If you attempted to get to PeteWhoDidNotTweet over the past few days, you would have noticed it was down. The reason for that is I finally found the time to do something that I’ve wanted to do for some time – perform a major update of the entire website.
A few weeks back, I finally managed to get on a WordPress course (WordPress is the software that the site runs on, of course). I had been booked to attend the course last year, but then some pesky customer work got in the way as higher priority, and it has taken me a long time to be able to reschedule the course.
The course was run by the good folks at Dynamic Web Training in Sydney. Jonathan, the instructor, had taken a group of about 10 of us through an introduction to WordPress over two days. That was very valuable to me, as he pointed out a great many shortcomings in what I was doing with the website. He has never seen my website, but just by virtue of the knowledge he was passing on to us, I could see how limited the website truly was.
It was also one of the most interesting courses I’ve ever attended. There was a course handbook, of course, which was an actual book that he only occasionally referred to. Instead, he would look at what the course outline listed as section headings, and then talk and walk you through the software, and give you exercises like “Now go and do x, y and z” without the standard step-by-step sorts of instructions. It was quite refreshing to attend a 2 day course with no slides whatsoever, and I’m sure I learnt a lot more as a result!
So what sorts of things was I doing wrong? Well, there were lots:
- The primary one that would make any DBA shake their head in disbelief – I only had a Production environment, so I would make changes directly in that environment. If I screwed up, the site’s availability was directly affected. An example of this is I had an update to the theme that I was using. I applied that to the website and completely lost all my customizations! If you had been using the site before that change, you would have noticed a reasonable amount of red colour (as the standard Oracle colour) for example. After the theme update, everything turned yellow. And there were a bunch of other changes that suddenly disappeared as well!
- I was really using the website as a blog site. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, and indeed that’s what WordPress initially started out as, blogging software. But there’s so much more you can do with it! By adding pages, menus and so forth, the software really functions now as a relatively simple content management system. Of course, there are some incredibly expensive content management systems on the market that do such much more, but WordPress is free! 🙂
- A relatively minor point that I hadn’t considered was that I had loaded videos to the site. That meant that everytime someone accessed those, the download was coming from my allocation by the ISP involved.
And the list went on and on. So what have I been doing to address all this? Well firstly, I have installed WordPress on my laptop and built a development environment there. All it required was downloading XAMPP and the WordPress software. XAMPP gives me the MySQL and Apache environment needed to support the WordPress software. So now I can make as many changes as I want in my development environment, and then, using a plugin called WordPress Duplicator, I can copy the entire environment up to my Production environment which is the website you see. Hopefully that means no more losing customizations and so on!
Secondly, I’ve taken advantage of the WordPress software’s capabilities to add some new pages and a new menu. Over the past few months, my role has expanded in the Enterprise Manager team and I am now the Product Manager with direct responsibility for looking after both the job system and BI Publisher. So I have added pages for all the areas I now have responsibility for – Database as a Service (DBaaS), Database Lifecycle Management (DBLM), BI Publisher and the job system. Hopefully the information I load on those pages will be of use to use.
Thirdly, I’ve removed the videos from the site and replaced them with links to my YouTube channel. Yes, I’ve taken a leaf out of Tim Hall’s book and created a YouTube channel where I can load videos. Most of these are going to be screenwatches, so I won’t be branching out to taking videos in my car as I drive around like Tim does. 🙂
I’ve also made a few other changes as far as the theme and so on is concerned. Hopefully, the site will now provide you with even more of the information you need to be successful with using Enterprise Manager. If you find any problems, like broken links and so on, please do let me know by shooting me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.