Preamble: The entire code of RochelleSwanson.net and RochelleSwanson.de was written "from scratch", viz using a simple text-editor (no WYSIWYG). I prefer this way of creating code because WYSIWYG-editors donīt work quite good, sometimes they even produce invalid markup! I attach great importance to "clean" HTML-code and interoperable websites so I don't work with WYSIWYG-editors.
There are three possibilities (which are considered for this project) for the choice of the standard that is underlying to the development: HTML 4.01 Strict, HTML 4.01 Transitional and XHTML 1 Strict. I did not want HTML Transitional to be the primary standard and due to the fact that the Internet Explorer has partly severe problems with displaying XHTML-pages correctly, I decided to use HTML 4.01 Strict for the primary standard and HTML 4.01 Transitional for a few pages that contain external links due to the fact, that HTML Strict does not support opening external links in a new browser-window (blank target). One of the next versions probable includes parts of XHTML and someday XHTML is going to be primary standard in this project (if XHTML is still topical then, otherwise another technology will be used). However, now HTML is the better choice I think!
The second important point is the Layout, thatīs only based on CSS (means the dislocation of the layout-information from the HTML-pages into a global CSS-file). I fell back on "oldschool coder ruses" like invisible graphics or HTML-tables in the past with other projects. Well, RochelleSwanson.net is a very important project to me, so itīs a good reason to refresh my knowledge of extended CSS. Although this is the better way, some things were pretty difficult, especially the vertical alignment of block-elements - well, the W3C never liked appropriate tags and options (even in standard-HTML it was desastrous), why ever...
After many tests and even more cigarettes (I smoked at that time) I created the first working and appealing layout. Parallel I created the Design (images, buttons, background-colours and -images, textformatting and effects). Allowedly, itīs a little bit special, but I think there are enough websites with standard-design, so Iīm contented with the result! I used MicrografX Picture Publisher® v6/10 and a few little tools for image editing. I know, this is a suboptimal patchwork and Iīve resolved to choose a better solution linke GIMP or Photoshop® in the future. For HTML and text editing, I used vim (standard editor of Linux) and a simple windows texteditor, both without syntax-highlighting in contrast to gedit (for Linux, free) or UltraEdit32 (Windows).
I havenīt exact plans for the future of this project. My further decisions depend among other things on the number of visitors and page-views. If the site is more frequented and many visitors use it, Iīd like to create a dynamic concept which allows a individual customisation of design (fonts, colours) and maybe even layout for any user! If not, I wonīt spend the (much) time for such complex concept. If multiple users/operators/admins maintain the site (especially the infobase and the news-section) a content management system or a "wiki" could be helpful.
If the server-load rises or special functions will be needed for this or another web-project of mine in the future, an own root server could be an interesting option!
However, theese things are dreams of the future. At the moment itīs more important to make the site known, build a community, expand the Infobase and the Picbase.
In case you find a bug in the Websode (that includes appropritpus markup as well as Iīm (like everyone else) not perfect), or if you have a code-snipped you consider it helpful, you can send me an email to fenta [at] rochelleswanson.net