Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Subtly improved website

For Christmas this year I got a tremendous cold so I'm keeping it all to myself. A by-product of this is that I can get on with some of those little jobs that I've been meaning to do for ages, although my voice recognition software has got a bit snotty with me over my gravelly voice.

Consequently, I've re-vamped my website slightly to include the new cover images for The Horsepower Whisperer and The Wormton Lamb. The forthcoming attractions scattered around the site haven't fully come forth yet but like the early signs of spring they are definitely budding.

When it came to publishing to the web I'd forgotten how to do this completely. Good thing I'm clever and can work it out from scratch. If I was less bright maybe my memory would be better. I guess it's all part of the yin and yang. Or is it ying and yan? I suppose I can get by without remembering things because I can always work it out again. Eventually. Remembering it straight away would be better. I would get the same sense of achievement, though, even if it is a bit spurious.

For those who are interested I use Filezilla to look at my ftp server and Serif WebPlus to design my site. What I should have done was logged into my ftp server using my password and set up an incremental update through Serif. When I'm happy with my offline changes and previewed it to my heart's content, I just publish to the net. But my ftp server doesn't let me in straight away, so I began blundering about with files in Filezilla, which used to be necessary when I was hammering out my web pages from raw pieces of html. In the screen shot I would connect to the web and start clicking and dragging across the new files.

But Serif WebPlus just makes life so easy for a non-professional web designer who comes back to his files after months away. So long as each changed web page retains the same name as its predecessor, the new files just over-write the old. When I come to add the new features dreckly (good word) Serif will simply add them if they're not on my ftp server and the referencing that goes on behind the scenes makes the links work between the pages. I don't have to open up Filezilla and do it individually - it knows what's been changed and moves only these files across. It really is a fantastic piece of software.

And I've discovered this trick about screen shots! I've often wondered how this was done so I asked the web. (It's essentially ALt+PrintScreen but you need an image editig programme. Mine is OpenOffice Draw and this saves by default in an .odg file that none of my image editors recognise. Boo! But I found that it will export to JPEGs! Hooray! That way Blogger can accept them as pictures.

Updating these minor change shad been good revision for me and I've learnt a few new things along the way. Maybe I should catch a cold more often.

Labels: , ,