The following information really only serves as a history of this site.
It will probably be of most use to other webmasters. Scroll down past the Why? bit for the history bit.
Note: This page requires updating once the 2008/2009 rewrite is completed.
Some people have asked why this this site is providing all this information for free. I have two possible answers to this question;
Altruism - Defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “Regard for others as a principle of action; unselfishness.”
Stupidity - Defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “The quality of being slow-witted, foolish, or unintelligent. Formerly also, apathy, indifference; numbness, stupor; the condition of having one’s faculties dulled.”
Depending on the time of the morning I am still trying to find a solution to a coding problem, I reserve the right to comment!
It has so far been quite a challenging project, involving many, many hours, weeks and months of work. If you like the content of the site and benefit from it, share your knowledge with others. If you don’t like the content, tell me why. So, ultimately, the answer to Why? is, entirely up to you.
Some reluctance has been met with from various companies and individuals when approached to supply information. This is surprising as the files from this site ultimately will promote them, their products or their organisations for free.
The site has been through a few more rewrites in a bid to reduce bandwidth, become friendlier for the on-line translation services and reduce bandwidth.
The site has undergone a total rewrite in an attempt to make the navigation easier and more logical. The site has grown to be quite a substantial size and there were many, many hours spent re-generating all the pages, graphics and Flash animations.
I did hope to reduce the amount of links on the site as the program I use (Dreamweaver) struggles with so many static pages, but with the content added since the last major revamp it has come out about the same at just under 290,000 links.
We have changed the site colours yet again - the yellow was too loud.
We regenerated all the pages this time (along with all the Flash animation and images) to reduce the size of the code by amounts that varied between 10 and 20%. Although our page loading times are quite good, this should help with even more.
Callum McGillivray has now gone his own way and the site is being financed totally by the webmaster.
After Callum McGillivray stepped in to help with the costs of running the site, we sought his advise and changed the colours of the site to a yellow scheme. Due to the size of the site changing the colours is now a huge undertaking. The number of links on the site in now in excess of 220,000.
After some damned hard work we uploaded a redesigned site that should be better for both day and night time visitors. Some downtime of the new server has been noticed along with a very busy bank holiday Monday.
We started our move to a new server as we could not get any sense from our previous hosts. We were dangerously near the transfer limits on the deal we signed up for anyway.
Spent the part of the day (and most of the night!) re-generating the files for the UK Model Shop link pages to remove the framed way they were served. The numbers of links on the site has now dramatically increased to over 141,000.
Spent the whole day re-generating all the files for the UK Model Car club listings as the framed way that they were served is not seen in a good light by a few of the search engines. I took the opportunity to add an alphabetical name list of the clubs, which should now make it even easier to find a model club in the UK. Cleaned up the rest of the code on the site - that’s all I can do to reduce the bandwidth (other than shutting the site down, of course).
An interesting side-effect of ridding the site of framed content was the increase in the number of links now on the site. With the model club listing served in frames the link count was just over 27,000 - without the frames, over 47,500 -Yes 47,500 links that have to be maintained!!!
Will probably have to change to a different web host - cannot now get to the server logs as they are deemed to be too big and I can’t get a response from the current web hosting company - pay peanuts, get monkeys!
After spending the last 24 hours cleaning up the HTML code, the site is now around 20% smaller and should load that little bit quicker (and use less bandwidth).
The site has gone through yet another redesign to try and cut down the amount of bandwith (amount of bytes transferred from the site). We were in danger of going over our limits and incurring extra costs as there have been over 800,000 requests from the site to date. The amount of visitors to the site continues to grow and something had to be done.
Feedback on the site has been good and the amount of people bookmarking the site has increased dramatically. After clearing off some of the development files on the site and adding a few, we have come down to (only!!) just over 23,000 links on the site. I have noticed from the log files on the server that one of the search engines that has visited the site is generating a few dead (and very curious) links - humble apologies - I have contacted them but have had no reply.
We have just passed the 500,000 hit mark, which translates into just over 40,000 pages served. I am quite happy about this, although if traffic continues at the rate it has the site hosting costs will rise.
We have our first advertiser, many thanks to Rob Lochier at Alro Racing Systems for his help and guidance with the site.
After a great deal of work the site has been redesigned to provide what is hopefully a more logical and easier to use format. The site continues to get busier with relatively little feedback, good or bad, from visitors. As all this is fairly new to me, it has become apparent that the management of any site is as crucial as the content - all links should work from wherever the visitor arrives. Talking of links, with the development work in progress, there are now more than 25,000 links on the site - can’t vouch for the external links, but the internal ones all work! (for me anyway). I daren’t calculate the ones in the help files!
After experimenting with the Style Sheets I now seem to have resolved the display problems that Netscape Browsers had.
After noting a certain amount of instability with Netscape, I have removed the Macromedia Flash animation’s off the main page. There is no other efficient way of achieving the effects that I want to use on this site, so you have been warned.
Although it is no business of mine to say what browsers people should use, I do spend a significant amount of time trying to work my way around the bugs in Netscape.
After adding the UK Model Shop pages and updating the layout of the UK Club listings, the on-line part of the site now consists of more than 1400 files with in excess of 6300 links. This relatively large file count is due to the way I have formatted the links pages, which would be in some respects, better served from a live database. This may happen in the future, but the costs and negative effects of such a system need to be carefully considered.
It would be interesting to get some feedback on the layout of the link pages, as, although it only takes a maximum of five clicks to locate any club or shop, there may be an easier way to implement the delivery of the information.
Success - I seem to have resolved the main problem with the Netscape & Opera browsers. Those of you with IE will not notice any difference, but the other users will not experience the gaps between the navigation images on the left or the buttons above. Still no Heading Styles being shown, but you can’t have everything!
Although the site has only been ‘live’ for a few weeks, it is attracting positive feedback and I personally feel it is progressing well. I have further plans, but as the costs of the site and its associated purchases share a thread of the shoestring that I run my life on, these will have to wait.
The only area where there is room for improvement is in the sites support for the Netscape & Opera browsers. The main problem with these browsers stem from my use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and tables. My style sheets are compliant with the recommended standards and have been verified using on & off-line tools.