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Web page design


This is not a wordpress site.  I have done quite a few wordpress sites and I find them slow, cumbersome, and deluged with constant updates.  Apart from the slow download speeds, they also take a long time to open for editing.  Also, despite my wordpress sites and html sites being on the same server, the wordpress sites usually take a lot longer to open.

I am not recommending or even suggesting that anyone follows my methods below, but they may be of interest.

A summary of MY needs are:-

  • Relatively few pages (I don't post that regularly - it's not my profession now.
  • Quick to add new pages
  • Spam resistant
  • W3C compliant (to maximise life time)
  • I want to order my articles the way I want, not by date.

So I decided on a simple html site. I uses "server side includes" (SSI) for the article menu on the right so every time I add a new article I only have to update the one file and the menu will appear in all pages.

I made a simple template using Microsoft Expression Web 4 (MEW4 - it's free) and I use that for all pages.
I must admit that getting to grips with new (to me) standards took a while but I finally decided to use the XTML standard shown at the bottom of all the pages on this site.

MEW4 has a built in FTP program and I manage the site which is hosted by Lunar Pages (who I have been using for around 20 years). Any graphics are made using Photoshop CS2 which I have used for years.

I check the speed using Pingdom.  You can specify the server to be used.  There is not a UK one, the nearest is Sweden.  My website host is in California but most folk who read this will be in the UK so that is more realistic. (This page should load in under a second.)

Quite a few of these pages I have imported from my old wordpress site.  The code is awful.  It's bloated and full of oft repeated tags.  I have cleaned up much of it but the way that wordpress WYSIWYG editor does the code is not ideal. I usually reformat it using MEW4.

As an example, Nuevo Electric-1 , in the original wordpress format when checked by W3C standards returns 48 warnings or errors.
When tested for speed by Pingdom (from Stockholm) it is 271.1kB,  load time is 4.57 seconds and it shows as faster than 35% of sites tested.

By comparison in html format as on this site,  it is 136kB, load time is 1.31 seconds and it is faster than 83% of tested sites'

It's simple stuff - basically similar to the way I designed websites twenty years ago using Microsoft FrontPage.  Each to his own I guess.

As for hardware, I usually design websites on an much loved old Lenovo Thinkpad X200s . I use Windows 7 for MEW4 and an old version of Photoshop (CS2).
To get the operating system up to a sensible speed I have

After installation I did a full scan using Microsoft Safety Scanner, Made a system restore point and I run without any anti-virus software.  I download and run the scanner around once a month. There is never a problem.

Most of the time though, it runs Puppy Linux (Tahrpup) on a usb stick.  It runs faster than Windows and boots up and shuts down lots faster.  It also has a built in ad blocker. But I find it uses up the battery faster than Windows.

Update. I have switched back to Windows 7 as my main operating system.  It is only slightly slower than Linux, takes much longer to boot up and switch off, but it runs a lot longer on the battery.

I used to backup my current stuff using Dropbox. This allowed me to access the work on multiple PCs running Windows or Linux or even some stuff on android. Unfortunately Dropbox has changed and won't operate on Linux and I'm looking for a solution.
Dropbox also slows down windows so now, if I want to back up files I just use browser upload and download. 

I occasionally design and host other sites. For example:



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