EdwardRingwald.com.  A lot of work went into the recoding, especially taking out the Microsoft-specific HTML code that went with FrontPage.  Next, I have reorganized the pictures that you see on the roadtrip pages so that they would load as a lightbox window like you see on a lot of websites out there, not to mention cutting down on the time it takes to load a picture when you click on the link to see the full version.

Now the product is done, the new version of EdwardRingwald.com became reality Sunday evening, 12 October 2014!  I am sure you will like the new design and format of EdwardRingwald.com.  I have already gone through and corrected any errors I have found, which leads me to ask you, the World Wide Web surfer:  If you come across any links on the EdwardRingwald.com site that leads into a 404 error page, please contact me by way of the Contact Us page and select the Report a Broken Link in the subject drop-down box.  Include the URL of the link in question in the comments area as well.

And as for Microsoft FrontPage, now that there is no support for FrontPage 2003 and no support for the FrontPage server extensions from a lot of web hosting providers, it will be time to put FrontPage on the shelf.  Time to move forward and onward.

But don't worry, EdwardRingwald.com is here to stay!  Stay tuned!