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Iosart.comMy site was in a desperate need of an update. Basically, I had quite a lot of stuff laying around the site, without any consistent navigation to lead to it.

So, I added a new top navigation toolbar to every page on the site with links and menus that directly lead to almost any piece of content available on Also, I moved some stuff around and created a new front page which is now more dynamic and lightweight.

Doing some work on my website got me thinking about the technological choices I made back when I first created it versus what I’d use today, if I had the chance to start things from scratch. website dates back to early 2004, when I realized that I need a place where I could post some of the stuff I was doing – my photos, plugins, articles and so on.

It’s interesting to compare the technologies I used back then with what is considered the state of the art today

  • My initial site was written in static HTML with some Server Site Includes for templating. Today, I would definitely be using PHP for everything
  • I wrote my photo gallery system called KPSS in Perl. Again, today I would definitely use PHP for stuff like that. Better yet – today I’d use the Flickr API to create my own view on my Flickr photos. Bear in mind that in 2004 Flickr was still in its infancy…
  • My blogging software at the time was NucleusWordPress wasn’t yet the undisputed king of blogging platforms.
  • I posted some of my academic papers as raw PDFs . Today, I’m posting such things to Scribd and then I can take their widgets and put a document on my site in a nice doc viewer widget.
  • I had “Links” page where I manually collected some of my mostly used links. Again, and other social bookmarking services still weren’t very common. Today, it really makes more sense to manage everything in some bookmarking service and show the most common links on my site using a widget.
  • Finally, I had some pages with tutorials and I wanted to allow people to add their comments or questions. Because I wasn’t using any CMS (Content Management System), I created my own script that allowed adding user comments module to any static page. Today, I’d just use a WordPress based page for this, which would also solve the terrible spam problems I experienced during these years.

In fact, today I’d seriously consider basing my whole site on WordPress. Beyond blog posts, WordPress allows creating custom ‘pages‘ which can optionally have comments, their own custom templates and so on.

Anyway, it’s really interesting to see how much has changed in only three years. New “best of breed” tools and services have emerged – Flickr, and WordPress are only a few examples. Things are getting better all the time with services such as Ning, Amazon EC2 and S3 and many others.

Now, one can really focus on the content instead of infrastructure. And, once the infrastructure becomes a non-issue, the creativity can really blossom.

One Response to “ latest additions or how much has changed since 2004”

  1. |)ov Says:

    Nice read.
    I thought of choosing somekind of template engine like CakePHP or Smarty, but WordPress pages is a good choice as well.
    I guess at the end choosing between the above comes down to flexability and features vs. ease-of-use.