New webpage & about life

It's been a really long time since my last post. I've been so busy during the year I've been away. A lot of work (which I have loved doing, every inch of it), a lot has been going on in my personal life - new people, new friends, new places I have visited, some (failed) relationships along the way. I would say it's been a really interesting and challenging year - something you would say during New Year's but hey, "my house, my rules", right?

Anyway, during this time I have changed the whole look of my website a few times. When the previous two posts were written, I was still using Wordpress (not wordpress.com, but the one you actually intall on a webserver with an SQL database etc) as my CMS platform back then. I was using it not only to manage my blog, but also to manage my static pages, such as main intro page and contact page.

So, what is actually a CMS? A Content Management System (CMS) is a software application or set of related programs that can be used to create or, as the name suggests, manage digital content, such as blogs, news, porftolios etc. This is done by adding, editing, or deleting content that is to be published on a website. CMS's are typically used for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Web Content Management (WCM). Most CMS programs include web-based publishing, format management, history editing and version control, indexing, search and retrieval. Here is a table which lists one of the most popular CMS platforms based on market share:

# CMS name Market share
1WordPress60.0%
2Joomla6.1%
3Drupal4.0%
4Magento2.2%
5Squarespace2.2%
6Shopify2.1%
7Blogger1.6%
8TYPO31.4%
9Wix1.4%

Source: w3techs.com. Above data was extracted on 30.05.2018

After Wordpress, I started experimenting with something called flat-file CMS's. A flat-file CMS does not use any database to store page information, such as blogs etc, rather it uses text files to store content. This makes flat-file CMS's faster than CMS's which require the existence of a database, as the CMS always has to access i.e. a SQL database to get data and you may notice a performance drop with larger databases.

Flat-file CMS systems are gathering popularity these days for small and medium sized web projects due to their simplicity. WordPress has evolved over the years from being a simple blogging platform into a feature rich CMS - no question about that. However, a lot of these features are not needed by people who just want to have a small blog, host their portfolio, create a landing page for their app or talk about the legal services they offer. This is where flat-file CMS’s come in, or "file-based" CMS’s. Because flat-file CMS's do not have a database, it is extremely easy to perform a backup and transfer your project from one webserver to another. Just copy-paste the files to a new webserver and all of your data with your CMS is up and running. No need to mess with SQL databases etc.

My favourite flat-file CMS is Grav. Check them out and give it a try.

After that I had a change of heart and felt like I need to develop my own page from scratch - something that is designed by me from the ground up. During the year I hadn't been active, I had learned a lot of JavaScript in addition to practising my skills in HTML and CSS. I felt confident in my ability to start this project, and hopefully finish it.

I had some design ideas at first, but for some reason ended up using a half-finished template from HTML5up. I customized almost every aspect of the website, including javascript and obviously CSS - I made it look mine, completely renewed. At first I thought I would write my blogposts in plain HTML, but later ended up finding a cool light CSM called CouchCMS. Since my website was a static one, I needed something that would fit perfectly the HTML site I already had. CouchCMS was the one I ended up using. It is based on PHP, but due to really good documentation, there was really no PHP knowledge needed. So, how does it work exactly? Well, you change your .html files into .php files and then add PHP code only into the areas of the page that you would like to make editable or dynamic while the rest of the page remains static (header, footer, logos, navigation menu etc).

While having that site up and running for a long time, I suddenly remembered my promise to myself to create a website from scratch - no use of CSS frameworks or HTML templates. And that is what I did. While my previous site was on the root level of my webserver, I kept working on my new one in my developer subdomain for some time. Until now - the website is finally live, woop woop! I am quite proud of myself. I can finally call it 100% mine, from scratch.

Okay okay, enough about web development, I guess. So, what's going on in my life currently? Well, I've been travelling alot. I've travelled to many European countries, but mostly to Czech Republic (Prague and Ostrava). These have been mostly business trips, with some pleasure. I've also been to Finland a couple of times on pleasure and business. Aaaand, tomorrow I'm going to Alanya, Turkey for a 2 week vacation. Wow, I cannot believe it's already tomorrow - zipping cocktails on the beach. Lot's of sun and some partying. Been waiting for this for months now. SO EXCITED! I'm going with my 3 good friends who I have travelled with before to places like Budapest, Hungary and also Finland and twice to Bulgaria (Golder Sands) and more countries!

Alanya

Picture of Alanya, Antalya, Turkey.

Then there is also the less fortunate news of me having to go to Estonian army to serve my country for 11 months.. I was invited when I was 20, which was 5 years ago. Well, formally they sent me a letter when I was 17 that I had been considered as enough of an adult to be listed soon. Due to health issues, I had to go back every year for more health checkups, however this year in January 2018 they had made the law more strict. This meant that I was suddenly within the criteria. There I was sitting in anger, filling my personality test, providing religion information (probably for dogtags) and more. I'm being sent to Tapa in Estonia. It's where the NATO and UK soldiers are situated at. To be honest, at first I was angry, but now I have come to accept the fact that I have to go. Then again, it's always been in my mind that I have to go and it has haunted me for some time now. I'm actually happy that I can get rid of that worry once I manage to finish serving. The only reason I was angry at first is because I'm 25 years old, I have a really good career going on - a job I love, an apartment, loans etc - it is difficult to just go away for 11 months while leaving that behind. I guess I just have to suck it up and do it, get it over with. Plus, I think it isn't that bad. I'm in the hopes of getting some good friends from there, learning different skills and also finally getting fit after all these years of not going to the gym. I'm joining Estonian Defence Forces on 2nd of July, 2018. Thankfully, by law, my job stays intact while my employment is just put to a pause. Once I get out, I can go back to the position I was before leaving. But let's see what happens, because a lot CAN happen. Speaking of military, here's a good song that goes along with the "army" topic:

Okay, so that's everything I have for today. Hopefully I won't be too lazy again and at least make some posts about what I'm doing. Maybe, just maybe I will make a post about my trip to Turkey. Let's see!

As always, stay cool peeps!