This web site has been going since 2013. A lot, technologlically, can happen in that time, and a lot, circumstantially, too. I felt the need for a revamp of the site, and to be honest, I have found recent changes Wordpress, on which the site was based, not to my liking. Looking to the future, too, I wanted a web site that was as portable as possible.
So I decided to move to this platform, dotclear, as my preferred content management system. I have long used it as my personal blog, and find it fine. It can also use one of several databases, rather than relying on mysql/mariadb, as wordpress does. Also, wordpress is the target for many internet attacks, and presenting a less attractive attack service seems sensible, if one has the option. Looking through the old site, it was also obvious that what was true regarding many technical, if not sociological, aspects of running a community digital archive have changed. But I know from feedback that communities who are lookinng at digital expressions read through the site.
My first choice was to migrate the site to dotclear, and that went reasonably well, although some of the pictures on posts needed tp be re-done to make them look acceptable. But because of that issue with less relevant aspects after 8 years, I chose to archive the site, turning it into a series, albeit a complex series, of html pages rather than a database driven site. There are many ways of doing this, but I chose the option of install the staticpress2019 plugin for wordpress, which turned out to be fairly straight forward. In fact, it worked so well, that I decided to do the same to a site I used in a module in my degree, some years back, and that I was asked to keep accessible. That site was so old I could not find the password, so I was pleased to be able to reduce the overhead of keeping it alive.
So I'll be building on this site, while keeping a few relevant pages and posts fron the old. And in the meantime, the result was also a way of keeping wordpress sites in a digital archive. Some years ago, I had a short-term climate challenge job. I maintained a web site for that job, and have archived many of its findings and history in the Assynt Digital Archive. The only option I had, at that stage, to archive the web site, was to copy the site and a dump of the database and store those files. Now who knows whether it will be possible to run such a site even today, let alone in a few years time, to see what it contained. For example, this content management software, dotclear, now posts a warning that from the next version, only a recent version of the php scripting language, on which it depends, will be supported. In several years time, if one archived all the software, how would one run it? But html is a standard and has every chance of being readable well into the future. It's a better archival format for a web site that can be re-created in that way.