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How to update an antiquated Web site


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#1 saluqi

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 09:48 PM

Some time in the early Stone Age I created a Web site which still exists (http://saluqi.home.netcom.com/).  It is the base site for Tepe Gawra Salukis (an exotic breed of hunting dog I obtained in Saudi Arabia 45 years ago and still carry on today in a noncommercial way) and for some other material on performance in canine extreme athletes  And canine tick-borne diseases.  And a few other topics.  I started by using an ancient WYSIWYG editor (Visual Page) and then tweaking the resulting HTML code by hand.  Visual Page had its own built-in FTP uploader and for years that worked fine.  Then for reasons I still don't understand it stopped working and after some fumbling around I got to FileZilla and after phone conversations with Earthlink (still hosting the site, though I rather intend to move to iPage one of these days) got that working to upload updated pages.

 

Well, that was on an XP computer I have long since retired, and now I have to do major updates (about two years overdue . . . mea culpa) from a newer Win 7 computer, so I have to start all over about how to upload pages.  Today I tried to download FileZilla (being aware of the bundleware problem . . .) but for reasons I do not understand the download never happened.  No error messages, nothing, just no download.  I must have tried at least a dozen times.  Maybe one of my security features blocked it, but if so I got no error or other message.  So the first question here is, what FTP tool should I be using?  I had no trouble with FileZilla before, once I had found out how to address the Web site files, but that was at least a year ago.  And if FileZilla is a reasonable choice, how the (bleep) do I download it?

 

FWIW I have always maintained the master version of all pages on my own computer (so they are also present on this newer one) so if an online page got damaged I could always just replace it with the master version.  Never actually happened - but I have always kept the master code at home <G>.  Not to mention multiply backed up <G>.  The changes I need to make are minor - the WYSIWYG editor is a convenience (well, it makes roughing out new pages quick and easy) but at a pinch I can read and edit native HTML code - and that obsolete editor lets me edit WYSIWYG and HTML side by side, while viewing the result, very useful - and I always check the WYSIWYG product that way before uploading it.  The pages are not the problem, only how to upload them.  The target address has changed a few times during the Earthlink hosting so I suppose I will have to consult them to find out the current formula.

 

So if FileZilla, how do I make the download work?  and if not, what else should I be using?  And after that, any other suggestions - the site itself has many deficiencies resulting from my failure to keep up with recent (or even not so recent) developments in rendering etc.  See for example http://saluqi.home.netcom.com/belkin.htm or http://saluqi.home.netcom.com/sighthound_gallop.htm

 

I know my antique code does not adequately handle the many today available variations in viewing format, etc. -- I just viewed a good many of those pages and find them sprawled all over the wider screen, to the total confusion of the reader (ugh).  Not to mention the many broken links.  The only way I can fix those is if I can upload new information . . . 

 

As always, thanks for any enlightenment!



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#2 Martel

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 10:46 PM

Saluqi,
Fantastic greyhound pics.
I have been down the filezilla road.
The WS-ftp route, used Internet explorer to ftp, used wysiwyg editors.
My answer to your question is possibly not the answer you expect.
If you are paying for a hosting plan that is best so that you own it rather than a free site.
It's not much monthly to have a plan. (Like 6 bucks).
In order to solve your uploading dilemma as well as have an on screen editor I (this is just me) would use WordPress.
It can also solve your responsive issue. (Meaning your site will display across devices from smart phone to big screen).
You obviously have always turned the wrenches to keep things running. I totally can see that in your post.
If you want to give it a go there is a learning curve to get you up and running.
..I am still using XP ...and also I have a windows 10 machine but use my XP machine more.

#3 saluqi

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 09:09 PM

Agree the Greyhound pics are fantastic - but I can't take credit.  Those photos were taken by a highly skilled friend.  As a matter of fact I was operating the lure machine for those photographs - which were part of an investigation into overheating in canine athletes.  We were measuring speed, time, energy output and the resulting rise in body temperature.  Greyhound races typically last no more than 30 seconds and do not produce a dangerous rise in body temperature.  In the coursing field, where a Greyhound may run flat out for three minutes or more, overheating can be a serious and on rare occasions fatal problem.  The result of our study was a technical paper showing how to avoid the worst effects of overheating by immediate action (immersing the hot Greyhound in a sufficiently large volume of cool but not cold water - typically, the nearest irrigation ditch) and how to decide in any given case whether or not such action is required.

 

I'm willing enough to learn WordPress - but my immediate and rather urgent need is to upload a couple of updated pages to an existing site.  Improvements can come later.

 

I am currently paying for hosting by Earthlink, but expect to change that situation fairly soon.  That I think will be the time to re-edit all those pages using more modern tools.  In the meantime I am looking for a quick and dirty fix that will enable me to upload a couple of pages, with minor modifications (actually, no more than minor changes in wording) to the existing site.

 

And I am still wondering why I was unable to download FileZilla.

 

Thanks,



#4 Martel

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 10:42 PM

I just went to and downloaded Filezilla. 

It took a while like a 2 or more minutes my speed is 70 down.

 

Then I clicked Run and it said it may not work on XP so I stopped. 

But it did downloaded and would have installed.

 

I would 

make sure you are at the correct download site. 

https://filezilla-project.org/

 

temporarily disable your antivirus long enough to let it download

 

https://wiki.filezilla-project.org/Client_Installation#Downloading_the_file



#5 saluqi

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 10:50 PM

On transferring the Visual Page files from backup to this new computer I find that SETUP.EXE (required to install it) has gone missing.  Tomorrow I will fire up the old computer to see if I can recover it (the program was installed and working on that computer).  In the meantime I started looking at other options, particularly Dreamweaver.  The CC versions do not appeal, because of the risk of losing all your work if at any later time you discontinue the subscription.  I (and apparently many others) find that unacceptable.  My creative work is my own, and nobody else has a right to it (or to destroy it) just because I happened to use their (duly licensed) software to produce it.  I noted, however, that the CS 5 and CS 6 versions are available for download at many sites, some of them even free.  How do I tell which are legit and which are pirated?  Some of them are popular sites like FileHippo . . .

 

For the simple changes I now want to make, I can easily edit the HTML in Notepad - but I did like the ability to view and edit rendered page and HTML code side by side (with syntax coloring, automatic syntax correction etc. in the code view) and to see the rendering in different browsers (all those features were already fully implemented in Visual Page in 1998, just about the time DreamWeaver first appeared <G>).

 

WordPress is AFAIK more a blogger's tool, for creating interactive content etc.  My purposes at the moment are more didactic than conversational.  My Web sites (most of them available as links on the Saluki "links" page) cover such topics as canine tick-borne diseases, genetics and the meaning and integrity of dog breeds, aboriginal sighthounds in different parts of the world, etc. etc.

 

Thanks for enlightenment!



#6 saluqi

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 11:14 PM

Hmm, upon seeing your post (which appeared while I was typing the above) I tried again to download FileZilla.  The SourceForge site was the same one I had been trying to use.  Well, this time it downloaded without a hitch.  The 64 bit version.  I had it running under Win XP on the old computer, but that might have been the 32 bit version.  I didn't time the download, but something like 2 minutes.  So now all I need is to find the address Earthlink is using for my Web site files.  They have changed that a couple of times (without bothering to tell me) during the years I have had that site.  So I will probably have to phone Earthlink support tomorrow.  Always an interesting experience <G>.

 

BTW I did not have to disable my AV software for the download.

 

My downloads go automatically into a folder called, er, Downloads, and from there I can move them wherever I want.

 

EDIT - in the meantime I have already made the edits I need, using Notepad, all I need now (for the moment) is to upload the pages.


Edited by saluqi, 01 January 2016 - 11:39 PM.


#7 Martel

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 11:35 PM

I never had a copy of Dreamweaver.. Heard it is great.

 

Nor the CS 5,  Adobe makes great products

 

If you have a copy of your pages you can still edit them in notepad

and view the html in a browser on your machine by hitting save in notepad then refreshing the browser.  

 

New downloads into that download folder is good, you can always find them.

 

As far as Wordpress being a bloggers tool yes a blogger can use it.

But you don't have to blog, It does webpage, you can get in there and tweak the HTML, CSS and more. 



#8 britechguy

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 12:58 PM

Another web authoring tool you might want to look at is KompoZer.

 

As far as web hosting goes, I've been using Amazon Web Services S3 feature for some years now.  However, I always manually manage my files through their AWS Dashboard interface, I don't use the built-in features of KompoZer to publish my site.  This is an intentional choice since it forces me to have a full copy of my website on my computer as backup and I never update any of the live files and then forget to either download those or update my copies.


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#9 saluqi

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 01:26 PM

I never had Dreamweaver either, but now I am looking around for something that gives me the same facility as the now long obsolete Visual Page - which was actually pretty good.  AFAIK Symantec dropped VP just about the time MacroMedia came out with Dreamweaver.  If I remember correctly (that was 18 years ago!) they had very similar feature sets.

 

The last non-Cloud version of Dreamweaver seems to have been Dreamweaver CS 6.  I don't like the Cloud versions, for reasons I stated, but would be happy with the CS 6 version if I can get it at reasonable cost.  I'm sure it's vastly more powerful and sophisticated than what I've been using.

 

As I noted earlier, I keep the master copies of all my pages on my own computer (and also well backed up) so if something goes wrong with the ones on line I can simply replace them.  For the same reason I do all editing "at home" rather than online.  That way I always know which is the master copy.

 

To make the changes I needed now, I edited the pages in Notepad.  Since the changes were minor (updating some of the text) the whole operation took only a couple of minutes.  I would be able to create entire pages that way, but I'm lazy and writing HTML pages from scratch is a bit more laborious than using a WYSIWYG editor.  Of course an existing page can provide a template, and the CSS I use are already in place, so it's really only a matter of inserting the content parts . . . and making them behave the way I want <G>.

 

I have a lot to say about dog breeds, genetics, evolution, ethology and other biological topics (the area of my real professional expertise), so my blogger friends are urging me to join the blogging crowd.  Where to find the time has been the main obstacle.  I am a water district manager in the middle of the California drought and the politics adherent thereto, with consequently too few hours in the day.  Even today, on the weekend, I am having to deal with a chlorination system problem in one of the municipal water systems for which I am the Operator.  If I neglect it, thousands of people might have to boil their water until further notice - so it can't wait till Monday <G>.


Edited by saluqi, 02 January 2016 - 01:35 PM.


#10 saluqi

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 10:25 PM

Hmm, since the above was posted I have written and posted two or three more items in this forum.  They seem to have disappeared.

 

Suffice it to say that once I had the correct addresses I was able to update the pages using FileZilla.  It was quick and effortless.  I discovered that I had to clear my browser cache in order to see the update online immediately - otherwise you continue for some time to see the older, cached version.  I suppose everybody (except me <G>) knew that.

 

I looked a bit more at the Dreamweaver versions.  It seems CS 6 is the last "perpetual license" version, and also the first to include the feature that adjusts display format according to the viewer's equipment (computer, tablet, smartphone etc.).  It seems also that Adobe continues to support the CS 6 version (for the time being anyway).  Apparently the original MSRP was $399.  You can now download it for prices ranging from $18 to a lot more - or for free.  So what is the licensing and support situation if you buy it for, say, $18, or download it "for free"?  I think I would like to try Dreamweaver, and don't mind paying a reasonable price - but I DO mind the idea that seems to go with the Cloud versions, that if you ever discontinue your subscription you lose the rights to your own Web material created using that software.  I don't see how that could be enforced - nor do I see how it could be defended before the law?  Maybe I am just naive?

 

I have read that Dreamweaver has a steep learning curve.  The same is said of some other Adobe products (Photoshop for instance).  I have Photoshop 7 (now that was a long time ago! <G>) but don't use it much, finding IrfanView more than adequate for most of what I need to do with photographs (including editing individual pixels).

 

Anyway, to cut to the bottom line, if I want to try a pre-Cloud Dreamweaver version (presumably CS 6) what is the best way to go about it?

 

Thanks as always for enlightenment,



#11 saluqi

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 11:32 PM

Well, by taking a bit more time I seem to have learned

 

1) the "free" downloads of Dreamweaver CS6 are actually 30-day trial versions

2) the CS6 version costs $500 (well, $499, God bless marketing)

3) the CC version as a single app would cost $20/month (well, $19.99, see above <G>) or $240/year

4) there are downloads of DW 5.5 that might actually be free - or not, can't tell from what I could see

5) although I have been a teacher for more than 60 years I probably don't qualify for the student/teacher versions because not currently employed as such (jeez, doesn't retirement count?  I have taught everything from pre-school to postgraduate - more than 45 years in university teaching, not to mention 47 years as a SCUBA instructor [CMAS, YMCA, PADI] - I mean, I am 84 years old and started teaching at age 15 <G>  Oh well <G>)

 

I do like the features, probably because they are similar to (but of course more advanced than) those of the ancient WYSIWYG editor I started out with.  Old habits die hard (and old geezers like me are supposed to be set in their ways <G>).

 

Forgetting that stereotype, I am very open to suggestion.  All I want is a usable tool at reasonable cost.  Nice if you can edit in rendered version and in native HTML side by side.  Built-in FTP not essential - the latest version of FileZilla works fine for me. I do like what I had so long ago - drag and drop images, write text etc., all on "page as viewed" - with the actual HTML in another pane alongside, so I can tweak it as I go along.  I suppose that is a really elementary requirement (OK, I don't really know that much about all this, I got lucky long ago but do need to get with the advances in HTML etc.).

 

I joke about my age, but don't actually suppose I am too old to learn new tricks.  I do that in my job every day <G>.

 

Thanks as usual for enlightenment!

 



#12 webrat

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 09:19 AM

For what it's worth, if you're looking to spend any money on coding, products or otherwise, I'd go for the source. There's a number of good sites where a reasonable fee will give you a solid grounding in HTML5 and give you, rather than your software, control of the process. It's arguable but it's not really much different learning basic or even moderate HTML than it is getting to grips with a decent bit of software if you're using it to its potential. This is the path I took and I can pretty much write HTML in my sleep so I'd vouch for it.



#13 britechguy

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 11:34 AM

 All I want is a usable tool at reasonable cost.  Nice if you can edit in rendered version and in native HTML side by side.  Built-in FTP not essential - the latest version of FileZilla works fine for me. 

 

 

Have you checked out kompoZer as I suggested many posts back?  It would seem to fit all of your requirements, plus more.


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#14 saluqi

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 11:23 PM

I took a brief look at Kompozer (is the project still active?) and at BlueGriffon which seems also to be Mozilla/Gecko based.  Not that I know enough (yet) to interpret that.  I must say I was a bit dazed by the vast number and variety of HTML editors (with or without WYSYIWYG) that seem to exist.  I suppose the thing to do is try out a couple of likely candidates, before wasting more of anyone's time here.

 

The idea of really learning HTML does appeal to me - after all I earned my living for almost a decade writing other kinds of code, and I already have a rudimentary understanding of HTML syntax.  Anyone who has looked at my Web pages will notice how crude they are.  At that I often found it desirable to hand edit the results of the WYSIWYG process.  Maybe the WYSIWYG engine I was using (Visual Page by Symantec, 18 years ago) was less than perfect.  I found it easy enough to tweak the native HTML to get the result I wanted.  But that was long ago, and HTML/XML has come a long way since then.

 

So I will probably now try to follow both the above suggested paths.  I rather like the approach of that famous composer who exclaimed "The laws of harmony and counterpoint are my most humble and obedient servants!".  I certainly achieved that with XBase coding, so why not HTML?  At least, I can try.






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