Maringret’s Website Maintenance Afloat

This web site got started with our first boat, a Maxi 95, hull number 647 which we named Maringret. In time is would come to be called “the first Maringret.” That was the late 90s and information pertinent to cruising the northern coast of Europe was just starting to show up on websites. Usually those websites were authored by people “just like us.” As we depended on the work of others for that information, and as we tended to go off the beaten track, we decided we should start up a minimal website of our own, simply to pass on what we had learned or found out.

That’s still the motivation for the current website, which of course now deals with “two” Maringrets and a lot more countries. As well as a lot more adventurous projects on our “two Maringrets.”

This website started in the late 90s – which is now more than 20 years ago. During that time we’ve gone through 2 boats; the computers have leap frogged in terms of capacity and capability, the software also. And the hosting situation has changed a lot.

Hosts

When we started out on this project we were happy to collect, prepare and upload information of use to others but didn’t really feel like paying for the privilege of doing so. Hence we have moved through a series of hosting scenarios, all free of charge to us:

  • a regional internet provider in south London with a URL of “www.dircon.co.uk”
    (we actually paid for this but we needed it for our CompuServe account…)
    If your response is “Compu-what?” then never mind.
    – this was 1998-2000 with 250 or so visitors
  • GeoCities which was taken over by (and eventually shut down by) Yahoo
    – this was  2000-2009 with something like 10,000 visitors
  • a free host by the URL of “www.110mb.com” – they eventually were bought up
    – this was 2009-2012 with 3,000 visitors
  • http://www.wordpress.com where the website has resided since July 2012
    – so far over 58,000 as of February 2020

Hardware

Although not overly relevant, this website started when we used to load things called RAM Disks in the memory of the computer to speed things up. A variety of Macintosh laptops and desktops.

Software

From GeoCities on, the hosts have had HTML editing software as part of their service. Still we went through various HTML editing packages such as:

Having the editing software on the host was a major boon back when one carried their newly minted HTML files from home on a diskette (those black plastic things that looked like coasters for a drinking glass) to the local library or internet cafe. If you had got one little thing wrong then the host provided editing software would save you a trip back home.

But now we tend to create the files with BlueGriffon and upload the HTML to WordPress, using the host provided software to settle things in and set up the connectivity once the file in on the website.

Things have changed so quickly and so extensively over this period that the lessons learned are almost obsoleted by the next wave of software.

We have another page, click here, on our migration of our website to WordPress and the changes we had to make.


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