We’re getting close to the time of the yearly update for Digitaldarragh.com. Every year for the past five years I’ve done something different with the site. Last year I changed to wordpress. The year before that I upgraded the Drupal installation and change to a Virtual private server. the year before that I switched from BlogEngine.net to Drupal. With the change from BlogEngine.net to drupal I increased the scope of the site so that it included more information about me instead of just having a blog.
This year I want to do something a little more daring. Five years ago DigitalDarragh.com wasn’t built on any CMS. In fact, I coded it using ASP from the ground up. It had been a working progress for about two years. In that two years though the site was busier than it ever had been. this is because I hosted blogs for other people. I really enjoyed doing this but it became a lot of work to keep it going. I saw a need for this kind of service as the site continued to grow so I changed to Drupal and moved all of the blogs over to 14u.ie. That site has since closed. There were a number of problems with this. firstly, I didn’t port any of the content across and secondly because the site was built using the Drupal content management system there were a number of usability issues that I couldn’t get around because I was very new to the Drupal way of doing things. The 1 4 u website could have gone well if I hadn’t tried to do too much too quickly. still, as they say, you live and learn.
I don’t know if I’d re-develop DigitalDarragh.com with that same kind of functionality again. There are so many websites out there offering blogging platforms and they will do a hell of a lot bettter than I could possibly consider doing. I remember a lot of people saying at the time that the reason that people blogged on DigitalDarragh.com back then is the sense of community on the site. There were private messages, open comments and customizeable profiles. Who knows, Maybe it was the smaller size of the site that attracted people.
I will probably start the upgrade in the middle of July. What would you like to see happen with DigitalDarragh.com this time? Leave it as it is? Change back to Drupal? Add more pages? Get rid of it? Any suggestion will be considered. I might even think of making it possible for others to blog from here as well. I’m also mulling over the idea of coding it from the ground up without using a content management system such as Drupal, WordPress or Joomla.