JB Enterprises

JB Enterprises - Johan Bezem

Interim Management & Consulting

New Site

In the course of 2017 I have revamped my site. The design hasn't changed much, except for the blog entries. In these few paragraphs I want to describe the changes and their rationale.

From its inception in 1999 until 2008, my website was a hand-coded set of HTML files, later enhanced with some simple CSS. Over the years I started using XHTML, verifying the standards' compliance, and regularly updated the contents as my projects continued and changed.
In 2008 I got the idea to start a blog on development. While researching the possibilities I found WordPress, but I absolutely wanted my site to be hosted by myself. In that case I needed a WordPress instance running on my (virtual) server. My hosting company, Strato, supported the necessary prerequisites (PHP, MySQL), but I had (and have) a full-time job, so I was never going to do the installation myself.

I found a student capable and willing to create my blog. He suggested to move over the full website to a WordPress instance, not only the blogging part itself. So in 2008, after 9 years, my website was reshaped for the first time.

In the first several years, I had no problems: I produced some blog entries, updated my site regularly, and when some updates needed to be done, I paid my system administrator to do so.
But students tend to remain students only for so long, so at some point I lost my system administrator. For a while, I managed to get by by myself. Until WordPress stopped supporting the MySQL version I still was using. And not updating WordPress was not an option, because of the security fixes.
Since I was no longer blogging much anyway, the real need for WordPress for my professional website was no longer an absolute requirement. Initially, I simply disabled all WordPress functionality that was or could be compromised. But that could not be a long-term solution.

Therefore, in 2017 I started on a new implementation with the same but updated contents, a similar (old-fashioned but simple) design.
I had a few requirements:

  • The site should be easy to maintain by myself, even in busy phases of my professional life.
  • The site shall be compatible with all major browsers, based on XHTML and CSS, and easily checked by the W3C validators.
  • The site shall be fully operational without activating Javascript. Javascript is a great extension of the possibilities of a site, but for the purpose of my site it is not necessary, and security-aware people disable Javascript by default.
  • If a visitor has a small screen, only the basic information shall be indicated (contact information, availability), together with a link to the full site.

Except for the last requirement, everything has been realized in this new website: Pure XHTML with CSS, easily maintainable by using SSI (Server Side Includes), no use of Javascript.
The last requirement is a bit difficult to realize without Javascript. I'll leave that for later.

This design will hopefully last another 9 years. We'll see what happens then.
Happy surfing!

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This page was last updated on Sunday, 2017-12-10 12:34.