Website

Bear with me, this post is going to get a bit geeky.  After which, I promise to return you to pictures of Elise dancing like a princess.

I hope you like the site redesign.  It’s pretty significant in that instead of simply going out and choosing a new theme, we decided to build our own from the ground up.  Meg designed the whole thing, and I just put her ideas on the screen.  If I were left to design it, you’d probably be left with a white page with black text, and that’s about it.

The website redesign is also significant in that our theme was one of the last things on the site that wasn’t open source.  And this is where it’s going to get a bit geeky.

This site is running on a virtual server some where in Dallas, Tx.  The server is running an open source operating system (Linux),  and the operating system is running open source technologies to host this website (Apache, Php, MySql, WordPress).  This means that the code that is running this entire website is available to me to look at, modify, and distribute.  To most people that may not seem like a big deal.  Why would anyone ever need to see the source code if everything is running fine and doing what it needs to do, and that’s absolute true.  I would almost never need to even access any of the code running anything on this blog.  It’s written and maintained by developers far smarter and more capable than I am. 

So why go through all of the effort of building the website on these open source technologies.  Why not just use Tumblr, Blogger, or even WordPress’s own blog hosting?  Or even easier, why not just post all our pictures to Facebook?  Everyone’s on Facebook, right?

The reason is simply because this website is more than just a blog.  It’s really become a living scrapbook for us.  We have Michael’s first steps, and Patrick’s potty training, and Elise’s birth story.    And we (let’s be honest, Meg) add to it every week.

If I want to keep this scrapbook safe, then I need to control where the pictures and stories are kept, how and when they are backed up, and in 50 years I need to be able to still look back at them and have them.  Look at it this way, I know there are scrapbooks and photo albums out there that are older than how long Facebook has been a company. What if Facebook goes away?  I feel bad for all of the people who have dumped their memories into Facebook when that happens.

As for our scrapbook, it’s fire proof, and backed up in 3 geographically separate locations, and the entire website and the code running it can be reconstructed and rebuilt at anytime on any computer because it’s open source.

It’s a lot of work, but in the end, I think it’s worth it.

And now, back to dancing Elise:

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