Project Profile: Newsbytes.PH

I’m very happy to announce the launch of my latest client* ! I met Exec. Editor Melvin Calimag decades ago when I was still writing for Inq and he for Manila Bulletin I think, and we covered countless events together. Melvin knew I designed and hosted websites and approached me way back Feb 2020 to redesign Newsbytes in time for its 10th anniversary. Pandemic and all it took all this time to finally get it going.

Technical Background: I used WordPress and the super powerful and flexible Elementor Website Builder to build the special front sections, the special single posts, header footer and sidebars. For an ‘old school’ developer like me who is used to using CSS and Photoshop to get the look I want, the ease of use and user friendliness of Elementor is just mind boggling. What would take a day to design would only take an hour and as I grew used to its interface I was producing results even faster. There are other website builders out there but there’s no point over evaluating. If you can’t do what you want with Elementor then it’s just not possible.

WordPress itself has really jumped leaps and bounds technologically from the times I used it mainly for blogging. It is not only the foremost CMS out there it is also the number e-commerce platform for both small, big and very very big online stores. Unless you’re doing something ultra specific where proprietary code is necessary WP is your choice of CMS to get up and going as fast as possible. This sort of success does not come by accident. The people behind WP are deep believers in open source and followed it through over the years allowing it to turn into what it is now. I’ve seen so many similar CMS and open source software fall by the wayside, getting too mired in its own environment and losing its way. I used to be a solid believer in another CMS which has recently become almost hopelessly cumbersome and bewildering making me feel like it has lost its focus on helping its users. WP in the meantime has kept itself simple and easy and so has blossomed as a result.

As per Newsbytes, I was very surprised how little periodic maintenance had been applied. It had been running a database that was not only deprecated but far too huge for a long long time. After I downloaded a copy on my server I updated it version by version and retrieved 10 years worth of data with no problem. Previous to that the website would just go down for no apparent reason. Now all the code and db is secure, backed up daily and kept updated religiously.Finally I hope to meet more customers like Melvin, as he has been very appreciative, patient and felt more like a co worker than a client!

* – This is a two month delayed post

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