Драконосапожник (eugenepk) wrote,

Как сделать быстрый, красивый, надежный и дешевый вебсайт

Вебсайт канадской гильдии по художественной обработке кожи находится в плохом состоянии, и я как самый компьютерно образованый человек занялся его улучшением. Внизу объяснение того, что я сделал за последние несколько вечеров. На английском. Надеюсь что кому-нибудь эта информация поможет. 
This going to be a long post, but if you're also looking for a FAST, EASY TO MANAGE, RELIABLE and CHEAP WEBSITE, read it to the end.
CSCL, our leathercraft guild exists since 1950. That is great. What is not so great, our website looks like it was created in 1970... And its not only the look of the website. It was created on a store engine. That engine makes it almost impossible to manage as an informational website and extremely hard to add new photos and articles.

On the last meeting we decided to update our website and I'm responsible for that task.
Therefore my task was to make a website:
1. EASY TO MANAGE. That is the main problem of the current site, and that's why we rarely post new updates there.
2. The website should LOOK GOOD, though we don't have much money to pay to a web designer 
3. FAST. Not super fast, we don't anticipate hundreds of users simultaneously, but it shouldn't be slow. 
4. RELIABLE. The hosting provider shouldn't have downtime, we don't want to run it from someone's basement
5. MOBILE RESPONSIVE DESIGN. We need to comply to all current standards, especially to be compatible with the mobile devices 
6. CHEAP. Low initial cost and low monthly payments. The guild is non-profit, we should stay on the low budget.
The Wordpress engine was chosen for points 1, 2, 5 and 6. It is free, easy to manage, you can select a theme that looks good and it will be compatible with mobile devices. There are hundreds of free themes, no need to pay for the web design.

Once the engine is chosen, we need a place to host it. I decided to go to OpenShift, which is Red Hat's Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) in a cloud environment. Their free plan includes 3 gears, each with 1GB storage. I installed Wordpress in one gear and its MySQL database in another gear. That configuration is good for the initial setup and testing. In future I plan to upgrade to the OpenShift Bronze plan (which is also free for 3 gears) to disable application idling.

On our website we will post articles that include photos. A lot of photos. 1 GB storage included in the free OpenShift plan is not sufficient for the future growth. The photos have to be hosted in a cloud. Google Cloud Storage is the cheapest solution today and Wordpress has a plugin "WP-Stateless" which uploads images to Google Cloud Storage. Another advantage of hosting photos at Google is in the improved performance, because the web site doesn't need to send large image files to clients. User's browser will pull photos from the closest Google server. We are getting cheap, fast, reliable and scalable photo hosting.

Next task was to choose a photo gallery plugin. Wordpress includes a default photo gallery, but it is very limited. There are other photo gallery plugins, though we need one that doesn't copy photos locally (remember, we want to keep them on the Google servers, not on the local drive). These two were the best:

1. Photo Gallery by Supsystic - nice well written gallery with basic features.
2. Foo Gallery + FooBox Image Lightbox - simple gallery with adequate features, responsible design.
Foo Gallery will be used on our site. We may pay $20 USD to upgrade free FooBox to get extra visual features.

Wordpress - easy to manage, free web design, easy to change and update design (template)
OpenShift PaaS - reliable and free Wordpress hosting
Google Cloud Storage - cheap and fast photo hosting
The only initial cost may be $20 USD in case we want to improve the visual effects of the photo gallery.
On-going cost is only for Google Cloud Storage, and as per my calculations it should be no more than $2/month. Probably much less.
If you read this post to the end, that means you found some useful info here. In return please follow and like the page of our leathercraft guild https://www.facebook.com/CanadianLeathercraft/
And if you share this post on your Timeline or on your Page, you'll get even more positive points into your karma!

Additional info.
I tried the following Gallery plugins and wrote short reviews
Ape gallery - very rich functionality, looks complicated for beginners
Huge-IT Image Gallery - simple, no options to modify the initial view of the images on the page
Easy Image Gallery - very simple and basic.
Envira Gallery - requires paid upgrade, otherwise it is too simple and basic.
Unite Gallery Lite - limit 12 photos per gallery. 
Robo Gallery - very limited free version, I didn't test it
Responsive Portfolio - free version is very limited, I didnt test it
Huge-IT Portfolios - is not a regular gallery, rather a good tool for project portfolios.
Photo Gallery WebDorado - copies images to local drive, doesn't see all images in wordpress media
Slideshow Gallery - very complicated, copies files locally, brakes editor
NextGEN Gallery - copies files to the local drive

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Tags: cscl
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