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Louis Kessler's Behold Blog » Blog Entry           prev Prev   Next next

Heavy Lifting: Building a New Website - Sat, 11 Mar 2017

I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But I scheduled yesterday, March 10, to be the launch date for a website for my Double Match Triangulator program.

The new website is here:  doublematchtriangulator.com

There’s a lot involved in preparing a new website, even if you’ve done a few before. To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to it. There were just so many tiny details to take care of to set it up. It’s just a lot of work.

Fortunately, I already have a web host (Netfirms) and I know the procedure. So that’s 3 months out of the way. A couple of months ago, I registering the domain name:  doublematchtriangulator.com. Not surprisingly, that domain name was still available. Fortunately, the domain farmers haven’t snatched up all the 23 letter dot com domain names yet. I cheaped-out and didn’t pay the extra for domain privacy, so I put up with about 100 spam emails and a dozen phone calls to my house from people in far off countries that wanted to develop my website or optimize my site for search engines. I (and my family) weathered that storm and set up a redirection temporarily from my new domain to my Double Match Triangulator page on my Behold website.

Back from vacation with my wife on Monday, I started working on my new site. I didn’t want to do anything too different and wanted it to have the same look and feel as my Behold site, so people would realize the two are connected, but different enough to be able to distinguish them. With several possible options, I thought I’d change the color scheme from blue to either mauve or green and create a new header for DMT to go with it.

So first step was to take the Cascading Style Sheet for the Behold site, copy the behold.css file to a dmt.css file, and modify it so that the colors were all adjusted. I picked green and spent a full day fiddling with the colors and adjusting some other elements to get them the way I wanted.

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I am no graphic artist, and it took me 4 full hours the next day to finally settle on a header that I at least thought was satisfactory. I bounced the ideas off a friend who is a website designer and he gave me a couple of alternative ideas that included an image of a DNA helix as a logo. I don’t know if anyone has the copyright for that particular graphic and don’t really feel I want to use anything but my sun logo to represent my programs, so I thought I’d start off with what I came up with for now.

I had to then decide what to include. My Behold site was incrementally developed over the years and there’s a lot of mechanics to it. For the DMT site, I wanted it simplified. I would not have a separate blog or forum there. The blog would refer back to my Behold blog. I organized my new pages, and retooled the information that would be on each. I came up with this which I’m quite happy with:

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The style sheets ended up causing me a big problem. I spent almost all day yesterday trying to figure out why they weren’t working. The pages weren’t  respecting the page width and continued to expand in width even after they reached the 800 pixel width that I was limiting them to. These were adjustments I made several years ago to allow the site to be “responsive” and would automatically resize for smaller screen sizes of smartphones. This is done with the CSS statement:  “@media screen and (min-width: 800px)”.

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For hours, I couldn’t figure out what was going on because this was working on the Behold site but not on the DMT site. The final answer (realized at 1 a.m. this morning) was that I had not included a second css file that I had on the Behold site for older browser versions. I had inadvertently put “media print” instead of “media screen” in a few places in the first file (a mistake on my part) and the second css file on the Behold site ended up handling them. That is something I should fix so that I don’t get caught by it again, but at least now, by also including that 2nd file for the DMT site, it all works. I had the website up by 2 a.m. this morning, 2 hours after my goal date of March 10.

I had got most of the way through setting up the selling page for DMT and building in the registration tools into the program. There’s still a bit to do on that part and then testing to ensure it works reliably. Once that’s ready to go, I’ll update the site to allow the purchasing of a lifetime license for DMT.

So, for a short time, you can still get the current version of Double Match Triangulator for free.

I’ve got lots planned for DMT. I want and need it to map my DNA segments to my ancestors and do the analysis for me so that I don’t have to do it manually. If I can get DMT to do that for me, then it will do it for you as well. Stay tuned.

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